This review is from: Blizzard from the Netherworld [DVD] (DVD)
Don't really know how to rate this one. Whilst I can respect all the great things about this movie, one can't just deny the faults that are littered in mostly every scene. This is of course due to the age and era the film was made, but that doesn't excuse the flaws, not for me anyway. I hate to compare the two, but watching Lady Snowblood was a similar experience for me as watching Argento's Susperia, although Lady Snowblood is far superior.
The cinematography in the film hasn't aged well, but the direction still stands up as eye-catching. There are quite a few memorable scenes in the film, and its easy to see why Tarantino was so inspired by the movie. Even the dialogue has such a powerfully emotive tone to it.
The acting was all too over the top for my liking, except Meiko Kaji's whose felt lifeless rather than aloof or cold to me. I did like the extremely dramatic, way OTT death scenes though, punctuated with healthy doses of neon red blood- always a winner.
The soundtrack is really nice in the film, very subtle. The settings were pretty nice as well, although I didn't find them too distinctive. For some reason, the composition of the movie, from the actors all the way through to the costumes, never really made me feel like I was in 19th century Japan. That was a bit of a problem for me.
One thing I did like about the movie though is the political undertones though, it felt like I was learning a little bit about the state of Japan at that time. I also liked the obvious but still fun twist at the end, that reignited my slightly waning interest. I also like that the movie's moral is clear: any gratification gained from revenge comes at a heady and costly price. Since I really appreciated some aspects of the film, but can't ignore the faults, I'm just going to rate it two and half stars.