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Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (Kozure Ôkami: Kowokashi udekashi tsukamatsuru) (1972)

  Directed by: Kenji Misumi
Written by: Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima
Starring: Tomisaburo Wakayama
Links: Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 10.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"How many million times did Quentin Tarantino watch this?" - a review by timchuma

Itto Ogami is the executioner for the Shogun, a position that gains him enemies when he does his duty and executes the young lord of a fiefdom.

Flash forward a couple of years and Itto is pushing his son in a baby cart, with a banner attached to his back stating 'Arms for Hire. Child for Hire.'

Some passing travellers are puzzled by the 'child for hire' part of his banner, but this is explained when a crazy woman runs up and grabs the kid. The woman's mother follows and explains what is with her while the crazy woman tries to get the kid to breastfeed. When he learns the situation, Itto tells the kid to let the woman feed him, then she leaves and he refuses to accept payment because the woman has done him a service by feeding his son.

As he walks on, it starts to rain and another flashback reveals the events that led to his current lifestyle. The Ogami family is slaughtered and Itto is framed in a plot by the Black Yongus to gain power with the Shogun. Itto decides to disobey the Shogun's orders and 'live the life of a demon'. This leads to a confrontation when the Shogun's messengers arrive and the Black Yongus are waiting outside for him. He has no choice but to be exiled and he and his son Diagio become the 'Lone Wolf and Cub'.

Back in the present, it is still raining and Itto is observed by three men who wonder if he really is the Shogun's former executioner. Two of the men agree to die to find out if his skills are any good.

The third man approaches him and requests his services. Itto's fee is 500 Ryo, no matter which people he kills, on the condition that he knows the situation (cue the two men trying to catch him off guard and being killed). The remaining man tells him what he has to do.

On the way to his job, Itto is reminded of how he made Diagio choose between the life of an assassin (the sword) or to join his dead mother (the ball). He regrets that his son chose the harder option.

He is crossing the bridge to the spa where he has to do the hit when he is stopped by two thugs who are part of a gang hired to carry out a political assassination. To say that they are brutal would be putting it lightly.

Seeing the number of men involved, Itto bides his time and lets himself be pushed around just so the gang gains a false sense of security. This means they will suspect nothing when the time comes to carry out the hit...

Oh my God! Shit! Unbelievable! Just some of my reactions to the incredible action scenes in this movie.

This film is based on a traditional Japanese story, but it plays out like a classic Western movie. There is enough blood spilt to make Quentin Tarantino cringe, and flying limbs abound.

A very dark movie, but its sense of style is probably what has brought it such a large cult following overseas. There are seven films in this series and I can't wait to see the other six now.

timchuma gives this movie 10 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 24 Mar 2005

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Reader comments

  1. your a dumb shit

    A comment from deoof on Thu 24 Mar 2005 22:45 #

  2. WHAT! i saw this film in the seventies! its a shocker. No one in their right mind would give it a ten! boooooo

    A comment from Lord. G. K on Thu 24 Mar 2005 22:53 #

  3. this review is 90 story. then only critical insight is "Oh my God! Shit! Unbelievable! Just some of my reactions to the incredible action scenes in this movie."

    A comment from BEEE on Fri 25 Mar 2005 15:58 #

  4. If you don't like it, pull your finger out of your arse and build your own fucking review site!

    A comment from nofreelist's own timchuma on Sat 26 Mar 2005 15:34 #

  5. please! no need to use such strong language. Deal with criticism in a more practical way. ACTUALLY LISTEN TO IT - IT WOULD HELP.

    A comment from language! on Sun 27 Mar 2005 22:25 #

  6. you cant be a critic who refuses to accept criticism. And their criticisms are justified.

    A comment from casey. on Mon 28 Mar 2005 18:43 #

  7. What is the point of giving every movie 10 out of 10 no matter how bad it is?

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from Ebert on Sun 03 Apr 2005 13:51 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 1.00 (1 rating)

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