Toshiya Fujita

Foreign Objects - Large

Quentin Tarantino has never shied away from the debt he owes to foreign cinema when it comes to his own films, and whether they’re called homages or ripoffs the bottom line remains that certain movies from overseas inspired some of his most well known features. Reservoir Dogs is a blatant lift of Ringo Lam’s City on Fire, Inglourious Basterds found inspiration from Enzo Castellari’s The Inglorious Bastards and Tarantino’s two-part, female led revenge thriller Kill Bill? You need look no further than Toshiya Fujita‘s 1973 classic, Lady Snowblood. Japan, 1874, and the cries of a newborn baby can be heard echoing in the cells of a women’s prison. Deemed a “child of the netherworld” upon her birth we next see Yuki Kashima (Meiko Kaji) twenty years later as an adult walking a secluded and snowy road. A group of men approach carting their gang boss leader in a rickshaw, and when they attempt to forcibly move Kashima she slices and dices her way through them like blood filled bags of butter, painting the snow red as she goes. As the gang leader falls beneath her blade he asks who sent her, and he dies knowing only that it was revenge.

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In 1973, Toshiya Fujita released hell upon the world in the form of a vengeful spirit named Yuki. Meiko Kaji starred in the film about a getting revenge at the end of a sword hidden in an umbrella, and it remains a masterpiece that, as you can probably guess, inspired a certain sword-wielding, yellow jumpsuit-wearing avenger killing for Quentin Tarantino. Now the wonderful team over at Arrow Films is releasing Lady Snowblood on Blu-ray and DVD, special edition style. On September 24th, they’re making a combo edition and a steelbook version available. Both include not only the original, but also its sequel. Both are Region B, so make sure your player is compatible. This year seems like the one to celebrate characters born in prisons seeking revenge on wrongs done to parents, so this timing is perfect. Thanks, Arrow.

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published: 10.30.2014
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published: 10.29.2014
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published: 10.27.2014
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published: 10.24.2014
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