Criterion And Janus Are Bringing Two Samurai Films To The Alamo Ritz, Free To Fantastic Fest Badgeholders

Later this month (September 22nd through the 29th) the film world will turn it’s attention back to Austin, Texas, for Fantastic Fest. If you’ve been following along with the podcast, you’ll know that we’re sending James down to Austin for Fantastic Fest, and I know he is going to have a blast, and churn out some incredible reviews for all of you not able to attend.

While they haven’t released the final, complete line-up for the festival, earlier tonight we learned what sort of presence Criterion will have this year. As you’ll all remember, last year Criterion sponsored the karaoke night, which timed nicely with the announcement of the House, Cronos, and Antichrist releases last fall. No word yet if there will be a similar partnership, but I think it’s safe to assume that Criterion will have a significant presence again this year.

Over on the Fantastic Fest blog, Lars Nilson revealed that Criterion and Janus would be presenting two “Samurai Classics” from Hideo Gosha, at the Alamo Ritz, which is one of the smaller members of the Drafthouse family, but one of my favorites (based on my SXSW 2010 experiences). Criterion and Janus will be bringing Gosha’s Three Outlaw Samurai and Bandits Vs. Samurai Squadron, both of which were recently added to the Criterion Hulu Channel.

It will be interesting to see what Criterion does with these films in the future, as far as bringing them to physical media. At this point, the only Gosha film in the Collection, with a spine number at least, is his 1965 film, Sword Of The Beast. Criterion also has Hunter In The Dark and Death Shadows available on their Hulu page, so perhaps they could release them all in an Eclipse set?

These films will be screening on the 12th and the 19th, before the festival begins on the 22nd, but will be free to those folks with Fantastic Fest badges (first come, first serve; they will have a list of badgeholders at the door).

Are you heading to Fantastic Fest 2011? Make sure you get in touch with James, as we will try to organize some kind of meet up during his week in Austin. Also, feel free to click the donate button over on the right sidebar, to help with our travel expenses.

From the Hulu pages:

Bandits Vs. Samurai Squadron:

Tatsuya Nakadai stars as a vengeful ex-samurai commanding a gang of outlaws in an attack on the castle of his former master.

Three Outlaw Samurai:

In Heideo Gosha’s first film, three outlaw samurai defend a group of rebellious peasants against an evil magistrate.

Ryan Gallagher

Ryan is the Editor-In-Chief / Founder of, and the host / co-founder / producer of the various podcasts here on the site. You can find his website at, follow him on Twitter (@RyanGallagher), or send him an email: [email protected].