Well yeah, Quentin Tarantino stole plot points and images from "Lady Snowblood," but what people don't mention is that he vastly IMPROVED on it, quadrupling the action even if he ignored much of the back story. So "Kill Bill" fans will be mildly disappointed, because the gushing blood and giant martial arts battles don't happen nearly as often in "Lady Snowblood," which is a much quieter, more emotionally intense film. Its importance should be measured in far MORE than just "Kill Bill" - the Japanese have had a female revenge Jones for the past 35 years since "Lady Snowblood" - Female Convict Scorpion, Zero Woman, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Battle Royale, Machine Girl and just about any "Pinky Violence" movie - so really, when it comes right down to it, Quentin got to the party really, really late.
"Lady Snowblood" isn't a 5-star movie by any means, and it wasn't meant to be. Japan was cranking these movies out like SAW sequels back in the early 70's (Sex and Fury, Female Yakuza Tale and Female Scorpion 701: Beast Stable (huh?) all came out the same year), so go rent 'em all but don't treat any one of them like they're masterpieces. They got no Chiaki Kuriyama, and no 126.96.36.199.s. You WILL miss them both.