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The Sword Of Doom Blu-ray Review

The Sword of Doom Blu-ray

“The Sword of Doom” is an odd samurai film.

Directed by Kihachi Okamoto, “The Sword of Doom” is the story of a samurai named Ryunosuke. Ryunosuke is not your run-of-the-mill samurai, however, as he is a cold and ruthless killer who only seems to care about his sword. The sword is essentially his life. The film juggles multiple storylines involving Ryunosuke’s murderous jobs, his semi love interest Hama and his son, a swordsman named Shimada, a brother (Hyoma) who is out for revenge against Ryunosuke, and a young woman (Omatsu).

“The Sword of Doom” is a curious oddity (especially for the time) in that it doesn’t resemble your average film. For starters, the film doesn’t have a heroic protagonist at all as Ryunosuke is a violent, bad guy who slowly descends into insanity. Heck, even his own father wants to see him dead! Secondly, the script is unique in that it actually leaves several story arcs unresolved. While this may frustrate some viewers who have invested 2 hours of their time, it’s an interesting creative choice. Granted, it’s possible a sequel or follow-up was planned to finish the story, but, as is, it intentionally incomplete.

As you may or may not have heard, “The Sword of Doom” is perhaps most notable for the climactic action sequence with Ryunosuke slaughtering dozens upon dozens of fellow swordsmen. It’s a truly chaotic and crazy sequence that will undoubtedly please samurai film fans.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? The B&W transfer is hit-and-miss. Some shots appear overly grainy while others look cleaned up (like the snow sequences).

Audio Track: Uncompressed Mono. How does it sound? This is a so-so track. It certainly sounds like a flat Mono track more often than not.

Extras:
* “The Sword of Doom” trailer.
* A booklet featuring an essay by author Geoffrey O’Brien.
* A solo commentary by author/film scholar Stephen Prince. As is the case with many Criterion commentaries, it’s clearly scripted albeit chock full of information.

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June 10, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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