Hijirimen Bakuto
1972 / 86m - Japan
Action, Crime
The Red Silk Gambler poster


October 30, 2020


A rather stylish Teruo Ishii film. Mention gamblers and samurai and people immediately think of Zatoichi, with Ishii in the director chair you can expect something a little edgier. The film feels a little dated, but I'm quite certain that if I'd seen this when it was first released, it could have been a personal favorite.

Okatsu is an ex-con who frequents all the gambling dens in search of her one true love. She surrounds herself with a gang of outcasts to fight off the shady characters that she encounters on the way. Things get complicated Onaka, when one of her crew who is looking to avenge her father, finds the trail of her father's killer.

Plenty of kick-ass women here, but it's the cinematography that's the true star of the film. Colors are a bit murky maybe, but the camera work is energetic, compositions are beautiful and there are quite a few iconic shots. Excellent pacing, pleasantly gritty and never boring. A pretty solid film.