Film Reviews, Short Review

Shogun Assassin (1980)

2.5/4

Splicing together the first two Lone Wolf and Cub films and dubbing them over into English, Shogun Assassin was originally designed to take a Japanese cult classic into the American grindhouse audience. Tomisaburo Wakayama is a master samurai who is betrayed by his shogun and has to wander the land with his infant son, whilst defending him from all manner of attacks. Having not seen any of the Lone Wolf and Cub films I cannot say what, if anything, is lost in the process of editing the first two films together, but I can certainly say that, although the film is filled with some absurdly brilliant decapitations and samurai badassery, it is also a little empty at times, shifting from set-piece to set-piece with just the basics of a narrative thread to hold it together. Certainly worth watching for any fans of GZA’s Liquid Swords though; much of the dialogue will be instantly recognisable.

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