Shadow Hunters 2: Echo of Destiny

Shadow Hunters 2: Echo of Destiny ★★★

Second in the two-film series about a trio of ronin who hire themselves out as ninja-hunters to clans who are getting screwed by the greedy shogun. Like the first movie, this one has far more plot than story, and hews more closely to exploitation standards than classic chambara. There are tons of ninjas (including many naked female ninjas) and some great blood geyers, but nothing special overall.

The most interesting thing about the movie is that it contains what I believe is the earliest example of the good-guy-walking-away-from-an-explosion shot, predating Get Mean by four years (and everything else on the list at TV Tropes by more than that). Some claim that Paths of Glory (1957) is the first, but in that scene, Kirk Douglas walks calmly through a battlefield as artillery explosions go off all around him—I believe an essential element in this particular trope is that the hero had to be responsible for the explosion. But watch that amazing Kirk Douglas clip anyway, it's pretty awesome.

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