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.
In this first film of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, adapted from the manga by Kazuo Koike, we are told the story of the Lone Wolf and Cub's origin. Ogami Itto, the official Shogunate executioner, has been framed for disloyalty to the Shogunate by the Yagyu clan, against whom he now is waging a one-man war, along with his infant son, Daigoro.Written by
Footage from the first two Lone Wolf and Cub films (Sword of Vengeance and Baby Cart on the River Styx) from 1972 (Japan) would years later be re-edited into an American film called Shogun Assassin (1980). This merger of the two films would go on to earn it's place in American pop culture as one of the most notorious exploitation films of the early 80's. See more »
The 1999 UK video was cut by 6 secs by the BBFC to edit a scene where a woman is stripped topless, and the Artsmagic DVD featured the same print. The 2009 Eureka release (featured in the "Lone Wolf & Cub Collection") is fully uncut. See more »
The first film in a great series of samurai films. Veteran Japanese actor Tomisaburo Wakayama, brother of Shintaro Katsu (Zatoichi), stars as the ultra-stoic hero Ogami Itto, who, along with his infant son Daigoro and a babycart with hidden spears and guns, wages a one-man war against the evil Yagyu clan who killed his wife and framed him for disloyalty to the Shogunate. A very well-made series of action films, some reasonably inventive direction, editing, and photography, a good soundtrack too. The action scenes are especially well-done, from the one-on-one sword duels to the Wild Bunch-style Ogami Itto vs. Everybody battles at the end of each film. A must-see for anyone who enjoys Spaghetti Westerns or martial-arts films.
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