Thursday, March 17, 2011

Makai Tensho

First of all, a big thank you for the person that helped me to get this movie. If it were my line, you will be reading this review like next month.

Oh boy, I don't know how to start. I always wanted to watch this movie, but only now i managed to get my hand on it. This version is the 1981 version, there is a 2003 version. But I prefer the original.

The story begin in 17th century Japan, where the Shogunate has banned Christianity. During the Shimabara Rebellion, thousand of Christians lead by Shiro Amakusa were massacred by the shogunate forces. This is history. In this movie, the soul of Shiro Amakusa was restless as he felt God had abandoned him during the battle, he made a deal with the Devil to extract revenge on the Shogunate.
The Shogun soldiers were having a celebration when his severed head came alive, and lighting struck the camp, killing the soldiers.
His dark power is he can resurrect anyone who died with regret in his heart.

The first resurrected is the Christian wife of a samurai, Hosokawa. She was killed by a retainer in the house when the house was besiege by the enemy. Its a sin for Christians, plus Muslim too to kill themselves, so the husband left the message to kill her if ever her honour was in danger.
So Amakusa resurrected her in his quest for vengeance.
Next, they visited Miyamoto Musashi, the Sword Saint, who was sitting in the cave, regretting that he left his wife to look for opponents, and he is too old to challenge the one rival he considered worthy to test his technique
He tried to attacked them, but suffered a heart attack, and joined them.
During the time, Jubei Yagyu was visiting him, He rushed to Musashi's aid only to find an empty armor.
Next on the list is Inshun Hozoin, a monk who is an expert with a spear, but have violent imagination of killing girls whenever he sees them.
He was taunted by Hosokawa and killed himself in frustration, therefore becoming the next in Amakusa's army.
Next is Kirimaru, who is one of Jubei's friend. He was attacked by the Koga ninja who mortally wounded him, only to be saved by Amakusa.
The mortally wounded Kirimaru accepted the offer of Amakusa.

Jubei Yagyu came across the 5 of them and send a letter to warn his father, Lord Yagyu of the threat.
Meanwhile Amakusa is up to no good. Hosokawa is send to seduce the Shogun.
And he killed some people.
Lord Yagyu was attacked by Inshun, even though he managed to kill Inshun, he was wounded and became one of Amakusa's army.
Jubei was attacked by his father, but he managed to escape. Meanwhile, Amakusa placed a curse on the crops so it will fail.
When the people tried to complain about the failed crops, they were beaten by samurais and a person was killed.
Kirimaru was walking when he saw a girl crying, it was her father that was killed and he felt guilty about it.
Meanwhile Jubei has approached the swordmaker, Muramasa, to forge him the most evil sword that can kill both men and demons. This scene is copied by Tarantino in Kill Bill Vol. 1.
The girl, Otsu is actually Musashi's daughter.

Meanwhile the Shogun wants to hold a lavish party and expect the people to give him gifts of gold. This will not end well for the Shogun.
During the Shogun's hunting, some people tried to send petition letter, but Hosokawa's magic make them appear as deer, and they were all shot and crucified..
The people were on the verge of a revolt now.

Meanwhile the sword is finally ready. Here is the line "If you meet God, God will also be cut" line which is copied by Tarantino too in Kill Bill Vol. 1. Then Muramasa died of exhaustion from making the sword.
Meanwhile the crowd got a little "initiative" by Amakusa who possessed a girl and claim that the curse can be broken by killing the Samurai and scattering their ashes on the ground.
A bit of light on the crucified bodies and all hell breaks loose.
After killing all the Samurai, the angry mob is heading towards the castle.

Kirimaru and the girl tried to escape but was stopped by Amakusa. Kirimaru was killed while fighting Amakusa.
Jubei was preparing for Muramasa's funeral when the girl brought Kirimaru's body there.
Then Musashi Miyamoto appeared and challenged Jubei to a fight by the beach. He was famous in one.
The next morning Jubei and Musashi faced off at the beach while Otsu played a tune on her flute.
In the end Jubei managed to beat Musashi.
Meanwhile, at the castle.

Lord Yagyu started killing all the guards there.
Hosokawa started a fire in the castle and joined Lord Yagyu killing spree.
Now the castle is burning.
Amakusa faced the Shogun before Hosokawa dragged the shogun down into the fire.

Jubei has arrived to face his father.
Covering his body with protection prayers ala Kwaidan.
I am very impressed with the "fighting in the fire" scene. Remember this movie was made in 1981, so I wondered whether they really fight in the fire instead of using CGI.
Even though Jubei's sword was broken, he managed to disarm and defeated his father.
Sword catching technique.

Amakusa appeared and offered Jubei to join him. I wonder why people always offer that after being kicked in the butt. Its like offering someone a salary increase after the person has resign. That's stupid. Of course Jubei would reject the offer.
After a brief struggle, Jubei managed to chop off Amakusa's head. Actually Amakusa is not really that tough, he just looked tough because he managed to get good and powerful fighters like Miyamoto Musashi and Lord Yagyu to join him. Its like if a company is successful, its not just because te management is good, but don't forget the little people who busted our ass working non-stop. Do you really want to know what will happen if suddenly a lot of staff resign with 24-hours notice. I hope you can teach Java too. Ahem, back to the story.
Amakusa swore that he will return as long as there's evil in people's heart and than disappeared. I hate it when people make threats and then flee..

The movie ends with Jubei standing alone in the burning castle.
Whew, it took me 5 hours to make this review. If you like my review, I would appreciate it very much if you click on some of the ads on the right. Thanks. Till the next review.

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