Behold The “Lone Wolf And Cub!”
If you haven’t heard of “Lone Wolf And Cub”, you are missing out on some of the most exciting japanese samurai movies ever made!
It Begins With A Manga…
“Lone Wolf and Cub” is a Japanese cult manga created by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima. A manga is the name for a japanese comic or graphic novel.
This series of graphic novels was first published in 1970. They continue to be sold around the world, as new generations are discovering the artistry and great storytelling in these works!
“Lone Wolf and Cub” is the story of Ogami Ittō, the Shogun’s executioner who uses a dōtanuki battle sword. Disgraced by false accusations from the Yagyū clan, he is forced to take the path of the assassin.
Along with his three-year-old son, Daigorō, they seek revenge on the Yagyū clan and are known as “Lone Wolf and Cub”. One thing to note: these are NOT comics! There is adult content and lots and lots of blood in these graphic novels…
These novels are well written, beautifully drawn, and very exciting! As they became more popular, they were turned into a series of terrific japanese exploitation films!
And, just like the mangas they are based on, these films are full of samurai action and bloodshed – but beautifully made and intelligently executed!
Bring On The Movies!
As I said, these incredible graphic novels were turned into some of the most exciting – and bloodiest – samurai films of the 70’s! Let’s look at this amazing series of japanese samurai adventures…
The LONE WOLF AND CUB movie series chronicles the adventures of disgraced Shogun assassin Ogami Itto and his infant son Daigoro, who sell their services to people in need while traveling the countryside in search of revenge against the hit squad who killed Itto’s wife.
In the first film of the series, “SWORD OF VENGEANCE”, Ogami escapes with his son in a wooden baby cart after an assassination attempt on his family. This is one of the most famous of the films, as it was sold overseas as “Sword Of Vengeance”, with no reference to Lone Wolf and Cub…
Here is a teaser for the movie:
The second film, “BABY CART AT THE RIVER STYX”, sees Ogami stalked by a deadly female ninja as he attempts to assassinate a spy from the Shogunate.
That’s right, they have FEMALE NINJAS! And trust me, these ladies kick ninja butt! This is a great sequel, and sets up the entire series, as the Lone Wolf and his cub set out to right the wrongs of the land, all while being pursued by their enemies!
The “Lone Wolf And Cub” continue their journey in “BABY CART TO HADES”, with Ogami coming to the aid of a prostitute who killed her pimp. But he has to undergo torture to win back her freedom.
As you can see, the films take on a number of adult topics, as well as social and political issues in Japan’s history…
In the follow-up, “BABY CART IN PERIL”, Ogami must battle a female martial arts master and defend his son from an assassination attempt by an enemy clan.
Yes, more female ninjas!
These films are well made, full of action, and the bond between father and son is very touching…and of course, lots and lots of samurai bloodshed as well!
The fifth film in the saga, “BABY CART IN THE LAND OF DEMONS”, features a duel between Ogami and five warriors who hold not only his assassin’s fee, but vital information he needs to hunt down his enemies.
Then, in the sixth and final installment in the LONE WOLF series,“WHITE HEAVEN IN HELL”, Ogami faces his ultimate challenge when all remaining members of the enemy Retsudo clan band together for a face-off on a snowy battlefield.
It is a great ending to a classic action series…this is a classic serial – an ongoing series of stories wrapped around the life of two great characters, “Lone Wolf And Cub”…
Much like the “Lethal Weapon” movies, or even a show like “Breaking Bad”, you get caught up in the lives of the characters – so every movie offers you another chance to hang out with them and root them on in their battles…
The great news is that the entire series is now available on DVD and blu-ray, and comes with some fun extras as well…it’s your chance to get to know “Lone Wolf And Cub!”
Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Books / Media, Exploitation films, Extreme Asian Cinema, Great Films, Grindhouse, Independent Cinema, Japan, Japanese Sexploitation Movies, Movies, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Sexploitation Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized