The Razor: Who's Got The Gold? (Japan 1974)

Rating: ***
Cast: Shintaro Katsu

Justice of "the piece," Constable Itami "Razor" Hanzo, stumbles across a ghost that is haunting a lake. Of course, he's intrigued. After capturing her and "questioning" her, he finds out about theft and embezzlement at the royal treasury and investigates further. Again, corrupt officials abound, and Hanzo puts his neck on the line to see that justice be served and that the common people don't have to suffer from the greed of their oppressors. An interesting side theme is that we see the stubborn Shogunate desperately trying to remain in power by holding onto the ideals of the Samurai, while another faction is trying to convince them that Western technology will destroy Japan if the Shogunate doesn't allow Japan to be receptive to Western ideas. An interesting slice of history from an interesting period in time. More icky black-teethed women are in this film, and Hanzo's "special technique" is getting a little old, although there is a new and humorous training sequence added. Hanzo continues to be a bad-ass and gets the job done with cunning and flair. Good stuff!