A mad mixture of samurai sword fighting, demonic sorcery and surrealist stylization Teruo Ishii Blind Woman’s Curse also known as The Tattooed Swordswoman or Kaidan nobori ryû stars the beautiful and brilliant Meiko Kaji as Akemi Tachibana the leader of a Yakuza gang fighting a rival force and an evil curse at the same time.
The evil eye is brought upon Akemi when she accidentally blinds a gang leader’s sister in a sensational sword fight which opens the movie.
Years later and now leading the crime family her turf is infringed upon by a blood thirsty boss who has an inside man taking down Akemi without her knowledge.
Added to this murderous mix is a mysterious blind woman warrior seeking revenge and employing not only her unstoppable skills but a supernatural force which freaks out Akemi and her friends who believe that death is coming for them all.
Blending battles and brawls with horror movie moments Blind Woman’s Curse seemingly draws on the same story as Kaneto Shindo’s Kuroneko which also features a blood drinking black cat that brings ghosts and gore along with it in a quest for vengeance.
Where Shindo’s films are stark, artistic and full of social comment Blind Woman’s Curse is high on action and entertainment from the puerile humor to the blood soaked duels and showdowns shot in epic slow-mo with limbs flying and red life liquid spurting all over the sets.
Best known for her role as Lady Snowbird which inspired Lucy Lui’s character O-Ren Ishii in Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Meiko Kaji is excellent handling a blade as well as she handles the emotional cut’s that tear into her as her friends and family fall in front of her very eyes.
The horror is most definitely a strong element and some of the movies set pieces are truly strange and unsettling especially the crazy theatre show which appears like a psychedelic 70’s take on David Lynch and introduces the blind woman’s bearded hunchback accomplice who has a penchant for flaying peoples skin, collecting decapitated heads and dancing.
An entertaining slice of supernatural samurai cinema with a great central performance from Meiko Kaji, Blind Woman’s Curse is well worth a look for anyone with an eye for freaky fight filled cult films.