Saturday, August 01, 2020


The whip-cracking, karate-chopping blind gambler priest Ryotatsu (Bunta Sugawara), nemesis of Shinkai in the WICKED PRIEST series, is the main attraction in this one-shot spin-off that doesn't break any new ground but sure delivers a lot of bloody fun. Here he's entrusted with the care and teaching of a blind orphan boy named Rintaro, and they both get tangled up with various characters who are buying and selling explosives during the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877. Tomisaburo Wakayama appears in a couple of scenes, not as Shinkai but as a Chivas-swigging ophthalmologist who agrees to examine Rintaro's eyes. To the list of a half dozen alternate titles already filed, I'll add three more: THE WHIPMASTER'S SONG OF DEATH (the title on the version I watched), THE BLIND KARATE EXPERT PRIEST (Hawaii opening: February 9, 1971), and FURY OF KARATE MONK (New York City opening: August 15, 1973).

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