Samurai Reincarnation

In DVD/Blu-ray by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Rating: 5/5.
Bottom line: Worth every damn penny. 

Masters of Cinema Special Edition Blu-ray.
Cast: Sonny Chiba, Kenji Sawada, Ken Ogata, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tomisaburo Wakayama.
Certificate: 18 (TBC).
Director: Kinji Fukasaku.
Language: Japanese with optional English dub and English subtitles.
Release date: 1981.
Run time: 122 minutes.
RRP: £22.99

Eureka has really been spoiling us recently. Not content with reissues of a classic sequence of galls with guns, this month sees the UK debut of Samurai Reincarnation—an epic tale of ninjas, magic swordsman, evil assassins, and forbidden love from the director of Battle Royale.

Presented as part of The Masters of Cinema Series in a frankly stunning 2K restoration, the first print run of 2000 copies will also feature a limited edition O-Card slipcase.

In the aftermath of a failed rebellion, Amakusa Shiro (Kenji Sawada) is crucified, but returns as a vengeance-filled demon with the power to resurrect the dead. Shiro uses his power to assemble a team of undead warriors—including legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi (Ken Ogata)—and the only one who can stop them is the wandering samurai, Yagyu Jubei (Sonny Chiba).

Samurai Reincarnation is a spectacular chanbara fantasy epic that has everything you could possible wish for in a Japanese martial arts horror—drama, twisty-turny plotting, OTT acting and a crazy, crazy colour palate. 

As ever, Eureka’s release includes a fabulous selection of extras but even if it didn’t have a single commentary, Samurai Reincarnation is worth every damn penny. 

Extras include:

  • Limited Edition slipcase featuring artwork by Takato Yamamato.
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a 2K restoration of the original film elements. Uncompressed original Japanese mono audio. 
  • Alternate English dubbed audio. 
  • Optional English subtitles. 
  • Brand new audio commentary by Tom Mes.
  • Brand new interview with filmmaker Kenta Fukasaku. 
  • Original Japanese trailer.
  • A collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film.