When I first saw this movie on the local L.A. international channel, I was floored by not only by the daringly bloody violence (however a near, plot less, non-stop action film-guilty pleasure it is), but likewise with the schmaltzy sentimentality, done via the rock soundtrack by The Alfie. I guess there's something to be said when one is able to communicate hardcore samurai action with a post-Karate Kid, cheesy rock music!*
There's something strangely nostalgic about this chambara-gory, cheese-fest, especially when I first saw the televised version (of this film) during the summer of my Jr. High graduation!
*that's what a former roommate once commented when I first shown him this movie--complete with that traumatic spear in the eye bit!
Probably the least known Sydney Pollack-directed, Paul Schrader-scripted gangster epic, starring 'ol Bob Mitchum and Takakura Ken! Not surprisingly, it was later remade--to poor effect, into a made-in-Hong Kong turkey by the name, Gangland Odyssey...
'betcha won't be seeing the latter on Turner Classic Movies anytime soon! :-P