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 its place in American pop culture as one of the most notorious exploitation films of the early 80s. See more »
Lately, I've been having awful nightmares. The voices may be the souls of those you've beheaded... they curse me from ponds of blood... or mountains of spikes... from ghastly places... I can hear them as they send chills down my spine. They say that they'll put a curse upon the Ogami line and they keep repeating that over and over. I am consumed with fear for our child's safety.
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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 »
Sword of Vengeance is the first film in a series about a noble samurai and his son fallen from grace through a conspiracy, and now under a constant fear of death by assassination. This movie by itself is a fine example of how a more modern, 'slasher' style Samurai film and 'old' values like honor and '1-good-Samurai-defeats-army-of-bad-Samurai' can be put together to make a solid, entertaining film. The later films are sometimes better, sometimes worse than this movie, but I found all of them to be very entertaining and worthwhile.
If you like to see some classic Samurai action, check out the whole serie of six films. Years later they took all the juicy bits out of the first four films and stitched them together to form the film 'Shogun Assassin', a film I suspect made for export to western countries: Less story, more blood.
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