Thrill Gala

Blade of the Immortal

Mugen no jûnin

Cult favourite Takashi Miike slices and slashes his way through this stunning swordplay adventure, the 100th title in the director’s extraordinary body of work.


Dir Takashi Miike
Prod Jeremy Thomas, Shigeji Maeda, Misako Saka
Scr Tetsuya Oishi
With Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sôta Fukushi
UK Distribution Arrow Films

In the Shogunate era, a samurai cursed with immortal life teams up with a young girl to avenge the murder of her parents. While fellow exploitation cinema connoisseur Quentin Tarantino has mooted his retirement from filmmaking, Japan’s Takashi Miike, just two years Tarantino’s senior, has passed triple figures as director. Though he has made several more since, Blade of the Immortal, based on the famous manga series by Hiroaki Samura, has the distinction of being Miike’s 100th feature. The speed of the film’s production notwithstanding, this is lean and mean Miike – a filmmaker at his controlled and bloody best. Takuya Kimura stars as Manji, a samurai saved by a witch following a vicious battle. She feeds him sacred bloodworms – fantastical creatures that rejoin severed limbs, heal gaping wounds and generally make it impossible for him to die. Haunted by the death of his sister, Manji sees a chance for redemption when he meets a young girl whose parents have been murdered. The culprits, a team of master swordsmen, come from the Ittō-ryū, a cruel school of fighting that demands victory by any means necessary. One by one, Manji tracks them down in this savage and inventive action thriller that makes an excellent companion piece to Miike’s earlier 13 Assassins.

Damon Wise

See also Screen Talk: Takashi Miiike

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Takashi Miike, Director

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.