Teruo Ishii’s Blind Woman’s Curse comes to Blu

June 25, 2015 | By

BlindWomansCurse_posterI’m an admitted newcomer to the various genres in sixties / seventies cinema that that undergone a renaissance on DVD and now Blu-ray, and Teruo Ishii’s Blind Woman’s Curse / Kaidan nobori ryû ((1970), new on Blue via Arrow Video USA / MVD Visual, is an amazing, weird little gem that offers a perfect mix of mysticism, action, mayhem, and a surreal character played by choreographer Tatsumi Hijikata.

Hijikata had previously appeared in Ishii’s Horrors of the Malformed Men (1969), which will be covered in a future entry, but the main attraction in Ishii’s Curse are the rival female characters who ultimately decimate their enemies and engage in a final duel.

Nikkatsu’s catalogue of exploitation films (and later Roman Pornos) don’t seem to favour pro-active women, making this production a bit of a revelation in that gang leader Tachibana (Meiko Kaji) and rival blind swordswoman Aiko Gouda (Hoki Tokuda) are feared and respected by the men. They don’t take crap, they act fast, and certainly Tachibana’s lieutenants (mostly women) are highly loyal.

Arrow’s new Blu is lovely, and Jasper Sharp’s commentary is superb and deserves revisitation for tracking down related and influential genre entries. Only disappointment: there’s no soundtrack album featuring both Hajime Kaburagi’s score and the vocal tracks in this beautiful production that’s presented in super-wide 2.44:1.

Coming next: reviews of Pat Boone’s cinema debuts in Bernadine and April Love (both from 1957), with the latter in a sparkling Blu-ray edition from Twilight Time.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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