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also known as Kaidan nobori ryû | Black Cat's Revenge

Blind Woman's Curse1970

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  • 3.8
From Teruo Ishii, the "King of Cult", BLIND WOMAN'S CURSE (also known as BLACK CAT'S REVENGE) is a thrilling Yakuza film featuring eye-popping visuals, sensational fight sequences and the gorgeous Meiko Kaji in her first major role. Akemi is a dragon tattooed leader of the Tachibana Yakuza clan. In a duel with a rival gang Akemi slashes the eyes of an opponent and a black cat appears, to lap the blood from the gushing wound. The cat along with the eye-victim go on to pursue Akemi's gang in revenge, leaving a trail of dead Yakuza girls, their dragon tattoos skinned from their bodies. A bizarre blend of the female Yakuza film and traditional Japanese ghost story, with a strong dash of grotesque-erotica (the same movement was a sensibility of Edogawa Rampo whose works were adapted by Ishii in HORRORS OF MALFORMED MEN), BLIND WOMAN'S CURSE is a delirious mash-up of classic genre tropes, of which Ishii was no stranger, having directed everything from Super Giant films to biker movies!

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5 members like this review

A carnival, freak show, water torture, brothel opium den, ghosts and gang wars are just a few things spicing-up the time between the spectacular sword fights that bookend this highly entertaining movie. So much happens that it takes a couple of viewings to sort it all out. Gang leader Meiko Kaji burns like a torch with more than enough charisma to lead warriors to their deaths. The scene introducing the blind swordswoman's kitty worshipping (ahem) hunched back lover is so disorientating and bizarre it made me dizzy. Great fun!

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (13)

20e2d34fa40e8f79b2cadb5e6bab5e0d?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0013
top reviewer

A carnival, freak show, water torture, brothel opium den, ghosts and gang wars are just a few things spicing-up the time between the spectacular sword fights that bookend this highly entertaining movie. So much happens that it takes a couple of viewings to sort it all out. Gang leader Meiko Kaji burns like a torch with more than enough charisma to lead warriors to their deaths. The scene introducing the blind swordswoman's kitty worshipping (ahem) hunched back lover is so disorientating and bizarre it made me dizzy. Great fun!

5 members like this review
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top reviewer

You won't find more lurid style on a dozen vintage pulp paperback covers than you will in this oddball Japanese gang war tale. In blood-red ink, Teruo Ishii helps write the book on classic 70s grindhouse cool here. There are directors today who still chase after this style. His secret weapon is that he handles this crime story like a horror director. The post-mortem scenes are near giallo. Ishii's corpses are works of art, bizarre, carefully composed and perfectly lit. Further adding to the offbeat feel is that its pivotal characters are all women. Three gangs are at each others' throats here, but the most intriguing one is lead by the iconic Meiko Kaji (later of Lady Snowblood). Her arch enemy is a blind assassin (Hoki Tokuda, real-life wife of Henry Miller!) who's so cool that she lowers the temperature of your room about five degrees when she's on screen. She's stone-faced, flawless with a blade and determined to cut Kaji to shreds over an old grudge. Even the hardest gangsters here are afraid of her.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Such a fun film. My love affair with Meiko Kaji brought me here but the delicious goofiness of Ishii made it enjoyable.

1 member likes this review

Silly

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Blind Woman's Curse is one of those strange concoctions of an over-the-top story line and mesmerizing style that came out in Japan in the early 1970's. No matter how bizarre the plot of the film is, the art of the visuals shines through. The Female Prisoner Scorpion films, Lady Snowblood, and the films of Norifumi Suzuki are also in this vein.

Even in this kinetic film, the Japanese prowess of portraying stillness can be found. The final showdown commences with probably the quietest moment of Blind Woman's Curse. As the two characters stare at each other, it feels like all activity in the world has ceased.

Meiko Kaji is perfect for this film. From the moment her steely face is first shown, Kaji adds an element of gravitas to the proceedings that prevents the story from spinning too far out of control.

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top reviewer

Well done! Lots of gore, pretty women and moralistic messages.

Gleefully tongue-in-cheeck with some beautiful, striking visuals. Fun, stylish films like this one are basically the reason I have a Fandor subscription.

I found it more enjoyable than the description might imply to some. All the standard characteristics of this genre/genres of movie are there, although they seem to be uniquely combined, at least to my admittedly limited knowledge of this manner of film. The plot was too convoluted for my film-watching-mate, but it all fell into place for her later on.

Bottom line, if you like the genre, I believe you'll very much enjoy this film. If you don't, you might as well pass it by.

Loved this! Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood) is the leader of a Yakuza gang who, after slicing the eyes of another woman, is cursed by a seemingly evil black cat in her nightmares. The now blind woman is on a hunt for revenge and has come to town to get it. Meanwhile gangs battle for power with various leaders, fighters and traitors making their moves. This movie is very strange in the best ways. It comes with sword fights, opium dens, weird water torture, "cat possessions," a deranged hunchback who has cat-like tendencies, and one gang leader who smells really bad.

A very good samurai "buckets of blood" film.

tarantino definitely took from this film, especially the last sequence. good splattering fun

Excellent entry to the Japanese splatter yakuza films of the 70s. Holds the template of Hanzo the Razor and Lone Wolf and Cub. The supernatural element brought the likes of Horrors of Malformed Men (Ishii, 1969) and set the stage for oddities like Blind Beast vs. Dwarf (Ishii, 2009). Highly recommended.