Zatoichi's Conspiracy (Zatoichi at the Blood Fest) (1974)
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Audience Reviews for Zatoichi's Conspiracy (Zatoichi at the Blood Fest)
The last movie before Katsu-san took the franchise to the small screen. Ichi goes home - and tries not to get too involved; but events prey on his conscience until he gives a cum-uppence to some of the local leaders. All the hallmarks of a Zatoichi film are here, though a couple spots seem to jump in the continuity of the story (editing?) this is still a film worth watching.... twice! -If possible, get the Criterion Collection's 25 film set complete with documentary & booklet - or Image Entertainments set with DVD extras explaining the culture. A map of Zatoichi's travels can be seen at maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&t=m&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=201086138027789571010.0004d334c6385ff045753&dg=feature
The final film in the long running series, at least it was before the two television series featuring Katsu reprising his role as Ichi and one final film afterwards, and this is a great way to end the original film run. This 25th and last film is a great closure to the Ichi character and portrays our Ichi coming full circle in many ways as he returns to the village of his birth for the first tme in over 20 years and meets old friends and some have become enemies that he must deal with. This is a return to form from the last film and a more normal Zatoichi outting but one that makes for a fitting ending as a film, but more importantly as a close to this chapter in the character's story. Here's hoping that one day the television series will be easier to obtain and get some sort of remastering as well because I'm ready to follow Katsu's Zatoichi to hell and back again!
Could also be called Zatoichi comes full circle. For the 2nd to the last outing, the formula deviates a bit, but not too much. There seems to be a bit more tangible risk to Zatoichi both physically and emotionally. This would have been a satisfying end to the series.
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