Here is a list of some common and not so common Samurai films that inspired my new film Heart String Marionette
SWORD OF DOOM- When I saw this for the first time I instantly loved it and watched it over and over and also fell in love with the lead actor Tatsuya Nakadai and the director Kihachi Okamoto... to me it was a great hero story haha seeing that I love anti-heroes... Its so dark and brooding its awesome! Also the ending has to be one the best endings ever... this film is easy to find.... this film is based on a popular story and several other films were made that continue where this one left off... if you want to see what happens I recommend the SATANS SWORD TRILOGY starring Raizo Ichikawa... the end of the last one is particularly awesome ^ ^
The SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH series or NEMURI KYOSHIRO- There's twelve of these and they vary in quality but if yer hardcore you'll want to see them all... They all star the AWESOME Raizo Ichikawa who next to Tatsuya Nakadai and the underrated Isao Natsuyagi are my favorite actors from this film period... the best ones we're directed by Kenji Misumi... you'll be mesmerized by the FULL MOON CUT too! ^_^ I had to buy all these on Ebay so they are a little harder to find...
SAMURAI WOLF I and II: These are two of my absolute favorites and these films are totally underrated... Chambara film master Hideo Gosha directs both about a wandering ronin who tries to act like a bad guy but really has a good heart... they star Isao Natsuyagi who is GREAT as a lead and I was surprised to find these were the only films of the kind that he starred in... the score is also really unique and awesome.
HARAKIRI- This has to be one of the greatest films ever made! Directed by Masaki Kobayashi from the more well known KWAIDAN and starring Tatsuya Nakadai in one of his best roles ever! Its a very quiet, slow paced film but its a very powerful build to a great and tragic end.
HUNTER IN THE DARK- My jaw dropped when I saw this as the cinematography, the direction... everything is amazing! Again, one of the darker and more tragic films... The opening scene with the nude woman and the man preparing to do shady stuff in the shadows is a great visual metaphor to frame the film...
GOYOKIN- Another amazing dark and tragic film... anime fans will notice several scenes that must have inspired Ninja Scroll creator Yoshiaki Kawajiri... On a personal note the character Oriha in this film inspired the character Siouxsie Silen in my new film Heart String Marionette... again the acting, direction, camerawork and editing are top notch!
DESTINYS SON OR KIRU- Guess what another dark and tragic Samurai film! This one stars Raizo as he wields a cursed sword style that I have the main character in my new film use in one scene... the end of this one is very tragic
INN OF EVIL- This one stars Tatsuya Nakadai and has lots of powerful quiet moments like when the girl who works in the bar is watching Tatsuya's character trying to care for a baby bird... when she's peering through the grass at him I think its one of the most beautiful moments in film
MUSHUKO MONO or HOMELESS DRIFTER- It stars Raizo and is directed by Misumi... awesome build up and ending on this one... well everything is great about it!
Also check out!
KILL! NAKAYAMA SHICHIRI SWORD DEVIL MIKOGAMI TRILOGY THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI SAMURAI REBELLION
Pretty much anything directed by GOSHA, OKAMATO, KOBAYASHI or MISUMI or starring TATSUYA NAKADAI or RAIZO ICHIKAWA
You'll probably notice that I didn't list anything by KUROSAWA... well because everyone already knows about those and I tend to like the darker, moodier films... so yeh if you haven't seen some of these go check em out!