After escaping from an insane asylum, a medical student assumes the identity of a mysterious dead man, who appeared to be his doppelganger, and gets lured to a sinister island ruled by a mad scientist and his malformed men.
When their ship docks the crew disembark as usual to pick up their lives in postwar London. For one of them his petty smuggling turns more serious when he finds himself caught up with a robbery in the City.
Police detective Tajima, tasked with tracking down stolen firearms, turns an underworld grudge into a blood-bath. Suzuki transforms a colorful pot-boiler into an on-target send-up of cultural colonialism and post-war greed.
Kuroda (Jô Shishido) is a mob hitman who turns on his employers after being forced to execute his lover. Joining forces with his similarly wronged brothers, hot-headed Eiji (Tatsuya Fuji) ... See full summary »
The child actor, Motoharu Ueki, who plays the little orphan boy who hero-worships the spear carrier Gonpachi, as well as the child actress, Chie Ueki, portraying the shamisen player's daughter who performs a dance parodying Gonpachi, were both children of the film's star, Chiezô Kataoka, who plays Gonpachi. See more »
Near the end of the movie, a barrel of some liquid was pierced by a spear. The barrel keeps spilling liquid for several minutes, but does not have enough volume to hold that much liquid. See more »
A Bloody Spear On Mount Fuji (Tomu Uchida, 1955) ***
I had never heard of Japanese director Tomu Uchida prior to reading about a retrospective held at London's National Film Theatre in December 2007 but, my interest ignited, I quickly landed this film in my collection. What we have here, essentially, is a tragicomic road movie: the narrative about a pilgrimage to the titular landmark by a disgraced samurai (prone to violent drunken binges) and his two dim-witted warrior-servants rambles amiably along in a leisurely and mostly droll vein until the unexpected and electrifyingly bloodthirsty finale. Through the striking use of sweeping camera movement and fast cutting, we are introduced to the trio of protagonists and the major supporting characters right from the very first sequence; the comic highlight comes around the midpoint when an abandoned boy (who joined their party after befriending the lancer) disrupts a solemn tea-drinking ceremony enacted by three noblemen in an open field while naturally relieving himself in the nearby bushes. The second half grows more somber with the episodes of the capture of a notorious tattooed thief disguised as a pilgrim and an old man forced to sell off his daughter as collateral for a measly loan. Nothing however really prepares us for the remarkably 'clumsy' climax (this is no choreographed ballet of violence) in which the lancer single-handedly dispatches the men who had killed his master merely for daring to drink publicly with his subordinate. It is also worth mentioning that several distinguished Japanese film-makers (including Yasujiro Ozu) helped in the making of this film which was Uchida's comeback after a decade spent in China.
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