Film #314: TRAPPED, THE CRIMSON BAT
Trapped, The Crimson Bat
2.5 out of 5 stars
Yolo Matsuyama returns as Oichi and this time she’s a bounty hunter… Sadly, director Sadatsugu Matsuda thinks to have her portray her character FAR more whinier than usual as she attempts to find peace by marrying a peasant. Of course, her past catches up with her as villainess Kikki Matsuoka (TAKESHI’S CASTLE, BLACK ROSE MANSION) creates all sort of problems armed with a whip “made from the hair of jilted women” and - I kid you not - shuriken which are in reality poisonous snakes which she keeps hidden in her kimono. As I watched it, I couldn’t help thinking… Oichi is a badass swordswoman. Why doesn’t she just kill the villainess at the outset of the film - something she could have easily done several times - and she could have saved us all an hour of run time. I really wanted to like this, but it just proved too difficult. The acting is WAY over the top, the plot is over-wrought and wonky, and the Oichi character makes so many mistakes and is so emotional that she makes a difficult heroine for the audience to pull for. An ok film… but there are better chanbara out there.