Kumonosu-jô or Throne of Blood is yet another samurai film from Japanese cinema genius Akira Kurosawa. Almost all of his samurai films seem to star the amazing Toshiro Mifune and this film is no exception. Mifune stars as the samurai Washizu in this film.
The film begins with news of disaster for the lord of Spider's Web Castle as it appears one of his vassals has joined an opposing lord and launched a surprise attack on the frontier fortresses. Bad news quickly becomes good news as messengers arrive saying Miki is defending his fortress like a man possessed despite overwhelming odds. This is followed by the news that Washizu has boldly sallied from his fortress, caught the enemy by surprise and completely routed them and then launched a massive assault on the enemy forces attacking Miki. These two warriors are summoned by their lord after the battle to receive honors.
The two warriors quickly become lost in the Spider's Web Forest by freak weather and then are haunted by some cackling laughter of a spirit or demon. They endeavor to attack and vanquish this evil spirit but instead they find an old women in a hovel spinning thread. This women tells Washizu that he will become the Commander of the Northern Garrison and then lord of Spider's Web Castle and that Miki will become Commander of the First Fortress and that his son will one day be the lord of Spider's Web Castle. This prophecy sets everything into motion. Soon Washizu's wife is urging him to go on a bloody quest to fulfill the evil spirit's prophecy.
If your like Shakespeare you might be thinking, “this sounds a lot like Macbeth.” You would be right, this film is Kurosawa's take on the play by the famous Bard. The story proceeds in wonderful fashion that highlights why the movie is so aptly titled “Throne of the Blood.” Washizu even utters a wonderful line about creating a deluge of blood that will stain the woods red as he fights for his throne.
See this movie at all costs! Stain your hands red with the blood of your enemies to obtain this film!