Third Window Films Release Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Eyes of the Spider and Serpent’s Path

Last week Monday Twitch Film revealed two of the latest acquisitions from Third Window Films and they take the form of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Eyes of the Spider and Serpent’s Path which will be released in the Spring of next year. OH YES!

The previous week Adam had teased his twitter followers with the question…

Third Window Films Twitter

And now we have the answer. Eyes of the Spider and Serpent’s Path. Apparently Kiyoshi Kurosawa was offered the chance to make two low-budget films in two weeks with the same cast and so he came up with the gangster revenge films Eyes of the Spider and Serpent’s Path. Both film feature notable actors Sho Aikawa, Teruyuki Kagawa and Yurei Yanaga, all three of whom would pop up in later Kurosawa films (Aikawa had a cameo as a priest in Séance while Kagawa provided a stunning lead performance in Tokyo Sonata). In a statement to Twitch, Adam says:

Though both Eyes of the Spider and Serpent’s Path are gangster films about the desire for revenge, and both films feature a protagonist named Nijima played convincingly by Sho Aikawa, the two films are completely different in tone and plot. Nonetheless, they seem freakishly interlocked in ways that defy the conventionally linear relationship of a sequel, as each of these enigmatic, absorbing films elucidates and alters our understanding of the other. 

Eyes of the Spider                              Eyes of the Spider Poster

Japanese Title: 蜘蛛 の 瞳

Romaji: Kumo no Hitomi

Release Date:  1998 (Japan)

Running Time: 89 mins.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Writer:  Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Starring: Sho Aikawa, Dankan, Ren Osugi, Sadao Abe, Susumu Terajima, Moe Sakura, Kumi Nakamura, Satoshi Kajiwara, Shun Sugata

I love the poster for this film. It is absolutely brilliant. It is so kinetic. Is that the Japanese comedian Dankan (Getting Any? Boiling Point?) that I see in the film? It wouldn’t surprise me because he has appeared in non-comedy films like Noroi: The Curse, Ju-On 2, and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s masterful Pulse and Doppelganger to name a few.

Nijima (Aikawa) has just killed the person who murdered his daughter six years ago. Despite taking revenge, he cannot adjust to normal life. Then he runs into an old friend who introduces him to a band of Yakuza. But they are not violent enough for him and so he takes to killing people himself. Then he is approaches by the gangster who oversees his small band of Yakuza and finds out that he may be being used. What follows is a nervy tale of double-crossing and extreme violence.

 

Serpent’s Path                             Serpent's Path Poster

Japanese Title: 蛇の道

Romaji: Hebi no Michi

Release Date:  21st February 1998 (Japan)

Running Time: 85 mins.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Writer:  Hiroshi Takahashi

Starring: Sho Aikawa, Teruyuki Kagawa, Yurei Yanagi, Shiro Shimomoto, Hua Rong Weng, Kumi Nakamura

Written by Hiroshi Takahashi, the chap who penned the screenplay for Ringu and Ringu 2, the film looks like a thriller than the above. This one also has a great poster.

When his pre-teen daughter is brutally killed, a former Yakuza tries to track them down but stumbles upon a pornography ring. He joins forces with a professor but can he take out these seedy criminals?

Review

Both Serpent’s Path and Eyes of the Spider look great. Here is one for another of Kurosawa’s 90’s films, License to Live. Adam, if you’re reading this, get the rights to Licence to Live and release it in the UK and I’ll buy multiple copies (more than two, less than five).

I have quite the Kurosawa collection with two of his earliest films (Sweet Home, Guard from Underground), nearly all of his important titles from his supernatural period (Cure, Pulse, Séance, Retribution), one of his experimental titles (Bright Future) and the one film nearly everybody regards as a certified masterpiece of world cinema (Tokyo Sonata). There is a massive gap when it comes to his V-cinema crime films from the 90’s but thanks to Adam Torel of Third Window Films, I’m about to get my hands on them! All that will remain for me to see are his un-erotic pink films! Ahem…

10 thoughts on “Third Window Films Release Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Eyes of the Spider and Serpent’s Path

  1. too bad you can’t find the trailers for both movies…they both sound great.

    I really like the titles, they sound like a book title than movie title. And I agree with you, the posters are awesome!

    1. Sometimes I run into a dead end when trying to find trailers. I hit videos for Dragonball Z’s snake road and some Chinese comedy.

      I’m happy to see I’m not the only one who likes the posters.

      1. I particularly like the second poster.

        The first one looks half-familiar – the background is a bit lazy, they could have done more with that. Like with the second one: the figures have an interesting movement, the background is connected to them, and the calligraphy is done wonderfully too. And strong green like that is less common than the blue ocean choice in poster 1.

  2. Tired Paul

    I watched License to Live quite recently and really enjoyed it, I would definitely buy a copy, after watching it I wanted to see Fish on Land even more.

      1. Tired Paul

        I guess the best thing we can do is buy both movies / boxset when they come out…….I mean I know I will as I already own Bright Future and Tokyo Sonata so buying these is pretty much a given.

      2. These are definite must-buys for me. I want to add to my Kurosawa collection – Charisma, Doppelganger, and Licence to Live are my next targets. I just have to find affordable versions – something below £20.

        What did you think of Bright Future?

      3. Tired Paul

        I think Bright Future is great!

        I must confess that I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s horror movies…….maybe when channel hopping on Film4 etc, I’m more drawn toward the other genres of movies he has made, hence the reasons why I’ve seen Tokyo Sonata, Barren Illusions, Bright Future and License to Live I guess.

        Waits for it :p

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