Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance (1974)

lady snowblood love song of vengeance poster 1974 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great samurai film

Plot goes all over the place before finding its course

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Lady Snowblood:  Love Song of Vengeance

Studio:  Toho

Genre(s):   Martial Arts/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):   June 15, 1974

MPAA Rating:   Not Rated

lady snowblood love song of vengeance beach fight meiko kaji

She’s back and the body count is rising!

Lady Snowblood (Meiko Kaji) continues to live life on the run. When she is captured by police and prepared for execution, she is hijacked in the opportunity to infiltrate the home of an anarchist named Tokunaga Ransui (Juzo Itami). Tokunaga Ransui has something that could bring down the Japanese government and change all of Japan unless Lady Snowblood does as she’s order…but Lady Snowblood makes her own rules.

Directed by Toshiya Fujita, Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance (修羅雪姫 怨み恋歌 or Shurayukihime – Urami renka) is sometimes referred to as Lady Snowblood 2. Following Lady Snowblood from 1973, the film is an adaptation of Kazuo Koike’s Lady Snowblood (修羅雪姫 or Shurayuki-hime) which was originally published in Shueisha’s Weekly Playboy from 1972-1973. The Criterion Collection released both remastered Lady Snowblood and Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance as The Complete Lady Snowblood (Criterion #790, 791).

lady snowblood love song of vengeance anarchist meiko kaji juzo itami

Lady Snowblood: Bodyguard!

Japanese samurai films were always bloody, and the bloodier the better. Lady Snowblood is the type of samurai film you always wanted to see when you’d catch a martial arts film on TV. All the characters spew bright red blood and there will be blood…lots of blood. Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance continues that trend.

The movie might be an action film but it also has a pretty decent story. Lady Snowblood becomes a pawn between the government that fears being overthrown and an anarchist who holds secret evidence that could do it. I realize that Tokunaga Ransui holds all the cards in the game with the evidence of the crimes committed by the men, but it also seems like a really roundabout way to have him killed…especially when they decide to infect him with the plague.

lady snowblood love song of vengeance ending meiko kaji

There will be blood

Meiko Kaji’s character is less fleshed out in this sequel which has her switching sides and fighting for the people. The first film felt like she was slightly more conflicted…now she is the woman with the sword. The real power seems to be between Juzo Itami’s character, his relationship with his wife played by Kazuko Yoshiyuki, and Shin Kishida’s Seishiro Kikui who is leading the attempts to have Ransui Tokunaga killed.

The movie continues to look great. Often movies like this would run on channels with bad reception with scratched up, poorly dubbed and edited copies. It is great to see something like Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance cleaned up by groups like Criterion and others, and I hope that more of these films are preserved…blood and all!

Lady Snowblood regained interest after the release of Kill Bill due to the influence the film had on Kill Bill (especially Kill Bill Vol. 1). While Kill Bill is a post-modern homage to the style, Lady Snowblood is straight-up action film that is unapologetic in its slice and dice nature, but it combines that with an actual story of corruption. I wish Lady Snowblood had continued as a series and that Yuki Kashima had returned to kill again…in the name of honor of course.

Related Links:

Lady Snowblood (1973)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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