Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972, Kenji Misumi)
So, a couple of posts ago I wrote about how I the first of this 6 part series about a samurai seeking revenge against the clan that framed him for treason and killed his wife was a little bit annoying because it set everything up before things got really juicy. I also wrote about how I wasn't a fan of the odd romantic subplot involving a prostitute that was introduce in the last act.
Now, Baby Cart at the River Styx, eliminates the set up (since that was already done in the first film). There is also no romantic subplot here. There is just non stop pure action and kick assness for 81 minutes and it is glorious. When I first heard about this cult classic series, this is the kind of films I pictured coming out of the series and I couldn't be happier that this one turned out exactly as I was hoping it to.
In this entry we now join Ogami Itto and his young son Daigoro, which he pushes around in a baby cart, as he is hired to kill a traitor who plans on selling his clans secrets. Things get tough for Itto as he not only learns that an all female ninja clan are seeking to kill him but also three expert fighters named "The Gods of Death" will be standing in his way protecting the traitor.
There is a stylish fight or duel every couple of minutes and the film only escalates more and more until the final showdown with the 3 "Gods of Death" in a desert which is one of the coolest fight scenes I have ever seen. There is also one sequence where Itto first encounters the all female ninja clan in the forest which is also just too damn great for words. Oh, and limbs and blood fly everywhere as well once again.
So, basically, Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx is just a bad ass awesome samurai movie that is so bad ass and awesome because it knows that it is being bad ass and awesome and it only keeps on getting more self consciously bad ass and awesome as it goes along. Really.