The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

WANDERING GINZA BUTTERFLY (1971) ** ½

Meiko (Lady Snowblood) Kaji stars as Nami, an ex-con who gets out of prison hoping to make a new life for herself. She gets a job at a hostess in a club and before long; some thugs try to muscle in on the owner. Nami then uses her past prowess as a pool hustler and card shark to help her friends and defeat the bad guys.

Wandering Ginza Butterfly has a pretty interesting, if unfortunately subdued premise. It’s not nearly as outrageous and violent (or fun if I’m to be perfectly honest) as Kaji’s Lady Snowblood or Female Scorpion movies. It’s more in line with Kinji Fukasaku’s yakuza movies, but again lacking the violence and fun factor those films had. The big billiards game sequence is pretty cool though and has a couple of tense moments. And the finale where Kaji finally takes up her samurai sword is fairly bloody. Despite this, I’m sure some Meiko Kaji fans will be disappointed by the fact that she uses a pool cue more than the samurai sword.

Kaji delivers another solid performance. Like the film itself, she’s a bit more subdued than normal and takes more of a passive stance throughout the flick. She still looks lovely and has a very strong screen presence. Overall, Wandering Ginza Butterfly isn’t a necessarily bad flick. It just suffers from comparison to Kaji’s other films.

Kaji later returned for the sequel, Wandering Ginza: She-Cat Gambler.

AKA: Wandering Silver Butterfly.

Tags: action, w
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