Movie of the Day – Shogun Assassin

Oh hell yes!  Samurai movies are not just some guilty pleasure that I watch from time to time, but practically part of my growing breakfast that is, movie watching.  Any film lover out there has to love the wanton violence, beautiful sword play and the blood, oh the blood, of samurai movies.  There is an elegance to these movies, rooting the story in a deep back history that the samurai culture has.  One of honor and respect, every samurai movie you might have seen all have the lone samurai, defying the emperor or a band of ronin samurai who band together to defeat an emperor or mystical threat.  Samurai are feared in these movie because of their mastery of the sword and the fact that they are a one man slaughter house who can take on an entire band of enemies.

Of the massive amount of samurai movies out there on the market, one particular series stands out as my favorite, just on the basis of violence and action, The Shogun Assassin series.  The Shogun Assassin series, or also Lone Wolf and Cub, is a series of Chambara (sword fighting) movies that deal with the Edo period of Japan and follow primarily the lives of Samurai.  Shogun Assassin is actually a re-release of the first and second Lone Wolf and Cub movies, edited together to create a more fluid story and pump up the action.  Originally these movies were released in the 70’s, then remastered for the American and British market in the 80’s under the Shogun Assassin series name.  The quality of the remasters were never that good, until AnimEigo decided to do a great restoration on the series in 2006 and subsequently did a remaster for of the 5 Shogun Assassin movies.

Enough of the history of these movies, lets move on to the sweet stuff…

Are you kidding me?!?! Impossible to keep a body count!

The story is about a Shogun Lord Assassin, known as Lone Wolf.  His job is to basically just behead anyone that annoys his Lord, eventually he refuses, the Lord gets upset and kills his wife.  Just before they can finish the job and kill his child, he comes to the rescue and saves the kid.  Knowing that he just defied his Lord, he gives the boy a choice, either choose the sword (meaning the child will run with the father) or choose the ball (which means dad will end the child by his hand).  Some heavy shit right off the bat, but the kid opts to go with the father and now they must flee from the power of their Master.  To keep the story short, the Lord sends every possible ninja, swords men, ronin, and entire armies after Lone Wolf and Cub and every one of those bastards get killed in spectacular fashion.

The story is thin, to a degree, but the way they portray the bond between father and son, the fact that Lone Wolf hardly speaks at all in the movie, just give it this air of mystery and wonder.  I loved every minute of this movie and not just for the sword play, but the pacing is tight and you just don’t know what is going to happen to Lone Wolf and Cub.  Hell they are just walking down dirt road and four ninja chicks disguised as farmers just flip out and start hurling knives at them!

The story of the father and son team was also remade into a more mainstream Hollywood movie a few years back.  Anyone ever see Road To Perdition?  That was basically a modern retelling of Shogun Assassin.  Tom Hanks was the hitman, his son witnessed a murder, the mob tries to kill them and they are on the run.

Both movies are fantastic, but this is all about Shogun Assassin.  If you are wanting to a great sword play movie, where the hero is this unstoppable killing machine (for the male audience) and a loving, protecting father (for the female audience) then this is your movie.  Watch this, then watch the other 4 movies in the Shogun Assassin series.  You will not be disappointed.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

One Response to Movie of the Day – Shogun Assassin

  1. Pingback: Movie of the Day – Sword in the Moon « Another Plot Device

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