Shogun Assassin

Dir: Robert Houston/Kenji Misumi
Starring: Tomisabura Wayakama, Akihiro Tomikawa

"The greatest team in the history of mass slaughter", runs the tag-line, and it's kinda hard to argue, though a viable alternative might be "The greatest hack-job in the history of cinema". You can read that either as an endorsement of the samurai sword skills on view, or the way in which several entries in the Lone Wolf and Cub series were combined into this single film. Purists might get snotty, yet what the result lacks in narrative coherence, leaping about like an amphetamine-crazed gazelle, it makes up for in ferocity, intensity and founts of arterial gore. The dubbing is variable: it's well known that the voice actors included a young Sandra Bernhard, and you can also add the directors of Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone and George of the Jungle. I guess anyone in the neighbourhood got called in. Still, nothing can detract from Wakayama's charisma as the assassin who rebels against his master, and Kazuo (Crying Freeman) Koike's blood-spattered script.


Blood, blood, glorious blood...
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