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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Swords > The Fearless Avenger (1972/AnimEigo Samurai Film)

The Fearless Avenger (1972/AnimEigo Samurai Film)


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: C     Film: C+



The middle of the Mikogami Trilogy that began with Kazuo Ikehiro’s Trail Of Blood (1972) continues this saga that owes as much to the Samurai cycle of the time as Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns with Ikehiro’s The Fearless Avenger (also 1972).  It also has bloody sword fights, sex, conflict and all the traces of the past the genre is so good at bringing to life, but looses the pretension of too many sex scenes being interrupted by fighting.  As a result, we get more fighting!


It may be 80 minutes, 8 shorter than the first film, but that does not make it any less bloody.  As a matter of fact, this might be even more graphic, which will make fans happy.  It also continues the story nicely without heavy doses of pre-home video sequelitis, where the filmmakers go bonkers with recapping the first film.  As expected, with the origins out of the way, this does pick up.  Still be warned that this is rather graphic by today’s standards.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1  image was again shot in anamorphic TohoScope again by cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa, who shot several Akira Kurosawa classics and several installments of the both the Zatoichi and Lone Wolf & Cub series reviewed on this site, so he is in his element here.  Work has been done to upgrade the film from its original 35mm elements and the transfer here has less detail and depth issues than Trail Of Blood, but can still be on the soft side.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is harsh and shrill, sounding second generation and needing even more work, though not as bad as Trail Of Blood.  Extras again include text program notes, stills and four theatrical trailers, including one for this film.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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