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Directed by Eric Power
Written by Eric Power
Starring Kenji Kiuchi, Yoshi Okai, Leo Shue Schuster, Shinya Wakao
Find out more about this film here

A new twist on a classic type of film is something I’m always interested in checking out and PATH OF BLOOD is such a thing. Taking a classic samurai tale and screening it through the simplified cartoonish style of SOUTH PARK seems like it could either be a horrific calamity or a stroke of genius. Turns out it is the latter as I thoroughly enjoyed PATH OF BLOOD from start to finish.

In1614, as wartime subsides, the Japanese samurai are left without a war to fight, so they travel the land in search of purpose as ronin. One samurai learns of a path through the mountains which rewards those who survive it with purpose and happiness for the rest of their lives. Of course, the path is lined with ninjas, swordsmen, demons, and all sorts of horrors.

Despite the fact that the animation is crude and simplistic, it is able to convey quite a bit of subtlety and nuance. This is a poignant tale of finding one’s true path and the hardships in doing so. On top of that, it’s violent as all get out, with guts, gore, and blood splattering in all directions. Eric Power has distilled the classic samurai tale down to its visual basics, but never loses sight of the soulful themes of the classic samurai tale.

Filled with exciting and gratuitously gory sequences of samurai madness and badassitude, PATH OF BLOOD is something special and I hope Power is working on a follow up, because this is one style of samurai adventure I’d love to see more of.

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