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The morbius glass schlock, horror, 80’s, grindhouse, sex and violence movie marathon. Asian GrindHouse, Japanese Chambara – Lady Snowblood.

Posted by Adrian on December 19, 2007

Grindhouse. You know, I think Quentin Tarantino did take a gamble with his and Robert Rodriguez‘s collaborated homage to the 1970’s Grindhouse movie industry. Who would get it? I mean really who remembers Grindhouse cinema? It was an obscure definition, which only movie historians and fans really understanding the term and history of 1960’s and 1970’s cinema. Even if you were born in the 70’s, say a gen X’er; most if not all Grindhouse 1970’s movies ended up on video in the 1980’s. So the term Grindhouse never really existed in the late 70’s and especially the 1980’s when kids at school would pass around a VHS copy of Isa, She Devil of the SS – the term Grindhouse was never talked about.

Which is why I believe Tarantino’s and Rodriguez’s movie Grindhouse was a flop at the box office. No one got it, as far as a homage to Grindhouse cinema, hence the movies Death Proof and Planet Terror now being released separately under their film names, rather under the original ‘Grindhouse’ release.

Anyway, Grindhouse cinema also had an Asian component by the name of Chambara Films, namely samurai exploitation movies that came out of Japan in the 1970’s. The most popular one was Lone Wolf and Cub. These Chambara films emerged out of the late 1970’s into the early 1980’s. Mostly samurai based but with modern tweaks to the story, and blood and decapitation scenes that still haven’t been topped by today’s standards. I mean, full body decapitations with the special effects guys running a hose (of course you don’t see this) through the decapitated half and allowing a watery spray of blood to flood out – which would in some scenes last a good 10 seconds. All most comical to look at on film, but never the less the blood letting scenes became a trademark of modern samurai movies

One of the coolest and fun Chambara Grindhouse Samurai flicks was Lady Snowblood with Meiko Kaji who became Japan’s leading actress in Japaneses Samurai exploitation flicks. Quentin Tarantino got a good bulk of his ideas for Kill Bill from the Lady Snowblood series. A basic revenge story, parents killed, child orphaned then trained by a samurai master; in which she becomes and inconspicuous komodo wearing killing machine. A lot of violence, a lot of action, decapitations and those hose like blood sprays. I like Lone Wolf and Cub, but Lady Snowblood is great series and interesting perspective into the 1970’s Japanese exploitation film industry at the time. Check out Lady Snowblood 1, and look for the animation insert middle part of the movie (not in the youtube trailer), Tarantino also took that idea of inserting basic animation into the Kill Bill storyline.

Lady Snowblood 1 Trailer: Blizzard From The Netherworld

Kill Bill animation (inserted into a scene for background narration on one of the main characters).

and for the hell of it, the Gogo and the Black Mamba fight (Kill Bill). Yeah I know which one you wanted to win…


One Response to “The morbius glass schlock, horror, 80’s, grindhouse, sex and violence movie marathon. Asian GrindHouse, Japanese Chambara – Lady Snowblood.”

  1. […] I mentioned in my expose of Japanese Grindhouse (refer here), in regards to the term Grindhouse. Which wasn’t a veined criticism (or maybe it is?) of the […]

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