Monday, October 19, 2009
Mikogami Trilogy: The Trail of Blood
Rival gangs are at war with one another, ravaging the countryside and slaughtering anyone who defies them. Unfortunately for them, they messed with the wrong guy. When Jokichi, a famed wandering Yakuza soldier, tries to go straight, he quickly learns that you only leave the Underworld by getting sent to hell.
After his fellow mobsters murder his entire family, he's got only one reason to keep living--to ensure they keep dying! And the Kanto plains are full of rats that need killin'! In fact, there are three movies full of them.
Yes, this 1972 film is the first of three movies in the Mikogami trilogy full of slashing blades and bloody revenge. Jokichi's mayhem occurs in my Japan neighborhood in the Tochigi area around Utsunomiya and the Nikko road. The film follows the classic revenge story which was popular during the 70s samurai film era. The film includes some graphic and gruesome scenes, one which particularly made me flinch and cover my eyes. The scene is when the film graphically shows Jokichi getting two of his fingers smashed to a pulp by his Yakuza enemies. This film has a lot of good sword action but is a step or two or three below films such as the Lone Wolf and Cub in my opinion. It is an average chambara flick but for what it is, it is still worth the time to watch and I plan to watch the final two films in the trilogy. The revenge theme is used a lot during the 70s samurai film period and this one does not make any effort at originality from that theme but I am OK with that. The movie is mildly entertaining.