Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Incident at Blood Pass
Legendary actors Toshiro Mifune and Shintaro Katsu team up for this final Yojimbo film (Zatoichi meets Yojimbo is the other film between these two). A wandering samurai (Mifune) accepts a mysterious assignment that takes him to the titular mountain pass. Told to await further instruction in an isolated teahouse, the samurai -- through the conversations of the teahouse's patrons -- gradually becomes aware of an elaborate plot involving a gang of bandits and a convoy of Shogunate gold.
In the early seventies, Toshiro Mifune and Shintaro Katsu made a deal with each other; they would each appear in a film made by the other. The two films that resulted were Zatoichi meets Yojimbo and Incident at Blood Pass (Machibuse). Two of Japan's greatest stars collide when Toshiro Mifune ("Yojimbo", "Samurai Banners") butts heads with Shintaro Katsu ("The Razor", "Zatoichi"). In his final portrayal of the Yojimbo character, Mifune is hired to perform a mission so mysterious, he isn't even told what it is! All he knows is that he is supposed to go to a remote mountain pass and wait for something to happen. When he arrives at a lonely tea-house on top of the pass, he becomes ensnared in a twisted plot involving a bandit gang, a Shogunate officer, a discredited doctor (Katsu) and a convoy of Shogunate gold. He soon discovers he's apparently been hired to be a bodyguard for the bandits, but all is not quite as it seems!