LONE WOLF AND CUB: SWORD OF VENGEANCE (kozure okami: ko o kashi ude kashi tsukamatsuru) (1972 JAPAN) D: KENJI MISUMI W: KOZUO KOIKE P: SHINTARO KATSU/HISAHARU MATSUBARA
Tomisaburo Wakayama stars in this, the first of a classic and very different chambara series. He`s Itto Ogami, the head executioner for the Shogunate who is framed for murder by an evil, rival clan. After they kill his wife, he is forced to become a wandering ronin, dedicated to avenging her death and to follow the road of demons to hell. What makes this series unique though, is that Ogami takes his son Daigoro along with him in a specially constructed wooden pram. The scene where Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa) must choose the path of the sword or of toys is a memorable one. Whereas most chambara are pretty restrained in their outbursts of violence, this has geisers of blood jetting out of victims at an alarming rate. It`s recommended to both fans of Japanese cinema and gorehounds alike. Parts of this were edited into LIGHTNING SWORDS OF DEATH, which was considered the official first entry for years. Footage can also be found in the excellent, introductory best-of-the-violence SHOGUN ASSASSIN. Then you should watch each individual episode. You should really check out the source material, Kozuko Koike and Goseki Kojima`s hit manga series, too. Next was...

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