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‘Lone Wolf and Cub’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

29 March 2017 6:01 AM, PDT | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Stars: Tomisaburo Wakayama, Akihiro Tomikawa, Yunosuke Ito, Go Kato | Written by Kazuo Koike, Tsutomu Nakamura | Directed by Kenji Misumi, Buichi Saito, Yoshiyuki Kuroda

Producing six films across two years (1972-1974) is no mean feat, especially when you consider that they mostly retain their quality throughout. Based on the 28-volume manga series by Kazuo Koike (writer, who adapts for screen) and Goseki Kojima (illustrator), Lone Wolf and Cub is a set of brisk, ultraviolent action-adventure movies, packed with clever ideas, beautiful scenery, and weird characters, set in the Edo period (17th to 19th centuries) of Japan.

Martial arts star Tomisaburo Wakayama plays Itto Ogami (meaning “wolf”), an ex-Shogunate Executioner whose wife is murdered by the fearful Yagyu clan, led by the cruel Retsudo (Yunosuke Ito). Framed and shamed into exile, Ogami takes his son, Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa), and hits the road. Not just any road, but the “Demon Way in Hell »

- Rupert Harvey

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