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If you like classic Samurai films with a Manga twist...
on November 25, 2014
I bought this to replace the set we own on Laser disc. A couple of years ago our laser player bit the dust and we have not gotten around to seeing if it's still repairable, that technology is so old, it may not be possible to repair it and so every now and then, I replace the films we really like as our budget allows. This was one I hated to lose, we were introduced to a stripped down, single film version years ago by a friend who told us it was the craziest most entertaining movie he'd ever seen. That film was called 'Shogun Assassin' and it was a rather poorly edited movie made from scraps of these original films compiled into one.
Upon researching martial arts films, my husband discovered that it was created from this series and we decided to buy the first movie. Back then, this was not readily available for rent anywhere and we were obliged to buy it if we wanted to see it. After the first pilot film, we ran out and bought the other five. Not only are the original films more cohesive than the chopped up Shogun Assassin version, but the cinematography is spectacular, capturing the presentation of those old classic Samurai movies from the 60's but in color and with an artistry to the scene compositions. I have been disappointed by some of the more contemporary Samurai flicks; some of the new ones have a rather disjointed filming style that leaves me feeling there was little to connect the story between (often well choreographed) fight scenes and I want a good story to flesh things out. There have been a few good new ones but for the most part, I like the old classics.
I mention this because there are many versions of the Lone Wolf and Cub series; it was has been reproduced for television in the 1970's with the same director (Kenji Misumi) but different actors than the series of full length films and again in early 2000 with a completely different cast and crew. My review is of the original films made starting in 1972 and on through 1974 starring Tomisaburô Wakayama as the protagonist/hero Ogami Itto.