Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance

1972 Samurai movie

Rating: 15/20

Plot: A Shogunate executioner is framed and his wife is murdered by some people who apparently don't like him very much. He gives his infant son a choice between a ball and a sword (death and the chance to be with his mother or an opportunity to look cute and travel through hell with his father), and then sets out for a violent world to seek revenge. A self-proclaimed demon and assassin-for-hire, he runs into some people who want him to kill some other people for some reason, and he has sex with a prostitute. Lots of people die, and then Lone Wolf and Cub walk off toward the next movie in the series.

Flyin' limbs a-go-go! This had some of the best sword action I've ever seen in a samurai movie, quick action complete with spraying blood and falling heads. It's definitely the best sword action I've seen from a chubby man with a double chin. The others are no match for him as he's not involved in anything that resembles a closely contested battle. He's clever like Zatoichi, kills with absolutely no expression on his countenance, and is a sort-of anti-hero who is easy to root for though. Although this had its moments (a seen in a spa, breasts, some nature shots, some calm-before-the-deadly-storm pauses), this lacked the consistent visual poetry and the philosophical details of the top notch samurai stuff. The fight scenes, especially the climax complete with its surprises, make up for it, however.

Special note: This is the second movie in a row I have seen in which the protagonist kills people while holding a child. That's probably disturbing.

Put this on my Christmas list:

Here I am watching the first 'Lone Wolf and Cub' in the series and thinking that 5 of my 365 movies will probably be the rest of the series.


winter rates said...

we've got all these comic books at work, they're suppossed to be great, guess i'll watch the flicks instead. i always thought the title "lone wolf and cub" sounded pretty gay.

cory said...

If the Japanese had drive-ins in the 70's, then I'm sure this must have been a big hit. Any bad-ass revenge flick automatically gets bonus points from me, but this tasteless samurai-sploitation film was a disappointment. It's not just the graphic blood-spurting violence (often in front of, or while holding a child), or horrible scenes like child murder or a woman being raped to death. It isn't even listening to children repeatedly singing a song about "shitting a rock" song. It is also the sheer humorless redundancy of the violence and the often amatuerish film style.

This kind of reminded me of "The Outlaw Josey Wales" with swords and a lot more boobs. It has family murder and a quest for revenge. It has a Sandra Locke whore-with-a-heart character (who is forced to have sex in front of the bad guys or be killed, by the way). It just isn't very good.

I'm giving this a 12 because the sword fights are often entertaining (though a little silly and very blood-soaked), but if I were giving it an objective grade (like yours), it would be more like a 10. Something about this movie made you want to watch all of the others in the series. Not me.

Shane said...

'Josey Wales' is a good flick.


Don't see the other ones...they get increasingly more violent. The 2nd movie is the best one though.