Satomi Hakken-den
1983 / 133m - Japan
Adventure, Fantasy
Legend of the Eight Samurai poster


November 14, 2020


I'm not a big fan of Fukasaku's crime cinema, but I'd never seen a (blockbuster) samurai film from the man. The screenshots I found looked quite promising, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Turns out I should've given him more credit, as this was a pretty cool and entertaining (though campy) film.

Princess Shizu's family is completely annihilated, but she's the ultimate target. As she flees, she runs into Shinbei, a low-ranking and inexperienced samurai. He vows to protect her, to do that he has to find the eight dog-warriors before he can face Tamazusa, the leader of the gang that is after Shizu.

The sets look lush and expensive, the props (and monsters) on the other hand look rather fake. It makes for a weird mix of camp and blockbuster cinema that's pretty fun to watch. Performances are decent, the lore is pretty cool and even though the film is a bit too long, it never gets boring. Cool but cheesy.