When Japanese auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Pulse, Tôkyô Sonanta) received an offer to make two films in two weeks, on a low budget and using the same cast, the result was the cinematic equivalent of fraternal twins. Though both Serpent's Path [Hebi no michi] and Eyes of the Spider [Kumo no hitomi] are gangster films about the desire for revenge and both films feature a protagonist named Nijima, played convincingly by Sho Aikawa, the two films are completely different in tone and plot.
Serpent's Path tells the tale of Miyashita (Teruyuki Kagawa), a former low level yakuza who has tracked down his child's killer with help of his friend Nijima. They've kidnapped the yakuza member believed responsible for the killing to take out revenge, but vengeance is neither simple nor easy. Another person is soon implicated in the child's death leading the pair farther down a path of revenge and violence...
Eyes of the Spider concerns Nijima (Sho Aikawa), a white-collar worker who one day finds the man responsible for his young daughter's brutal rape and murder. He interrogates and tortures the man, before killing and burying him. He returns to his ordinary life feeling listless and hollow, until he meets an old high school friend who introduces him to his hapless band of hired killers and his skill in the assassination business catches the attention of a bigger crime boss...
Serpent's Path and Eyes of the Spider will be released on DVD in a single package on 9th September 2013 by Third Window Films at the RRP of £14.99.
No extra features have been listed, but you're getting two rarely seen films by one of modern Japanese cinema's most singular talents for the price of one, so we're not complaining.