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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Japanese PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • New interviews with Kazuo Koike, the writer of the manga on which the films are based, and screenwriter Norio Osada
  • Trailers

Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Toshiya Fujita
1974 | 89 Minutes | Licensor: Toho Co.

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $39.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #791
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: January 5, 2016
Review Date: December 29, 2015

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SYNOPSIS

Meiko Kaji returns in Toshiya Fujita's invigorating sequel to his own cult hit Lady Snowblood. Our furious heroine is captured by the authorities and sentenced to death for the various killings she has committed; however, she is offered a chance of escapeóif she carries out dangerous orders for the government. More politically minded than the original, Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance is full of exciting plot turns and ingenious action sequences.

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

The sequel to Lady Snowblood, Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance, comes to The Criterion Collection in their new Blu-ray release The Complete Lady Snowblood. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and shares a dual-layer disc with the first film. Similar to the first film this one is presented in 1080p/24hz and is taken from a new 2K scan of a 35mm low-contrast print struck from the original negative.

This presentataion doesnít look too different from what we got for the first film. Overall itís a very nice presentation, though has a very distinct look. It does look as though contrast has been boosted, which does lead to some deeper, richer blacks, but unfortunately finer details can get lost in darker areas of the screen. Skin tones are a bit pale, particularly on Lady Snowblood herself, but other colours really do pop off of the screen, especially the blood, which is a very bright, very rich red. In the end itís a very distinct look that the film has, different than what has been available before, and though I canít say if itís the correct look to the film and what was actually intended, I was rather fond of it and feel it suits the film.

The transfer overall is also very good, delivering an excellent amount of detail mostly, and textures are rendered nicely. Film grain is present, looking fairly natural and clean, and the encode actually looks pretty good. I canít say I detected any problematic anomalies.

Restoration work has also been very thorough and only a few minor specs and some minor fluctuations remain. Otherwise itís very clean. Ultimately it looks about the same as what we got for the first film, which is to say it looks very, very good.

8/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The lossless PCM 1.0 mono track sounds a bit dated in certain areas (the flat, very artificial sound effects for example) and isnít the most robust track youíll ever hear, but itís clean with easy to hear dialogue and decent (if a bit flat) music.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Paired with Lady Snowblood on the same disc, each film technically gets their own special features, though theyíve been primarily grouped with the first film. From the main menu you can either select the first film or this one. From there the sub menus present the chapters and set up options, along with the supplements. For the purposes of this review I will only cover the features grouped with Lady Snowblood: Love Song of VengeanceÖ

Öwhich is fairly simple since this film disappointingly only comes with a theatrical trailer for the film. All other supplements (which includes an interview with author Kazuo Koike and screenwriter Norio Osada) are found under the menu for the first film.

The release does come with an insert, one of Criterionís fold-out road map style ones (though it at least includes a nice looking poster image on one side), featuring an essay by Howard Hampton. Hampton writes about the seriesí politics and style, and the shift between the two films. It offers a decent analysis of the films.

Unfortunately this film specifically gets ripped off in term of supplements.

1/10

CLOSING

On the whole itís a solid edition. I was disappointed this title technically doesnít get any supplements: itís an interesting film, very different from the first and I would have enjoyed some more analysis of this aspect.

Still, despite this, itís a solid release largely. It contains both films with nice looking transfers and it does contain a couple of interesting interviews with the other film. I think fans will be rather thrilled with it and do wholly recommend it.


View packaging for this Blu-ray

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