A defective samurai and his infant son must battle their way through hordes of ninjas and enemy warriors on the path to destroy their evil shogun leader. SHOGUN ASSASSIN is blood-soaked Japanese cinema at its best, taking the classic samurai Action/Adventure premise and pushing it to the limits of extreme violence and gore. The Americanized version of the film released in 1980 is actually an amalgamation of the first and second films from the LONE WOLF AND CUB series, removing much of the slower exposition from each in order to increase the rapid-fire action sequences. Wakayama's stern, calculated performance as the vengeful Ogami is one of the film's greatest strengths, lending credibility to the role even after much of the character's background had been stripped away. SHOGUN'S exaggerated comic book framing and fight choreography make every fight fresh and engaging, while the geysers of blood, severed heads, and flying limbs make this the perfect stepping stone to draw Horror purists into the excessive world of Asian action and gore that would inspire filmmakers like Quentin Tarentino for decades to follow.
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