(1973, Toshiya Fujita)
Revenge has a face and it belongs to Meiko Kaji. Her expressions are composed of hardened vengeful scowls, vulnerability and elegant beauty. Her close-ups had me quivering in fear. Looks can definitely kill.
Lady Snowblood is born for vengeance. Born to avenge her parents' death, she is trained to kill as a child. She has a list of people to assassinate and you know she'll be crossing names off that list with blood. If this sounds familiar, this was the movie that inspired Tarantino's Kill Bill movies although a lot of it was stolen, right down to specific shots.
The action sequences are breathtaking. Her super awesome weapon of choice: a wagasa (Japanese paper umbrella) that alternates as a sword and it moves with deathly grace. It results in scenes of elegant bloodiness.
The settings are chosen carefully. We see her assassinate on rocky shores, traditional Japanese interiors and, of course, exteriors covered with a blanket of snow. Violence and revenge looks so jaw-droppingly elegant.