As a young boy I was besotted with the television show, The Samurai.  I was eager to follow Shintaro, Tombe the Mist, and the adventures of the Iga ninjas. It was an entrée into an exotic and esoteric world of swords, star knives and stunning acrobatics.

Small screen samurai was superseded by big screen samurai, with epics like Seven Samurai and Ran. The latest in fantastic samurai spectacle is BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL and it’s a stunner.

Takuya Kimura stars as Manji, a highly skilled samurai  cursed with immortality by a witch in the woods who introduces bloodworms into his system.

He thinks he’d be better off dead as he’s despatched his sister’s lover an act that has driven her out of her mind. To make matters worse, she is killed by bounty hunters after his head. But the universe wants him alive so he can wreak revenge on behalf of Rin, who reminds him of his deceased sibling.

Manji is a literal and  bona fide blade runner, run you through with his blade as quick as look at you, a steam punk samurai, cursed with immortality to fulfil a bloody destiny. Unlike the cursed undead vampires, Manji isn’t a blood sucker, but he is a blood-letter, splaying veins and arteries with a deft stroke of his blade, severing and skewering in a slice and dice ballet of sword wielding mayhem.

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL boasts weird weapons, wardrobe and wire work that puts the pick back in epic.

Prolific film maker, Takashi Miike, notches up his hundredth movie with BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, a century of figuratively and literally cutting a swathe through the cinematic landscape of the last couple of decades.

Arguably his best genre piece ever, it surpasses the sublime bench mark he attained with 13 Assassins about 7 years ago.

Based on the manga by Hiroaki Samura,  BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL is bold, bloody, bloody funny and brilliantly staged and shot, with a supernatural hero that out marvels Marvel. Cutting edge cinema at its best.

Catch it quick at Dendy Opera Quays and Dendy Newtown.