Monday, September 14, 2015

GOYOKIN (1969)

Set back in the day, Tatsuya Nakadai is a ronin who three years ago witnessed his fellow samurai clan buddies massacring a small fishing village in order to cover up a scheme concerning stolen gold bars.  Naively, he promises to not turn them in if they promise not to massacre any more villages!  Now, three years later, he not only hears that they are planning to do it again, but he meets a young woman who's family was slaughtered in the original massacre.  He sets out to stop the upcoming bloodshed by killing the fook out of everybody in his old clan.

GOYOKIN was an enjoyable enough samurai film, although I can't see myself ever wanting to watch it again.  Tatsuya Nakadai was fine, as was the supporting characters, but at 124 minutes the story just drug on for too long and the final showdown was less than spectacular.  A few entertaining action scenes, Ruriko Asaoka looking absolutely gorgeous, some nice photography, authentic looking sets and one of the most unexplained escapes in movie history: master samurai Tatsuya has been captured (by throwing a net on him...really?!) and then taken into the snow-covered forest, tied up with a ton of ropes around his arms/torso and hung from a tree.  Next the evil samurai inexplicably throws a small knife at him and it sticks in the rope above Tatsuya's head.  He then leaves.  So now Tatsuya begins wiggling around and this somehow makes the rope snap and drops him up to his shoulders(!!!) in a snow packed hole.  Snow is falling in on his head and Tatsuya pulls the rope and catches the little dart/knife thing in his mouth.  Next scene...Tatsuya is jumping out of a tree onto a bad guy!  What the Hell just happened??  He was buried up to his shoulders in snow while being completely bound with ropes and his only salvation was a little dart in his mouth!

Worth a watch for samurai movie fans.