Fantastic Fest Classic: BANDITS VS SAMURAI SQUADRON

Director Hideo Gosha
Year 1978
Run Time 173min

Both films in this series are Free for Fantastic Fest 2011 Badgeholders (any badge). Special thanks to The Criterion Collection and Janus Films for making these 35mm screenings possible.

By the time Hideo Gosha made BANDITS VS. SAMURAI SQUADRON, he was a very experienced film director with solid commercial credibility. Thus, this film is much larger in scope than his earlier film, THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI. While the life-blood of this film is of course in its action set pieces, it’s also a very well-made pastiche of different genres: crime and detection, political intrigue, revenge and of, course chanbara (sword fighting). This is an epic, with large themes and a long running time. But it’s also a highly commercial film, so you can be assured of fantastic, bloody action whenever things start to flag. Massive, colorful and intricately constructed, this is a must for fans of Japanese action cinema.

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