Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance – A Classic Samurai Film

Rating (4 out of 5)

Warning:  This is a foreign film and has subtitles.

This is an iconic movie that for any film buff is a must watch.  If you love Kill Bill, this is a definitely one of Tarantino’s inspirations.

Plot: . A Shogunate executioner’s, Ogami Itto (Tomisaburô Wakayama), wife and servants are killed.  He is setup to take the fall by a rival clan, but instead of committing hari-kari he takes the Demon Way and vows vengeance on the clan that has killed his wife and destroyed his life.  He has a one year old son, who he takes with him.  He hires himself out as an assassin Lone Wolf and Cub.

What I Liked:  There is blood squirting all over the place when he does battle.  While the effects of the 1970’s might not hold up well, it is truly entertaining.

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His places a ball and a sword at the opposite side of his son.  He gives his son a choice, explaining that he knows that his son doesn’t know what he is saying.  If his son picks the ball he will kill his son and his son can join his wife, or he picks the sword and is doomed to travel the road following the Demon Way with his father.

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There are just simple slasher scenes where he takes on a lot of men.  There are at least 4 or 5 of these scenes, this is what gives the film a tremendous foundation.  However the topper to all of that is he does this with his son.  The baby carriage that he takes his son around with has extra parts that the bad guys don’t know about.  I won’t spoil it because it is so much fun when it all happens.  I am smiling now just thinking about it.

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What I Didn’t Like:  The movie is slow at parts, especially during the setup, but after it gets rolling it does a good job of mixing between dialogue and action.

There is one sex/nudity scene.  While it does slow down the film, it also does go to show the gray area between good and bad, right and wrong that Ogami is faced with on his Demon Way

Conclusion:  Saw 1 or 2 of these movies as a young man, and really glad to have found these on FilmStruck.  If you like a good martial arts film, you must watch this movie and the other Lone Wolf and Cub films.

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