A visceral blood-soaked ride to be devoured with the eyes, not necessarily with the head, is how Blind Woman’s Curse (1970) has been described. Also known as The Tattooed Swordswoman or by its original Japanese title Kaidan Nobori Rye it was directed by Teruo Ishii best known in the west for what became known as ero-guro (erotic and grotesque) films of the 1960’s and early 1970’s. The film stars Meiko Kaji as the dragon tattooed leader of the Tachibana Yakuza clan Akemi Tachibana. Kaji found recognition as the deadly assassin in the two Lady Snowblood movies a character that influenced Quentin Tarantino in the making of Kill Bill (2003).
|The leader of the Tachibana clan.|
This bizarre cross between the traditional female Yakuza movie and a Japanese ghost story is certainly different from other films in this genre, but still manages to inject what all good Japanese female Yakuza movies should have and that is some great fight sequences, amazing visuals, a thrilling story and some cool looking women.
In a duel with a rival gang Akemi slashes the eyes of an opponent and a black cat laps the blood from the gushing wound. Akemi is sentenced to three years in prison but when she finish’s her term she discovers that the Tachibana clan is in a weaken position. Taking advantage of this is rival gang boss Dobashi (Toru Abe) who has placed a mole in the Tachibana clan. He is tasked with the job of making sure that the Tachibana’s go to war with their rivals and thus giving Dobashi a chance of wiping out his enemy’s once and for all. With the arrival of a mysterious blind woman and a trail of dead Yakuza girls who have had their dragon tattoos skinned from their backs things get very grave for Akemi….