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Samurai Resurrection (JAPAN 2003)

aka Makai tenshô

Director : Hideyuki Hirayama.
Cast : Koichi Sato, Yosuke Kubozuka, Kumiko Aso, Tetta Sugimoto, Tomoko Kurotani.

37,000 peasants perished in the Shimabara Revolt; among them, the leader of that uprising, Shiro Amakusa. More than a decade later, Amakusa rises from the dead hell-bent on revenge. Resurrecting a ghastly army of living dead master swordsmen by way of an occult art called “Makai Tensho”(demonic transmigration), he sets his sights on overthrowing the Shoganate. Standing in their way Legendary Samurai Jubei Yagyu, who will have to fight the reincarnation of his own father before the fierce final confrontation with Shiro Amakusa himself!

by Edward Tang

Samurai films can be done a few ways, the correct way as seen in every Kurosawa film, and this way, a horror samurai film that really never gets there. In watching this, I lost track of what was happening and why it was happening, because the story jumped around from this to that. I’m a fairly patient person, but seeing random images and things that just don’t make sense gets irritating. This film isn’t ugly and the action scenes are decent enough to keep you ready for something more, but unfortunately, that “more” never comes. I did some research for this review and came up with a film with the same title that starred Sonny Chiba. Reading up on it even more, it is somewhat of a “cult film”. I must check that one out, because this one was very disappointing.

The basic story was easy to take in but the bulk of what followed seemed out of place. We begin with the slaughter of a rebellion (which looked good) and the death of Shiro Amakusa. Amakusa somehow becomes one with something and returns ten years later to exact revenge on those who had killed him. Up to the point where he “came back” from the dead, I was excited to see what was to unfold. But when we got to this point, I was very disappointed. Not because it lacked in anything action wise, but just the story went no place. Characters would be reborn, and they’d fight with Jubei, and eventually they would be destroyed and that was that. I didn’t get if the “bad guys” even wanted Jubei dead, or what the motive behind all of this was. It was very disorganized and lacked any substance that others in this genre have obtained.

What really had my panties in a bunch was the fact that it seemed that the plan of Amasuka was very worthless and seemed not to make any sense. You’d be asking yourself every few minutes, “so wait, who is this guy?” Now this film is based upon Jubei Yagyu, basically Japan’s Wong Fei Hung. His likeness has appeared in many novels, newspaper serials, novels, movies and television shows. Jubei is the main character, a guy who doesn’t show much emotion and seems just trying to flow with the water. I think even he was confused about this plot, after he takes out Amasuka at the end, he begins to laugh. I think this was a very clever ploy to show that this film was basically a waste of our time. The acting in this film is all very basic, the characters are not really likable and the bad guy looks like a very ugly woman, in fact he is a he.

Now what I really hated about this film (yeah I know, I’ll get to the good stuff eventually) was the fact that I was completely bored. Even bad films can leave a smile on your face, take for example “Showdown in Little Tokyo”, a horrible film that should have the filmmakers shot, but it can be dealt with in a very funny manner. But in this film, I think it lacks any enjoyable scenes that could have taken it out of the gutter. The attempt at horror was cheesy and campy, the effects of a dying demon looked exactly like when Blade would take care of a vampire. Even the man climbing out of the girl’s shoulder looked stupid, yeah I said that. But it completely lacked of anything that could be considered worthy entertainment. I was checking the clock every few minutes, because to me, this thing dragged forever.

The positives? Well in general, the film had a good look and the effects were pretty good, although some were plain bad. The action sequences were short and to the point, but were probably the only parts of the film I sat up to watch. The film had a good look and the beginning was plain great, the “storming” of the castle so to speak, was very good and got me to anticipate something that could actually be worth seeing. I’m afraid I was wrong.

So what should I conclude on? This film is very boring and will confuse you to the point with its worthless story. Nothing is special, and this film just looks to be another film that will sink in and out of your mind the very moment it ends. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m sure the Sonny Chiba one is better, so grab that one.

Plot : 2/5
Acting : 2/5
Entertainment : 2/5
Overall : 2/5

Notable Scenes
- The beginning “raid” on the rebellion.

Buy this movie at YesAsia – Samurai Resurrection

Comments (80 comments)

Ah You have her as well ^^Great shots as always ^^ Was srspriued that foo gave her 3/5. I think she is not that bad, and most of minor details is hard to spot compared to zoom on photos ^^I was in lobe with the figure, since I first saw the artwork ^^ Long time till they finally released but I love it.The only thing I can complain about is her right hand ^^ Noticed that not so long ago. When you check up on bracer and pose of her wrist Mirano messed that one imho ^^;

Yonathan / December 28th, 2014, 6:47 pm

I just got mine today and I love her. I guess that’s because her otifut and overall character design is overwhelmingly appealing to me. Girls with katana is one of my soft spot. And I was also surprised by Foobarbaz’s 3 star rating. She is almost perfect for me. ^^ For me, I gladly dive into the hyakka ryoran figures knowing some of them are going to be exclusives. And I am hopeless when it come to completing figures from the same series. *sigh* good thing that I like all the character designs so far. :p

Nico / April 5th, 2015, 10:17 am

Back when this figure line was aoncunned I was pretty hot for it but when I heard that some were Hobby Search Exclusives I decided against ordering her.I do know me and I would want a complete set and that would prove rather expensive.Besides that I dont like all the designs.Shes got a nice pose but I actually prefer the exclusive swimsuit pose (yes im a perv.) but sadly the execution of that isnt very good.I spot those red tree light objects again in the background.What are those actually?

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