Lady Snowblood (1973)

Outside of the recent J-Horror entries and my beloved Godzilla films, I am completely inexperienced when it comes to Japanese cinema. It is difficult for me to rate films like this because I have no means of comparison within the Japanese revenge or samurai sub-genres. Based on what I have seen, though, this is an area that I would love to explore. LADY SNOWBLOOD is easily one of the best Japanese films I have ever seen, offering a brilliant narrative and stunning cinematography built on an intricately structured revenge plot. Yuki was born for one purpose: to avenge her mother, who's husband had been killed by four cons before she was repeatedly raped for days. After her mother cursed the villains that ruined her life, she gave birth to a child of the netherworlds, who would be raised and trained as an assassin sent out to kill the ones responsible for her parents deaths. The film would serve as director Quentin Tarantino's greatest inspiration for the similarly-themed KILL BILL decades later, borrowing generously from SNOWBLOOD's structure and plot. Each of the roles are perfectly envisioned by the cast, offering dramatic live-action representations of the original manga characters set to tons of bloody cartoon violence and gore. There are very few moments where the pacing slows or the plot feels contrived, but overall this is an excellent film and comes highly recommended!

Rating: 9/10.
Gore: 7/10.
Number of views: 1.

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Special thanks to Aaron from The Death Rattle for this recommendation!


  1. Another one I need to see. I'm about to review a similar film. This is a really cool subgenre, and it's hard to mangle. Any film that influenced Kill Bill is bound to be entertaining.

  2. Ive really been meaning to see FIVE DEADLY VENOMS as well, I was surprised at how gory the film was but this should definitely be at the top of your list Dom!

  3. Fantastic film and one of my favorites, and I LOVE Meiko Kaji with all my heart!

    For some more recommendations for films in a similar vein as Lady Snowblood, I would saw the Lone Wolf & Cub series is one of the best. Six amazing films that will blow you away in there brilliance. They are slightly slower paced than L.S., but they are fantastic.

    Actually, a good buffer to those films is Shogun Assassin, which is a mixture of the first two films with different music. Not nearly as good as the actual series, but it's a good introduction and a lot of fun.

    There is also the Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion series which are revenge based films staring Kaji and they are pretty bad-ass too. I'm gonna stop now!

  4. Dually noted Matt my good man, my buddy at work has been bringing in all of the recent Asian horror entries I have been posting, so Im certain the rest of those titles will be filtering in slowly

  5. Be e wary of LADY SNOWBLOOD 2, Carl. It's terrible. If you must watch it, just fast forward to the end. Hardly anything happens till then, anyway.

  6. Hi there,
    Shogun Assassin is a film that logically shouldn't work very well; it's cut & past'ed together from two different movies, it's dubbed, and there's extra dialogue. But actually it works very well! In my view it's one hell of an entertaining movie, one that I've watched countless times.

  7. Nice, putting in for Shogun Assassin immediately with all the recs! Lady Snowblood 2 = out