An awesome joyride of, perhaps sometimes so frantic as to be a headache, perhaps overblown in the gore and screaming, but nonetheless frenzied, action leaves one staring numbly at the unravelling plot. it seems as if the film will stick to a thin blood and slash theme, in the B movie traditition, and promises to wear thin with climactic battle scenes and superhuman feats of swordplay, but then develops a sophisticated plot which is half metaphor, half adventure, but without any portentousness. the characters are surprisingly engaging for grossly characatured archetypes, perhaps reclaiming the grander tradition of storytelling in some of the classic samurai films of yore. in fact, the use of different camera types (all digital darkroom I'm sure) with at times an authentic filmy, grainy quality, that reminisces hong-kong productions, and at times with shaky hand-held sequences, subtly blended with the most glorious, high resolution, vividly coloured, detail and imagery gives a longitudinal context. likewise, a careful use of special effects which add to the tension and story, but don't come to the fore.
This is all exemplified in the final finale, which is one of those sequences of true breathlessness, and which somehow happens so fast that it is only barely possible to process the revelations which preceded it... but to spill these beans would be to spoil them, so worth a watch, and one to own.