PASSION-FIRE SWORD (1965) – SAMURAI FILM

Balladeer's Blog

Son of the Black Mass Raizo Ichikawa as the Son of the Black Mass

Balladeer’s Blog resumes my reviews of the Son of the Black Mass series of Samurai movies. This time around I will examine the fifth film with legendary Raizo Ichikawa. I will eventually cover the pre-Raizo and post-Raizo SOTBM flicks as well PLUS the original novels that the movies were based on.

Though the Son of the Black Mass series has also been released under alternate titles like The Full Moon Killer and Sleepy Eyes of Death (?) I go by the original title to the novel and movies. The recurring lead character is Kyoshiro Nemuri, a Ronin who is the product of the rape of a Japanese woman by a Portuguese Christian Missionary during a Black Mass.

Nemuri inherited his father’s red hair, marking him as a half-breed and leading to his disgrace. He wanders Japan of the 1780s, a time…

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