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on 3 November 2012
Arrow's impressive list of titles released on Blu over the last couple of years has been a bit hit and miss in terms of quality but Lady Snowblood certainly sits at the higher end of the spectrum.

The set comprises of

Lady Snowblood(1973)Dir Toshiya Fujita.4****

Adapting the acclaimed manga by Kazuo Koike of the same name,Fujita reunites with the wonderful Meiko Kaji(they had worked together on the Female Prisoner series)to good effect in this excellent period revenge flick.Kaji is Yuki Kishima,whose mother dies in prison after giving birth to her,and passes onto Yuki the responsibility of avenging the death of her father and her mother's subsequent shaming at the hands of four utter reprobates.

Fujita handles the nicely modulated story with style and grace and with clever use of flashback.The bloodletting is fairly restrained for the most part but the finale drips with the stuff and an "unnecessary" assassination at the film's opening(solely there to showcase Lady S's prowess) is gorgeously shot.

The aspect ratio is 2:35:1 with 2.0 mono sound for those who are interested in that sort of thing.The transfer is pretty impressive -colours are vibrant,exteriors fairly grain free and faces sharp.Some may consider it a little soft but I was blown away with the clarity and Kaji is luminous in the title role.

Lady Snowblood:Love Song Of Vengeance(1974)Dir Toshiya Fujita 2**& a half

Unlikely sequel brings Lady S "back from the dead" to team up with anarchist Ransui Tokunaga(played by Juzo Itami - yes the director of the wonderful Tampopo)who has a letter in his possession that could bring down the government.Initially Lady S is sent by blackmailing gov officials to spy on Tokunaga posing as his maid but Tokunaga sees through this charade and convinces Lady S of the justness of his crusade.

There is just too much story here really and Fujita is more interested in the political overtones of the film's message than action.Admittedly the action,when it comes,is on a par with the original and the finale is nicely appropriate but it lacks the energy of it's predecessor.

The Aspect,etc is as above and the transfer is excellent again.

For a comparison,I would say that the transfer on this set is significantly better than Eureka's Lone Wolf And Cub.
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on 26 September 2012
Alongside The Lone Wolf & Cub movies and the slightly perverse Hanzo The Razor series, The Lady Snowblood films represents some of the greatest B-cinema Japan ever produced. If you've yet to see these near perfect examples of Asian pulp cinema and you're a fan of Kill Bill, be prepared to chuckle once again at Tarantino's cheeky appropriations.

Spurting blood, vicious swordplay, a deft mixing of art and trash, the Lady Snowblood movies are titles I return to again and again and Arrow Video offer the fan of offbeat cinema yet another superb package.

Lady Snowblood / Lady Snowblood 2 Limited Edition SteelBook [Blu-Ray] [1973]
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on 11 April 2013
For a 70s movie this still holds up to time even now, its an amazing Japanese movie very beautifully directed and acted in every detail, the story is your typical revenge theme which then was very original and still today has not been done better, kill bill takes nearly all this film even though kill bill is very good for a modern revenge theme retelling it does not come close to snowblood for pure awesomeness, the lead actress as the character Yuki is amazing and one of the most extremely beautiful Japanese actresses ever and she plays such an impressive assassin, there is plentiful amounts of blood and gore all done with a fantastic look for an early 70s movie, the sequel is very good too, it was not necessary for a sequel but it was made anyway probably due to the popularity of the original, the story is still very good and takes it in a different direction, still plenty of blood and violence, not as good as the original but still very well worth watching, these are 2 of the best Japanese movies ever made, if you're a big fan of these type films and have not seen this it's a must, must, must!! Very cool steelbook too from arrow films, you get a fantastic booklet of information and a couple of extras
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on 27 September 2012
Lady Snowblood is one the finest examples of high quality exploitation films. It's beautifully acted, masterfully directed and shot film with gorgeous Meiko Kaji in the titular role. I personally don't like the Kill Bill films but I will give credit to Quentin Tarantino for introducing this masterpiece to me and other film fans who never ever heard about it before.

Lady Snowblood 2 is pretty much an unnecessary sequel to a near perfect film. But it's a very good movie on it's own terms. It's a good samurai/revenge movie with awesome violence and gore and great score. Not to mention Meiko Kaji who owns this movie. This and Female Convict Scorpion films are the finest examples of great Japanese Exploitation and features their iconic lead Meiko Kaji.

The video and audio quality is stellar. The picture isn't too clean and it's not too grainy as some other films(I'm looking at you French Connection). There isn't a whole lot of extras. There are an interview with Japanese cinema expert which is around 10 minute long. It's really good interview that gives the basic information on Japanese cinema at the 70's, Lady Snowblood films and briefly looks at Meiko Kaji career. There are also trailers for both films and a 20 page booklet about both films. I personally would have liked more extras but hey I'm very thankful for this release! If you want to get started on 70's Japanese cinema this is the best place to start. And please release Female Convict Scorpion films(All 4 of them) on DVD/Blu-ray!!!!
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on 17 April 2015
Another Arrow release where the black levels are screwed up. Terrible.
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on 3 October 2012
Lady Snowblood is essentially an exploitation flick. The type of viewer who would get enjoyment out of this kind of film is one who loves slashers and violent horror of any genre.
However, I must say that being a rather old Japanese film, the cultural context, mannerisms and acting style will all be lost on 98% of western viewers, i.e. those who are not used to watching Asian cinema or are not of Asian decent. This does not detract from the entertainment value though if the viewer has an open mind and does not expect something akin to a Chinese martial arts film like Crouching Tiger or House of Flying Daggers.
Nope. Lady Snowblood is a good ol' slasherific revenge movie with low budget set pieces, cheesy dialogue, shockingly fake blood effects (although the violence is mild by todays standards), and a satisfying ending of carnage. The theme song "Shura No Hana" is surprisingly effective as a haunting track and adds to the overall feeling of loneliness in the film. The best quality of Lady Snowblood though, in my opinion, is the fact that it takes itself very seriously and is ultimately grounded on a harrowing tale of wrongful murder and anguish that is relate-able, not silly like other mock horror films- you actually care if Yuki is able to get her revenge or not.

As for Part 2: Love Song of Vengeance, lets just say that it's pretty much extraneous and does not hold a candle to the original. Despite not being a bad film per se, what it does is change the feel and legacy of the original, from a revenge motif to one of governmental conspiracy and social injustice.
But why choose Lady Snowblood as a vehicle of such a film? Her presence and significance in the script is secondary to almost every other character. Take her out of it and one would not see any connection between this and the original movie.

Having watched the original Lady Snowblood in VHS quality format I'm glad to say that the remastered Blu-Ray version is clearly a great improvement in terms of picture quality and sound.
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on 23 March 2013
First of all i would like to say i like being able to get films with both blu-ray and dvd in one box, there needs to be more films brought out in these versions, but there seem to be less coming out like this now, instead they are putting in more digital and uv copys which i dont really care for. Anyway this is a good package, it comes with 2 dvds and 1 blu-ray and also a collector's booklet. These are films from 1973 and 1974 and star Meiko Kaji who also was in Female Prisoner Scorpion and these are the two films that inspired Quentin Tarantino to do Kill Bill. I enjoyed them both a lot, If you have not saw these two shows yet, what are you waiting for?
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on 21 February 2017
Based on a comic book, this movie was the inspiration behind Kill Bill. If you like samurai movies, like the lone wolf series, you will also like this. Just do not compare it with Kurosawa's films, as this movie belongs to a different genre.
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on 18 September 2012
"Lady Snowblood" and "Love Song of Vengeance" premier here on blu ray for the first time anywhere in the World and Arrow video have done a superb job.
For those not familiar with the film I present the 'blurb' from the box
Lady Snowblood.
Yuki, a woman raised from birth for one terrible, blood splattered purpose...To murder those who raped her Mother and left her to rot in a stinking women's prison, where she died in childbirth.Trained in deadly fighting arts and fatal sword play, Lady Snowblood is cursed to wander the lands in pursuit of her single purpose. She is a demon of vengeance, only sated by the crimson blood of those who stole her Mother from her.

Love Song of Vengeance

Yuki is caught up in the corrupt and murderous world of politics as she is co-opted into spying by the head of the secret police against anarchists and enemies of the status quo. Expect more outrageous revenge and fountains of blood.

It's well documented that these two films (the first especially) influenced Quentin Tarantino heavily for his film Kill Bill volume 1. Those familiar with the Tarantino film will instantly recognise Meiko Kaji's ballad Shura No Hana as well as the non chronological structure of the film and in fact many shots directly lifted from these films which were shot and released in 1973 and 1974 respectively. Personally I prefer the style and direction of Lady Snowblood over Kill Bill volume 1 and I count myself as a huge fan of the Tarantino film.

The picture is tremendous and the sound, uncompressed PCM Mono Audio, is crisp and clear.

The extras include an interview with Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, original theatrical trailers for both films, reversable sleeve featuring original artwork, and a collector's booklet "The Crimson Kimono" by Tom Mes which is 20 pages long and illustrated with original stills through out.

A great package and highly recommended.
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on 11 December 2012
If you are a fan of Quentin Tarantino's, and you want to see where he got his inspiration for e.g. 'Kill Bill',
or, if you're fond of films with vigilante justice as a main theme and a very strong female protagonist,
or, if you're into what they call Japanese Cult Cinema,
then you must absolutely see this film, if you haven't already!
Very japanese, very hardboiled! It surpassed my expectations!
Considering that it was originally made many decades ago, the picture quality was very good.
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