Quick-Draw Okatsu (Japan 1969)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 10/26/08
Director: Nobuo Nakagawa
Cast: Junko Miyazono, Kenji Imai, Reiko Oshida, cameo by Tomisaburo Wakayama

The second film in the Poisonous Seductress series is in color and once again features Junko Miyazono as a woman on the bloody road to revenge. This time she plays a woman named Okatsu Makabe who is the daughter of an honorable master swordsman. Naturally, she's also quite capable with a blade. When she refuses to marry a nasty government official, she is raped and her family is murdered. She somehow manages to escape death and plots revenge against her amorous and corrupt suitor. Legendary Tomisaburo Wakayama shows up briefly as a brash bounty hunter, and his all-too-brief swordplay is extremely satisfying. As the film closes, he hints at the anticipated sequel which never came out. Instead, we get the deceptively titled "Okatsu The Fugitive" (1969).

The film is beautifully shot and looks gorgeous. The colors are rich and the sets and costumes are full of detail. Junko Miyazono is wonderful, and her fierce intensity carries the show. However, her thunder is nearly stolen by the adorable Reiko Oshida who plays a cute and feisty kunoichi named Rui. She is lovely and quite enjoyable to watch. Miyazono's swordplay is admirable, but it's her conviction that makes it convincing. While not as bloody and scandalous as the previous "Female Demon Ohyaku" (1968), it does feature a couple of delightfully messy sword fights. Where the films suffers most is in its pacing, and Okatsu doesn't even pick up a sword until forty minutes in. After that exciting exchange, the film drags again until its violent climax. Enjoyable, but slightly disappointing.