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Vengeance Is Mine

Vengeance Is Mine (1979)


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Release Date: Oct 17, 1979 Limited



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Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 2,356

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Movie Info

Based on the true story, 'Vengeance is Mine' is the story of Iwao Enokizu and his murderous rampage which sparked a 78-day nationwide manhunt. Enokizu is a day-laborer and smalltime con-artist who, after killing two of his co-workers, embarks on a psychopathic spree of rape and murder. Eluding the police and public, Japan's infamous "King of Criminals" passes himself off as a Kyoto University professor, only to become entangled with an innkeeper and her perverted mother.

May 15, 2007

Shochiku Films Ltd.

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All Critics (9) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (0) | DVD (3)

as messy as murder itself, Vengeance is Mine maps out the darker corners of a nation in transition and unwilling to confront its past directly.

August 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

In Vengeance Is Mine, Imamura seeks to demarcate a position outside of all of the conventional Japanese identity, and so his viewpoint, like Enokizu, evades capture.

February 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Gripping and haunting, it's a strikingly timeless film.

September 30, 2005 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Quite literally, Imamura has created here a protagonist that's impossible to put easily to rest, and the ramifications of his examination reflect upon us all by showing how much we're willing to ignore to achieve piece of mind.

July 16, 2003 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Vengeance Is Mine

It is based on a true story, but somehow it just didn't make any sense. It doesn't attempt to give any answers or insight into the killers motives and psyche, and maybe that's the intention of the director, I don't know. But in my opinion that doesn't make it a very good movie.
September 30, 2010

Super Reviewer

one of the most disturbing and highly effective films that i have ever seen. ken ogata is masterful as one of the most notorious serial killers in japanese history, and the film delivers near perfection on all ends from the acting, to the cinematography, to the script itself. the fact that this is based on a true story is what secures its believability as a man who eluded a nationwide manhunt in plain sight. nothing feels gimicky or forced and we see enough of the killers life in flashbacks to understand his deranged nature but not too much as to detract from the story. imamuras directing and the editing are first rate in this absolute classic. a must see.
June 16, 2009
danny d

Super Reviewer

Imamura's timeless film is a profile of a vicious sociopath which digs into the soul of (or lack thereof) its' central character and post-war Japan. Based on the story of a real-life criminal, Vengeance is Mine details the 78-day long killing-spree undertaken by Iwao Enokizu, who doesn't seek revenge from one particular person as you'd expect out of a genre picture. In fact, the film is driven by the ways he's hurt throughout his life, and the counterintuitive ways he seeks revenge. Vengeance is Mine explores the roots of Iwao's murderous tendencies. It leaves exact causes vague, but explores a drive that leads him down the path to repeated murder.

Imamura's affection for Japan's criminals, outcasts, minority groups comes through with style and energy coupled with darkest humor and context, and is an obvious inspiration for contemporary filmmakers, including former apprentice Takashi Miike.
March 30, 2009
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

powerful character study of a sociopath. ken ogata gives a great performance as conman iwao enokizu, a womanizing, haiku spouting serial killer, whose strange family relationships are illuminated through time-shifting flashbacks. based on a true story, it's no ordinary serial killer film.
October 5, 2008
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • La Vengeance est moi (FR)
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