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Legend of Eight Samurai 1983

Updated on September 12, 2019
GetitScene profile image

As an avid lover and collector of samurai movies, I am thrilled by the chance to share with you my thoughts of this one.

Blood Bath

That's not lotion she's rubbing on herself
That's not lotion she's rubbing on herself

The Story

It's kind of a bizarre story to be honest. Something you might see on the American television show Jerry Springer. The broad strokes of the plot go something like this. Poor old Lord Motofuji (quite possibly the best name ever), needs some new skin for his burned face. But, since there are no second hand face skin stores around, what's a person to do? Well peel some virgin skin off of someone else. Naturally. Throw in some princesses marrying dogs and some witches soaking in baths of blood and there you have it. A traditional Japanese folk tale. Come on, admit it, you really want to watch this masterpiece now, don't you? Did I mention the eight, magical crystals that spurt out of the princesses' body?

The Look and Feel of The Legend of 8 Samurai

I very much enjoy the look and the feel of this movie. It isn't realistic in the way you would see with a movie shot in real locations but, instead, uses well constructed sets. This gives the story a theatrical, almost stage play feel that works very well with this type of fable that involves mysticism and monsters. Some people in the audience could look at the sets and complain that they look fake but in a movie where devils, demons, goblins, evil spirits and all kinds of hoodoo happens, I am perfectly satisfied with how everything in this film looks.

A Most Memorable Scene

One of the most unforgettable moments in the movie happens when a group of warriors surround a feeble old lady and she tears the wrinkly, human flesh away from her face to reveal the giant insect monster that she really is beneath. Transformed into a huge, centipede type beast, she attacks the surrounding men without mercy. This battle is so unique that it reminds me of one of my favorite movies, the classic Sam Raimi, Evil Dead. You will surely be talking about this scene after watching this.

Oh...Wow

There's something wrong with your face
There's something wrong with your face | Source

The Legend of the Eight Samurai DVD

Legend Of The Eight Samurai
Legend Of The Eight Samurai
The story follows Princess Shizu (Hiroko Yakushimaru), her family slain and on the run from her enemies. As she escapes she is found by the vagabond Shinbei (Hiroyuki Sanada), before being rescued from her pursuers by Dōsetsu (Sonny Chiba). He tells her the legend of a curse on her family, and of eight beads that identify eight dog-warriors who can lift it, of which he and his companion are two. To defeat the evil queen Tamazusa (Mari Natsuki) who killed her family, they must find all eight. But Shinbei hears of Princess Shizu's identity, and vows to collect the reward for capturing her.
 

Giant Snake

"Remember that time the princess was attacked and abducted by that giant serpent?" While this might not be something that comes up in your conversation very often, you would certainly be talking about it if you were on the same adventure that the characters in this story are on.

Sonny Chiba

The beloved Sonny Chiba
The beloved Sonny Chiba | Source

Is that Sonny Chiba?

For anyone familiar with Asian cinema, martial arts movies or even Quentin Tarantino's amazing Kill Bill flicks, Sonny Chiba is a well known and much respected actor. He's also a draw card. Which causes some of the more unscrupulous promoters to use his name, his status and the loyalty of his fan base to suck in more viewers. It's a shame really because this is a darn good movie that stand up to any scrutiny or review with or without Chiba's name. So the good news for you is that yes, Sonny is, in fact, in this movie. The down side is that he is not in t very much. His role is as a supporting cast member only.

I Like the Music

Some other reviewers, ones that I quite respect and enjoy, have complained about the type and quality of the music used in The Legend of Eight Samurai. I have no idea what the hell they are talking about. Admittedly I am no professional music composer such as the magnificent John WIlliams, but I like the music in this fable. Now I might have exceptionally poor taste in music but, if I do, then I'm betting that I am not the only one, so there's a good chance that you will also enjoy it.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Dale Anderson

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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      9 months ago

      I had trouble watching it also.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      9 months ago from The High Seas

      I tried to watch the latest re-make of The Magnificent Seven, the one with Denzel Washington. Sad to say that, while others may have liked it, I couldn't get through 15 minutes of it. I am sure that my bias came straight from my nostalgic love that was spawned in my childhood.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      9 months ago

      Yes, I know The Magnificent Seven was inspired by The Seven Samurai. Many other movies have come along with a similar theme.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      9 months ago from The High Seas

      I admit that I grew up LOVING The Magnificent Seven with Yul Bynner which, I am sure you know, was inspired by The Seven Samurai.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      9 months ago

      I know many American movies have an Asian influence. Look how many movies are based on The Seven Samurai.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      9 months ago from The High Seas

      Ha! I hadn't thought of that but it makes a lot of sense. I think I'm going to watch this movie again today. I always get a kick out of it.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      9 months ago

      I wonder if the scene from Men in Black with the transformation from human skin to insect was the inspiration for this movie?

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      13 months ago from The High Seas

      Happy to share, Robert!

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      13 months ago

      Thank you for posting this article and link.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      14 months ago from The High Seas

      Peggy it is certainly an odd film but one that I keep watching. I grew up watching things like this so I try to share them with others just in case they didn't even know such films existed.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      14 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I had to vote that I have not yet seen this film. I do agree with you that watching sword fights can be much like watching a ballet if it is done well.

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