Review: Hanzo The Razor (1972)

Directed by:

Distributed in Australia by:

Katsu Shintaro must have fancied himself a great deal, I think. He is, after all, responsible for producing this epic of 70s swords ‘n’ sleaze, as well as starring in it. And he clearly thinks he’s a bit of all right, swaggering about in his loincloth and putting the hard word (ahem) on numerous female suspects.

Luckily, the film announces its intentions from the get-go. The terribly 70s music batters the ears, taking some of the stress from the eyes, which can’t believe what they’re seeing. Hanzo sets the tone early on, sitting in his cellar in his loincloth (again), instructing his servants to add another large block of stone to the ones already piled in his lap. Much grimacing and groaning ensue. And when Hanzo’s boss appears, asking the question we’re all thinking of (“What the hell are you doing?!?”), Hanzo replies “Torturing myself.” Oh really. That answers everything.

But it doesn’t stop there. Hanzo, he of the awesome weapon (fnar fnar), needs to train. And what better way to train than to stick your willy repeatedly into a bag of grain? Or to lay it on an anvil and whack it with a big stick. Or any of the other feats he gets up to, in order to prove that Hanzo is a man different from other men. No kidding, honey. I shudder to think of the scar tissue the man’s building up.

I know that some fans will be delighted, and others affronted, by the sleazy 70s sex scenes which continue the theme of Hanzo’s Incredible Manhood. Let’s just say that he knows how to get a confession out of a suspect (provided it’s a female suspect): not just a confession, in fact, but undying devotion. That’s what some ingenuity will get you. Well, along with a willy the texture of old leather, some ropes, and the stamina of a drafthorse.

Yes, there’s some swordplay. And yes, there’s some crime and mystery elements. But basically, the whole film (probably the whole series) is just a vehicle for Katsu to shout to the world “Look at my willy!” Nonetheless, it’s quite entertaining, especially if you don’t take it too seriously. Think of it as a cross between Zatoichi, Starsky and Hutch, and a John Holmes film.

But don’t try this at home.

7 screaming suspects out of 10.
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