Isao Natsuyagi stars as Kiba, a charismatic ronin who wanders into a small town and ends up ensnared in a local conflict that's more than meets the eye. After dispatching a pair of highway criminals seen robbing a courier wagon, Kiba agrees to assist a beautiful blind woman who runs the local shipping company. Double- and triple-crosses ensue, illustrated with savage but economical violence courtesy of famed director Hideo Gosha's (THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI, VIOLENT STREETS) striking black and white filmmaking. The result is a lean and mean triumph of samurai cinema, cementing Gosha's status as a master of the genre.
"Goshen's classic "chanbara" (swordfight film) has all the great earmarks of Japanese Samurai films. There is a clear connection between these works and Westerns of the same period--very reminiscent of Sergio Leone in both style and themes. Goshen's use of silence with isolated noise, jump cuts, zooms, odd angles, stellar fight choreography, and plenty of blood make the film stylishly satisfying and an exemplar of 1960's action cinema...The film is a great introduction to classic cinema and martial arts films from the East. Highly Recommended." - EMRO
- Isao Natsuyagi
- Ryôhei Uchida
- Junko Miyazono
- Tatsuo Endô
- "SAMURAI WOLF is a delicious cold cut samurai sandwich that adheres to standard Chambara conventions, but creates a vastly likable hero in the process. [Gosha's] work is ripe for discovery and wider recognition...."
- "To call it action-packed would be an understatement. At the same time, it is also one of the most imaginatively photographed and edited films of the sixties."
- "The swordplay in this film (much of it in supremely filmed slow-mo) is some of the finest and most savage that I have ever seen in a Chanbara pic of this vintage (the blood sprays and oozes most convincingly and frequently). That the film manages to introduce so many interesting and colorful characters and provide so much character depth in such a short span of time is breathtaking."
- "Director Gosha pulls out nearly all of the cinematic stops at his disposal, including some highly imaginative framing showing characters’ reflections on the blades of a sword. Samurai Wolf is highly entertaining and an absolute blast."
- "Much more avant-garde than much of his later work would be, Gosha makes great use of slow motion and silence broken only by the reverberating sound of clashing swords...."
- "“Samurai Wolf” is a great chambara movie, with great performances, direction and interesting characters. Hideo Gosha emphasizes once more in his long career that he certainly knows the genre and how to make it relevant and entertaining for audiences."