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Film / Blind Woman's Curse

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Blind Woman's Curse is a 1970 film from Japan directed by Teruo Ishii.

A young woman named Akemi has succeeded her father as the leader of the Tachibana gang of yakuza. In the opening scene her gang is engaging in a brutal fight with the rival Goda gang. As Akemi is pulling back her sword in order to deliver a killing blow to Goda, Goda's sister Aiko leaps in front of him in order to save them and Akemi's sword slices through her eyes. A cat then licks up the blood—yes, this happens—and then launches itself at Akemi.

Three years pass. Akemi, after serving time in prison, has reasserted control over her gang. She is now engaged in another war for territory, this time with the Dobashi gang. The war gets more complicated when a mysterious blind woman shows up, and starts killing the women in Akemi's gang one by one.

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First major role for Meiko Kajii (Akemi), who later starred in the Lady Snowblood films.


Tropes:

  • Battle in the Rain: The opening battle between the Tachibana and Aozora gangs takes place in a driving rainstorm.
  • Cobweb of Disuse: Ushimatsu lures Kantaro, one of Akemi's men, into a cobweb-infested basement, and nearly succeeds in murdering him.
  • Comforting Comforter: Akemi's repressed feelings for her warrior Tani are demonstrated by how she tucks him in when he's sleeping on the floor.
  • Dead Guy on Display: The Dobashi gang sends two of Akemi's men back to her in coffins. Later Aiko leaves Nobuko, one of Akemi's women, hanging outside of Tachibana headquaraters.
  • Distant Prologue: The opening battle scene takes place three years before the main plot.
  • Disturbed Doves: The three-year Time Skip between the opening scene and the main story is kicked off with a shot of a flock of pigeons getting disturbed and taking off from a public square.
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  • Drowning Pit: Dobashi has one where he tortures Chie and Tani by hanging them from a winch in such a manner that when one of them is winched out, the other is dunked and starts to drown.
  • The Dying Walk: Tatsu the turncoat staggers forward a few steps after Akemi and Tani stab him, before he keels over dead.
  • Fan Disservice: For some reason Aozora insists on strolling around town wearing nothing but a loincloth, showing off his pasty butt for all to see. And his reek of body odor doesn't help.
  • Fanservice Extra: Dobashi has an Opium Den in which lots of attractive topless ladies are lounging around smoking opium pipes.
  • High-Pressure Blood: A high pressure jet of blood shoots out of Tatsu after he finally gets a sword stuck in his gut.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: Aiko has one in a carnival, which is pretty neat, since she's blind.
  • Lennon Specs: Aozora has a whole weird thing going: no pants (only a loincloth), horrible body odor, and stylish tinted Lennon specs.
  • The Mole: Tatsu, one of the men in Akemi's gang, is actually working for the Dobashi gan.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: Kantaro passes by a series of wax severed head apparently representing Tachibana victims. The last head is actually Ushimatsu, who is holding himself very still. Ushimatsu attacks after Kantaro passes him by.
  • Opium Den: Dobashi has one where women lounge around smoking opium pipes and apparently serve as prostitutes for men who visit.
  • The Pig-Pen: Apparently Aozora does not have very good personal hygiene. Everyone who meets him comments on how bad he smells.
  • Power Walk: Akemi and the rest of the Tachibana clan make a very dramatic walk to Dobashi headquarters right before the final battle.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: The final duel between Aiko and Akemi has Aiko slashing Akemi across the back, after which Akemi falls to her knees and then dares Aiko to strike the final blow. Aiko can't do it, saying that Akemi let her win (this right after Aiko has told Akemi who she is). She says she can't kill such a Worthy Opponent and, in her last line, muses about how she's wasted her life.
  • Yakuza: Japanese gangsters engaging in bloody violence sometime in the late 19th century.
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