Lady Snowblood (1973)

lady-ss

When a gang of confidence tricksters murder a schoolteacher and rape his wife she plots bloody vengeance against them, but when she is imprisoned for life she passes the task onto her newborn daughter.

There’s no other way of saying this; Lady Snowblood is Kill Bill. A cold blooded but beautiful assassin who hunts down her enemies one by one, each assigned their own headed chapter of the story with blood and violence contrasted with tranquil scenes of falling snow…? There’s even a section where a flashback is told through manga comic art! This attractively shot film actually has a strong element of Spaghetti western about it despite the katanas and blood spurts because of the theme of lone stranger cutting down their enemies to exaggerated sound effects and a deeply 1970’s style soundtrack, and the combination works well. There are some very attractive images and nicely framed shots and Meiko Kaji is arresting as the steely beauty.

Plot is a little thinner on the ground however and there is little emotional involvement as the main character is so single minded, but its influence over more contemporary films has kept it feeling relatively fresh and it’s a landmark hack and slasher for those interested in the genre.

6.5/10

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