Kill!

In this pitch-black action comedy by Kihachi Okamoto, a pair of down-on-their-luck swordsmen arrive in a dusty, windblown town, where they become involved in a local clan dispute. One, previously a farmer, longs to become a noble samurai. The other, a former samurai haunted by his past, prefers living anonymously with gangsters. But when both men discover the wrongdoings of the nefarious clan leader, they side with a band of rebels who are under siege at a remote mountain cabin. Based on the same source novel as Akira Kurosawa’s Sanjuro, Kill! playfully tweaks samurai film convention, borrowing elements from established chanbara classics and seasoning them with a little Italian western.

Film Info

  • Kihachi Okamoto
  • Japan
  • 1968
  • 114 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.35:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #313

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Original theatrical trailer and teaser
  • New essay by film and culture critic Howard Hampton
  • New and improved English subtitle translation

New cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Rebel Samurai: Sixties Swordplay Classics

Rebel Samurai: Sixties Swordplay Classics

DVD Box Set

4 Discs

$79.96

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Original theatrical trailer and teaser
  • New essay by film and culture critic Howard Hampton
  • New and improved English subtitle translation

New cover by Eric Skillman

Kill!
Cast
Tatsuya Nakadai
Genta
Etsushi Takahashi
Hanjiro Tabata
Atsuo Nakamura
Tetsutaro Oikawa
Tadao Nakamaru
Magobei Shoda
Yoshio Tsuchiya
Shinroku Matsuo
Shigeru Koyama
Tamiya Ayuzawa
Eijiro Tono
Hyogo Moriuchi
Shin Kishida
Jurota Arao
Hideyo Amamoto
Gendayu Shimada
Yuriko Hoshi
Chino
Credits
Director
Kihachi Okamoto
Executive producer
Tomoyuki Tanaka
Screenplay
Akira Murao
Screenplay
Kihachi Okamoto
Original story
Shugoro Yamamoto
Cinematography
Rokuro Nishigaki
Editing
Yoshitami Kuroiwa
Production design
Iwao Akune
Music
Masaru Sato

From The Current

Kill!: Pardon My Dust

Kihachi Okamoto’s dynamic, intricately madcap Kill! is a multitoned send-up of samurai film lore. With its crosshatched plot stitching, zigzag modulations, and dust-blown stock figures (Tatsuya Nakadai as a hobo swordsman, plus a peasant bumpkin tu…

By Howard Hampton


Kill!: Rebel Samurai Cinema

Mirroring changes in awareness, politics, and lifestyle occurring across the globe, the chanbara (or Japanese swordplay film) underwent a significant metamorphosis in the early 1960s, acquiring a decidedly more radical spirit. Seemingly without warni…

By Chris D.


Explore

Tatsuya Nakadai

Actor

A dynamic, handsome star who got his start in Japanese cinema during its 1950s golden age, the Tokyo-born Tatsuya Nakadai defies easy categorization. He is convincing whether playing a mercenary lone wolf or a heartsick love interest, a hero or a villain, in a sleek suit or samurai robes, and just as comfortable blending in to an ensemble as commanding a spotlight. The stage-trained actor was discovered, while working as a shop clerk, in 1953 by director Masaki Kobayashi, who promptly cast him in a tiny role in the controversial drama The Thick-Walled Room; a year later, he was given a walk-on part in Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. After a major breakthrough as a young yakuza in Kobayashi’s Black River, Nakadai was on his way to becoming one of Japan’s busiest actors; he would work several more times with both Kobayashi and Kurosawa, as well as Hideo Gosha, Kon Ichikawa, Mikio Naruse, Kihachi Okamoto, and Hiroshi Teshigahara—the cream of the nation’s crop of film artists. Nakadai, still acting into his eighties, is perhaps most often recalled for his ravaging performances in Kobayashi’s epic war drama The Human Condition (1959–61) and Kurosawa’s Ran (1985), in which he embodies unforgettably a cinematic King Lear for the ages.