Zatoichi's Conspiracy (Zatoichi at the Blood Fest) (1974)
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Critic Reviews for Zatoichi's Conspiracy (Zatoichi at the Blood Fest)
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Audience Reviews for Zatoichi's Conspiracy (Zatoichi at the Blood Fest)
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.
This is pretty much the final film in the original series. Katsu did return 16 years later for one more outing, but this was a nice place to leave this incredible series. Zatoichi returns home, where he discovers he has a sister. The film is once again by the numbers, but at least these numbers add up to some great entertainment. There's more of a personal battle here, with Zatoichi coming across old childhood friends, making it a welcome change from the constant, helping strangers plots. There's some excellent fights and once again Shimura gives a great supporting turn, but this time as a different character. 25 films in 11 years, all of them worth a watch and many of them being fantastic. Zatoichi is a series you simply must check out.
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