Criterion to Release Lady Snowblood Live-Action Film Set in January

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
2 films adapt Kazuo Koike, Kazuo Kamimura's 4-volume vengeance manga

The Criterion Collection film distribution company announced on Friday that it will release The Complete Lady Snowblood collector's set on January 5 on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The set includes both the Lady Snowblood live-action film and the Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance live-action film.

Toshiya Fujita directed both films. Lady Snowblood opened in Japan in 1973, and Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance opened in Japan in 1974. Both films are based on Kazuo Koike (Lone Wolf and Cub) and Kazuo Kamimura's Lady Snowblood manga. Dark Horse Comics released the four-volume manga in English in 2005-2006, and the manga is also available in eBook form.

The Criterion Collection describes the films as follows:

A young woman (Meiko Kaji), trained from childhood as an assassin and hell-bent on revenge for her father's murder and her mother's rape, hacks and slashes her way to gory satisfaction. Rampant with inventive violence and spectacularly choreographed swordplay, Toshiya Fujita's pair of influential cult classics Lady Snowblood and Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance, set in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Japan, respectively, are bloody, beautiful extravaganzas composed of one elegant widescreen composition after another. The first Lady Snowblood was a major inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill saga, and both of Fujita's films remain cornerstones of Asian action cinema.

The Criterion Collection's new release will feature 2K digital restorations of both films, new interviews with Kazuo Koike and screenwriter Norio Osada, trailers, new English subtitle translations, and an essay by critic Howared Hampton.

AnimEigo previously released the two live-action films on DVD in 2005.

The manga also inspired the Princess Blade live-action sci-fi film in 2001. The film reimagines the story in the distant future. Discotek released the film on DVD in April 2011.

Thanks to Daniel for the news tip.

[Via City on Fire]

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