Meiko Kaji, Hoki Tokuda, Makoto Sato, Yoshi Kato, Yuzo Harumi, Toru Abe, Hideo Sunazuka
Teruo Ishii, Chusei Sone (as Yoshitada Sone)
Akemi (Meiko Kaji) serves three years in prison for avenging the death of her father; upon her release, she returns home to lay claim as head of a local Yakuza clan. While it was her father's wish that she lead the clan toward a less violent way of life, Akemi finds following her father's wishes difficult because of the world in which she finds herself including dealing with a rival clan's efforts to take over their territory. The clan's leader, Dobashi (Toru Abe), is a brutal leader who has teamed up with a quieter yet equally relentless swordswoman (Hoki Tokuda) who also happens to carry a grudge against Akemi as she is the woman who blinded her and killed her father.
If you are not a hardcore fan of the yakuza films, Blind Woman's Curse is probably a challenging film to start off with as it's a needless complicated and multilayered film with multiple supporting players who don't seem to have an obvious place within the foundation of the film and, perhaps more jarringly, the film has a weird layer of humor that doesn't always work well and will likely not work well for inexperienced moviegoers.
Blind Woman's Curse has been picked up by the folks at Arrow Films & Video for a Blu-ray release and is likely now getting the treatment it always deserved and most likely gives it an opportunity to shine.
Blind Woman's Curse was originally released in 1970, shortly before Meiko Kaji's career-defining cinematic appearances that included Stray Cat Rock and Female Convict Scorpion, both of which are vastly superior to this film.
Director Teruo Ishii was widely recognized as a director who could put together entertaining films that would likely fall within the realm of B-movies, yet he crossed across many different genres including superhero films, yakuza films, biker flicks, prison flicks, and films that would likely qualify as experimental.
Blind Woman's Curse isn't a masterpiece and certainly not the best of Ishii's films, yet fans of the yakuza scene will likely want to add this one to the colllection because Arrow continues to put together their collections in a top notch and impressive way.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic