Goyokiba (1972)

Run Time - 90 min.  |  
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Although he was best known for his portrayal of Zatoichi in the long-running film series of the same name, Shintaro Katsu also starred and produced in a short-lived but memorable series of films built around the character Hanzo The Razor during the early 1970's. Goyokiba was the first film in this trilogy and took its basis from a popular manga series by Kazuo Koike (who also scripted this installment). In the film, Katsu plays Hanzo, an investigator whose devotion to his duties often puts him at odds with his corrupt superiors. A crook tips Hanzo off to the fact that a killer has escaped from a prison island and returned to the mainland. Hanzo pursues the case and soon realizes that its mysteries extend all the way into the higher levels of government. The guilty parties attempt to cover their tracks but soon discover that Hanzo has three weapons that can defeat them: his irreverent attitude towards power, his excellent fighting skills and, most unusually, an enormous phallus that he uses to "interrogate" female suspects. It also bears noting that he has toughened up said phallus by subjecting it to rituals like splashing it with hot water, beating it with a wooden rod and thrusting it into a burlap sack filled with uncooked rice. The finished film is one-of-a-kind mixture of samurai action, social critique and lurid erotic fantasy. Goyokiba is usually known in English speaking territories under the title The Razor: Sword Of Justice. It was followed in short order by two further Hanzo adventures, Goyokiba: Kamisori Hanzo Jigoku Zeme and Goyokiba: Oni No Hanzo Yawahada Koban.