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(aka "Kiba Ôkaminosuke" or "Samurai Wolf I" of "Samurai Wolf") (aka "Kiba Ôkaminosuke: jigoku giri" or "Samurai Wolf II: Hellcut")


Samurai Wolf 1 and 2 [2 X Blu-ray]

Directed by Hideo Gosha
Japan 1966 / 1967

A duo of chanbara masterpieces from one of the genre’s greatest directors, Hideo Gosha! Out of a desire to make what he felt was a truly no-holds-barred sword-fighting film, Gosha took inspiration from the samurai films of Akira Kurosawa as well as the spaghetti Western sub-genre they had inspired. Working with a low budget to free himself from the restrictive oversight of his producers, the result was Samurai Wolf and Samurai Wolf II, which tell the story of a charismatic ronin named Kiba (played by Isao Natsuyagi).

In the first film, Kiba wanders into a small town and ends up ensnared in a local conflict that's more than meets the eye. In Samurai Wolf II, Kiba gets mixed up in a complex web of intrigue, involving a crooked goldmine owner, a cynical swordsman and an arrogant dojo master.

With stunning black and white cinematography and ultra-stylish action sequences, the Samurai Wolf films are a lean, mean triumph of samurai cinema.


This is the story of a vagrant samurai the solitary, savage and scrupulous Kiba who arrives at a village to defend a beautiful, blind woman against a sinister plot. Her assailants then send against him another samurai, named Sana, who is without scruples. The fight between them will become personal, for the honor and love of the blind woman.


Theatrical Release: November 19th, 1966 - May 13th, 1967

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Review: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Also released on Blu-ray in May 2023 by Film Movement:


Bonus Captures:

Distribution Masters of Cinema Spine #282 / 283 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Samurai Wolf: 1:13:37.871

Samurai Wolf II: 1:11:41.922


Samurai Wolf:

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 27,144,814,655 bytes

Feature: 23,144,050,560 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Samurai Wolf II:

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 28,070,504,144 bytes

Feature: 22,529,073,024 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Samurai Wolf Blu-ray:

Bitrate Samurai Wolf II Blu-ray:


LPCM Audio Japanese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Masters of Cinema


Edition Details:

Audio commentary on Samurai Wolf by film historian and writer Chris Poggiali
Outlaw Director - Hideo Gosha featurette with Tomoe Gosha (15:25)
Brand new audio commentary on Samurai Wolf II by Jasper Sharp
Brand new interview with film critic Tony Rayns (21:47)

Reversible sleeve featuring original poster artwork
Limited edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Tony Stella
A collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes

Blu-ray Release Date: January 22nd, 2024

Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 7 / 8




NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema Blu-ray (January 2024): Masters of Cinema have transferred Hideo Gosha's "Samurai Wolf" and "Samurai Wolf II" to a dual Blu-ray package. They are cited as "restorations of the original film elements by Toei". The beginning quality of the first films is quite weak, but it improves in the area of contrast which is still not the heights of the format. It can appear a bit muddy with overlapping grays and the second film is superior, although both are extremely watchable. They are on dual-layered Blu-rays with max'ed out bitrates. Any inconsistencies appears to be the fault of the source and we presume the restorations have done the best with what they had. The captures below can give you an idea.  

NOTE: We have added 88 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Masters of Cinema use linear PCM 2.0 channel tracks (both 24-bit) in the original Japanese language for both films. The weaknesses mirror the image quality sounding shade rough in the opening of the first film. The Samurai Wolf films are filled with sword-based conflicts and fights with multiple characters transpiring simultaneously. There is plenty of action in the double-feature that comes through with fairly modest depth including a few yells. The score for both films was by Toshiaki Tsushima (Street Mobster, The Green Slime, Three Outlaw Samurai, Sword of the Beast, Battles Without Honor and Humanity) adding significant drama and lightness (do we hear a mouth harp?) while sounding reasonably clean in the uncompressed renderings. Masters of Cinema offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-rays.

The Masters of Cinema Blu-rays each offer a commentary. On Samurai Wolf the commentary is by Chris Poggiali (co-author of These Fists Break Bricks: How Kung Fu Movies Swept America and Changed the World) and appears to be a repeat of the one on the US Film Movement Blu-ray. He does a good job describing the director's work, Toei studio, the performers, the genre and some narration of the story. Samurai Wolf II has a commentary by Jasper Sharp (author of Historical Dictionary of Japanese Cinema.) He describes how this was Gosha's six film and he believes both films have aged well with good energy and thinks these are a great place to start an adventure into Samurai cinema. He identifies odes to Kurosawa and that these films don't require any study of history and are often drawn from western-genre fiction. It's more detailed than the first  commentary and Jasper cover plenty of interesting ground. Repeated, and included, is the 1/4 hour Outlaw Director - Hideo Gosha featurette with Tomoe Gosha, the director's daughter who discusses her father and the genre. The second Blu-ray (Samurai Wolf II) has a brand new 20+-minute interview with film critic Tony Rayns. He talks about 'double features' and 'B' films (being the lower half of those bills.) He talks about director Hideo Gosha, his life, going through the war, his start in radio and eventual studio / TV achievements, Three Outlaw Samurai etc.. Tony is always top-shelf. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original poster artwork, limited edition O-Card slipcase and a collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes (co-author of The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film.)

Hideo Gosha's "Samurai Wolf" and "Samurai Wolf II" are short at 1 1/4 hours but the pace is brisk and economical with much transpiring - with the second film story being more complex. Our protagonist is far from perfect but he is on the side of the oppressed, confident, a shade egotistical - exaggerations that add a touch of delightful kitsch. Prostitutes take sides while self-serving, agenda-based, romance is broached. Hideo Gosha was know to establish the archetype of a samurai outlaw but these 'jidaigeki' (period dramas) has anti-feudal freedom conflicts with our Ôkaminosuke's (Samurai Wolf) 'wants' coincide with 'the good'. He can't pay for his food from 'old boss' lady so he works it off and she fantasizes about him being her husband. He's a vagabond stud - knows it and is fearless in taking on all-comers - often chivalrously. The Masters of Cinema Blu-ray package advances over the Film Movement one of 2023 with more robust transfers, new extras Sharp commentary / Rayns featurette and it includes a booklet, poster etc.. I quite liked these short, action-packaged 'B' films. I wish there were dozens more with these same characters. Certainly recommended to those into the pure chambara cinema.

Gary Tooze


Menus / Extras


Blu-ray 2 - Samurai Wolf II



Samurai Wolf











Samurai Wolf II












More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE



Samurai Wolf


Samurai Wolf II


Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Also released on Blu-ray in May 2023 by Film Movement:


Bonus Captures:

Distribution Masters of Cinema Spine #282 / 283 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray



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