Edited together from three of the Lone Wolf And Cub movies, Shogun Assassin is a bit of a mess and shows signs of the hatchet work done but it’s also hugely entertaining thanks to the fact that the Lone Wolf And Cub movies are hugely entertaining.
Robert Houston takes the directorial credit but as everything’s essentially already been done for him in the original movies it only seems fair to credit the good stuff to Kenji Misumi.
The basic premise of the movie concerns a great samurai warrior (Tomisaburo Wakayama) who has been betrayed by his Shogun, losing his wife as a result. He wanders the land with his kid in a pram (babycart) and is hell bent on revenge. God help anyone who gets in their way.
Throw logic and common sense out the window and prepare to have a lot of fun if you watch Shogun Assassin. It has plenty of decent action beats, plenty of over the top arterial spraying, a lunatic super ninja woman with a lunatic laugh and some great swordplay.
Purists may, quite rightly, criticise the fact that all the movie does is butcher the superior originals. I’ve yet to see those films but this movie has made me want to definitely seek them out so that’s a good thing.If you want to see the kind of kick-ass, blood-spattered action that influenced Kill Bill but don’t want to dive in with both feet to this particular subgenre then give Shogun Assassin a try – you won’t be disappointed. Unless you don’t like fun . . . . . . . and who doesn’t like fun?