I’ve completed 2/7ths of the Lone Wolf And Cub series and so far, I’m pretty sure I dig it. Of course, I’m a big boy and this is like a boy’s kinda movie. Old school samurai flick, lots of fake arterial spray and “violent” killings, body parts getting cut up, minimalist dialogue, shitloads of action, stoic heroism and of course, naked women. It’s based on the manga series by Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima and there’s also a TV series but I’m watching the set of 7 films from the 70s.

Main man Itto Ogami is played by Tomisaburo Wakayama, a rather rotund ronin who was the ex executioner for the shogunate. Cue “It’s Going Down”. Y’know? That annoying scritchy scratch song that’s like crap hip-hop core or wudever from ’02? For the record, I fucking hate it but here it is.

As with almost any period action flick. This is a revenge story! Ogami’s family is murdered by henchmen working under the jealous Yagyu clan, who are plotting to usurp his position. Ogami manages to escape basically because he’s the baddest bad ass in town plus he manages to get his kid out. Surviving allows him time to recollect. He resolves to throw away his samurai lifestyle for that of a ronin with just one thing on his mind: killing the sons of bitches that murdered his rather hot wifey. She has a short scene where she breastfeeds the baby where we get to see some titties before she dies meekly. He lets his kid pick between a toy ball or a sword. If the kid picks the ball, he’ll kill him to afford him a quick death to join his mother and spare him the toil of a wanderer’s life, being chased perpetually by assasins. Kid picks the sword obviously and I can see from the glint in his eye, he’s just biding his time, waiting for the opportunity to kill daddy and become the new baddest badass.

That last bit is actually totally conjecture but it is what I would write if I were the author. Thankfully, I am not. Other than the action itself, the content isn’t that bad and to be honest there’s quite a lot of beautiful shots of stuff, from desolate sand dunes to lush forests to houses and castles and whatever. It’s not quite Akira Kurosawa but it’s still good shit. Kenji Misumi directs 4 out of 7 of the movies and the first two I’ve watched are by him basically.

Most of the story revolves around how badass Ogami is. He’s the master of the Sui-O style of swordsmanship. He carries an extra long and heavy dotanbuki sword. He puts his kid in a cart laden with hidden spears and knives and tricks. He hardly says anything, just mostly grimaces or frowns. He stares hella hard. He tries desperately to look intense and serious despite his girth. His hair is hella messy. He single handedly dispatches entire armies. He cleaves peoples’ heads into 2. He looks like he’s about to rape a bitch but is actually saving her with his body warmth. He fucks a whore whilst under the threat of being exposed as a spy and brings her to ecstasy for good measure.

I kid you not.

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