Zatoichi and the Doomed Man

1965 Zatoichi movie

Rating: 15/20

Plot: Zatoichi meets the titular domed man in jail. The man, soon to be executed, informs him that he is innocent and pleads with the blind swordsman to get him some help once he's released. Zatoichi is sick of getting into trouble every time he helps somebody out, but eventually finds himself involved anyway.

Good entry in the Zatoichi series has plenty of swordplay but also has a more comedic tone than most of them. It's been a bit since I've seen this blind mo-fo in action, and I'd almost forgotten how much I like watching his movements, not just in the swift sword swipes and pouncing pirouettes, but in Shintaro Katsu's actions portraying a blind guy. And this reminds me of a dream I had and immediately forgot about. In the dream, Shintaro Katsu, not as Zatoichi but as himself, rides to my front door in a rickshaw. I'm sitting on a chair that I don't have that is on a porch I don't have. I'm wearing booty shorts and smoking an absurdly large red and yellow pipe with a goat's head carved into it. Orange smoke billows from the pipe, and I keep wondering how bad I smell, so bad, I fear, that the neighbors across the street might be able to smell me. Katsu tells me not to worry about it and points with a cane (again, he's not Zatoichi but does still have his cane sword) at my shorts. He says, "Your worries lie in those tight, lime-green shorts." When I don't say anything, he explains. "Don't come crying to me if somebody tries to rape you." Then, just like in all these nocturnal meanderings of my subconscious, the dream ends with my dream self weeping uncontrollably and my real self waking up in a puddle of my own urine.

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