November 15, 1967
The first film in the 2 part series about Ryuzen, a renegade martial-arts priest who, in addition to breaking all the commandments against sex and gambling, opens his own gambling den in direct defiance of the local yakuza boss. Exciting action and a twisty plot this movie breaks new barriers in Japanese cinema. Katsu Shintaro is superb in one of his better non-Zato Ichi roles as he fights off the advances of a love-lorn woman and risks his life to defeat the powerful gambling boss who has a stranglehold on the town.
November 6, 1968
It’s cross and double-cross in these further adventures of Ryuzen, the wayward priest played by Katsu Shintaro as he tries to help a woman who may be the heir to a fortune get what is rightfully hers. Matsuo Kayo, who first rose to international stardom as ‘the supreme ninja’ in “Shogun Assassin” gives an outstanding performance in this clever and exciting caper tale set in the samurai era. Ryuzen agrees to help her, but is he just in it for himself, and is she really who she claims to be? When they come up against Boss Tobei it’s a virtual free-for-all as everyone struggles to walk away with a fortune in gold!
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