Shogun Assassin (1972/1980)

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.

Rating: 9/10.
Gore: 9/10.
Number of views: 1.

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  1. I love the Baby Cart series and while Shogun is kind of a bastardized American version, I still love it. It's just so much fun to watch in contrast to the real movies.

  2. SHOGUN ASSASSIN is mostly made up of the second movie, but watching the actual films themselves, for me, this one pales in comparison unless you just want to see most of the bloody bits and pieces joined together. It's hard to say which one is the most gruesome. Possibly LAND OF DEMONS. TRAIL OF BLOOD is another good and bloody Japanese series.

  3. One day I will be sure to go back and watch each of the films independently, but as a sucker for action and gore I had a ton of fun with this one! I dont see how I can stop at just this film now, Im basically going to have to go buy the box set now!

  4. All of the movies are around 80 minutes, so they go by pretty quickly. Roger Corman made quite a lot of money when he released it here. When LIGHTNING SWORDS OF DEATH (the third movie) was released here, it was the movie itself and no tinkering with the material.

  5. Seriously, the original films are easily worth the money. I rented all of them from Netflix and had a great time.

    Side note: you may also want to check out the live-action series. It's basically the films but done in a very truncated form. It would be best described as a cross between the films and the 1970's 'Incredible Hulk' show. Hell, even the anime is probably good.

  6. I actually had a secret alterior motive in letting my buddy from work borrow this one, since he is a little more liberal in his spending and he is sure to love it slash purchase the box set, after which I shall watch every last assassination of all of the great shoguns!