Up 795 this week

Shogun Assassin (1980)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 6,889 users  
Reviews: 86 user | 59 critic

When the wife of the Shogun's Decapitator is murdered and he is ordered to commit suicide by the paranoid Shogun, he and his four-year-old son escape and become assassins for hire, embarking on a journey of blood and violent death.



, (screenplay), 4 more credits »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 41 titles
created 21 Nov 2010
a list of 40 titles
created 05 Feb 2012
a list of 30 titles
created 04 May 2012
a list of 46 titles
created 28 Jan 2013
a list of 48 titles
created 9 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Shogun Assassin" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Shogun Assassin (1980)

Shogun Assassin (1980) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Shogun Assassin.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the third film of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, Ogami Itto volunteers to be tortured by Yakuza to save a prostitute and is hired by their leader to kill an evil chamberlain.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Gô Katô, Yûko Hama
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of a Ronin (i.e. a masterless samurai) who wanders the countryside of Japan with his small child, having various adventures.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Fumio Watanabe, Tomoko Mayama
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In the second film of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, Ogami Itto battles a group of female ninja in the employ of the Yagyu clan and must assassinate a traitor who plans to sell his clan's ... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Kayo Matsuo, Akiji Kobayashi
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the sixth and final film of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, the final conflict between Ogami Itto and the Yagyu clan is carried out.

Director: Yoshiyuki Kuroda
Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Akihiro Tomikawa, Junko Hitomi
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fifth film in the Lone Wolf & Cub Series. 5 warriors challenge Ogami to duels. Each has 1/5th of Ogami's assassin fee and 1/5 of the information he needs to complete his assassination. His ... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Michiyo Ôkusu, Akihiro Tomikawa
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fourth film in the Lone Wolf and Cub series. Ogami is hired to kill a tattooed female assassin. Gunbei Yagyu, an enemy samurai, happens upon Ogami's son, and sees his chance for revenge.

Director: Takeichi Saitô
Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Yoichi Hayashi, Michi Azuma
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Following the death of the second Tokugawa shogun, it is revealed that he was poisoned by retainers of his son Iemitsu in hopes of gaining him the shogunate despite the stammer and ... See full summary »

Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Stars: Kinnosuke Nakamura, Shin'ichi Chiba, Hiroki Matsukata
Shogun (TV Movie 1980)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.

Director: Jerry London
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Shimada
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

February 17 to March 3, 1860, inside Edo castle. A group of assassins wait by Sakurada Gate to kill the lord of the House of Ii, a powerful man in the Tokugawa government, which has ruled ... See full summary »

Director: Kihachi Okamoto
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Keiju Kobayashi, Michiyo Aratama
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young girl is born and raised to be an instrument of revenge.

Director: Toshiya Fujita
Stars: Meiko Kaji, Toshio Kurosawa, Masaaki Daimon
Shogun (TV Mini-Series 1980)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A English navigator becomes both a player and pawn in the complex political games in feudal Japan.

Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Shimada
Lone Wolf and Cub (TV Series 2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Stars: Kin'ya Kitaôji, Tsubasa Kobayashi, Keiko Tokoshima


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tomisaburô Wakayama ...
Kayo Matsuo ...
Minoru Ôki ...
Master of Death (as Minoru Ohki)
Shôgen Nitta ...
Shin Kishida ...
Akihiro Tomikawa ...
Daigoro (as Masahiro Tomikawa)
Lamont Johnson ...
Voice (voice)
Voice (voice)
Voice (voice)
Vic Davis ...
Voice (voice)
Lennie Weinrib ...
Voice (voice)
Lainie Cooke ...
Voice (voice) (as Lainie Cook)
Voice (voice)
Mark Lindsay ...
Voice (voice)
Voice (voice)


Long ago there was a great samurai warrior who served his Shogun honorably. The Shogun however grew paranoid as he became more and more senile. The Shogun sought to destroy all those who might stand to oppose his rule, and so he sent his ninja spies to the samurai's home. The ninjas failed to kill the samurai, but did kill his beloved wife. From then on, the samurai swore on his honor to seek out the Shogun and avenge the death of his love. The samurai roams the countryside with his toddler son taking on mercenary work for money until the final battle with the Shogun's three Masters of Death. Written by William Pagan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


it's impossible to keep a body count! See more »


Action | Adventure


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 November 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A sógun orgyilkosa  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mark Lindsay (former lead singer for Paul Revere and the Raiders) co-wrote the music with W. Michael Lewis. The performing credit is listed as "The Wonderland Philharmonic." "Wonderland" refers to the house that Lindsay lived in at one time. However, music cues from the original "Kozure Ôkami" films are also used. See more »


Ogami Itto: They will pay... with rivers of blood!
See more »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A difficult film to review
15 July 2005 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Released today, film fans across the world would be throwing copies of Shogun Assassin onto bonfires because technically, it is 100x worse than the type of 'rip offs' that people keep accusing Tarantino of lately. Essentially, Shogun is the first fifteen minutes or so of Sword of Vengeance followed by the majority of Babycart at the River Styx copy and pasted into an 80 minute film, with the addition of bad dubbing and some seriously cool music. But, as it stands, Shogun Assassin was 'made' in 1980 and did the full trip around grind house theatres so it has gained a cult following. So today it is looked back on as classic hack and slash cinema, as Kill Bill will probably be in twenty years time as much as some purists hate to admit it.

Speaking from my current state of mind I would say screw Shogun Assassin and go for the six Lone Wolf and Cub films. Even as a cure for film geeks lust for blood and guts, Shogun Assassin seems kind of strange. I never really understood why Houston didn't c & p some of the much more epic scenes of carnage from Babycart to Hades or Babycart in Peril. Still, the fight with the Hidari brothers (or 'Masters of Death' as they are known in Shogun) is one of the coolest in all six films. John Carpenter later used the brothers as prototypes for his '3 Storms' in Big Trouble in Little China, but if he was 'homaging' River Styx or Shogun Assassin we will probably never know.

Ultimately, Shogun Assassin works in the same way as Kill Bill, as a gateway to grind house cinema for the masses. How many people realise, respect and take advantage of this is where the problems start. Regarding Kill Bill, thousands of people see the films and see them as original without realising their true purpose. But it is difficult to argue that both films are not taking advantage of underseen cinema.

Alas, three paragraphs and I haven't actually said if the film is any good. The truth is, I will probably never watch it again because there isn't much point if you are into the LW & C films. But I won't have been introduced to 70s Japanese samurai 'grind house' cinema, which I regard as the best action genre there is, if it wasn't for Shogun. So I can't say it is rubbish, and to be fair, if you haven't seen LW & C it is far from crap, showcasing some of the coolest fight scenes ever filmed along with some seriously awesome music (which is the main reason I still have love for Shogun). Of course, the dubbing completely ruins Wakayama's performance and the Yagyu female ninja leader is turned into a useless loose end.

But Shogun's existence is important and a godsend is stopping 70s Jap samurai cinema from falling into nothingness in the west. If you don't know samurai cinema, watch Shogun once and you will turn into a nerd like me and become instantly obsessed with Japanese cinema. I would never know and love a lot of the films I do now if it wasn't for Shogun, and for that I hold it in the highest regard. Well, sort of.

10 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why would people watch this instead of the first two Lone Wolf films? Fear_Of_Falling
Kill Bill reference pisses me off. dstalker34
This movie is crap. drgonzo212
Liquid Swords JPC_whutwhut
Movies like this. 777ismyname
Shogun Assassin NOT so related to Kill Bill flamingyouth76
Discuss Shogun Assassin (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page