Hideo Gosha’s "The Secret of the Urn"

By collectdx on August 03, 2011

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“After losing both an eye and an arm to treachery while on a mission for his clan, Samanosuke (Kinnosuke NAKAMURA) becomes a ronin who calls himself TANGE Sazen. When a stolen urn that contains the secret to a treasure worth a million gold coins falls into his one remaining hand, all sorts of villains, including a high-ranking Shogunate minister, plot to relieve him of his burden — and his life.

Unfortunately for them, TANGE has developed a unique and deadly one-handed fighting style, which means his enemies will have their hands full — at least while they still have their heads!

TANGE Sazen is one of Japan’s most popular samurai characters, the equivalent of Zorro or The Lone Ranger in the west.”

• Directed by Hideo Gosha.
• Starring the legendary Kinnosuke Nakamura.

The original title of this film is “Tange Sazen: Hien iaigiri” and is one a handful of feature films featuring the title character, the first of which was released in 1935, the latest in 2004.

AnimEigo released this fantastic version of the film on DVD in early 2011 which features a gorgeous transfer with original Japanese Language with English Subtitles. Once nice feature is the ability to choose white or yellow subtitles.

It’s English title is “The Secret of the Urn”

This film is a remake of the 1935 film, updated to fit the standards of late 60’s Japanese film making. What does this mean? Blood. Lots of blood. And limbs flying around. Let’s not mistake this for a Kurosawa film. Its action packed Samurai adventure with a memorable title character.

Early on in the film you get to see the event that costs Tange Sazen his arm and his eye. As the film moves on he’s well aware of his disability and he has turned it around so that he can cut pretty much anyone up with that one hand of his. Much like Zaotichi, Tange Sazen overcomes adversity and kicks some ass.

Granted, it’s not blatantly exploitative like the Shaw Brothers Cripple Master films, but it does rely on a central gimmick to give action scenes that extra punch.

The DVD has great modern artwork on the front but it’s still a basic clamshell case. The DVD has a few special features such as

• Trailers
• Program Notes
• Image Gallery
• Biographies

The film is presented in it’s original: 2.35 Aspect Ratio and just looks fantastic. It’s in full color, despite what the stills on the back may show you.

Hideo Gosha’s The Secret of the Urn is now available from AnimEigo

Recommended for Gut Wrenching Bloody Defiance!

The Secret of the Urn
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