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Shogun Assassin
Shogun Assassin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
R     2006     1hr 26min

In a time of evil and tyranny, a stone-faced ronin wanders the countryside with his young son (and a weapon-filled baby cart), hunted by the merciless minions of an evil Shogun. Once a noble samurai, he is now the most fe...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Martial Arts, Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: ANIMEIGO
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/11/2006
Original Release Date: 11/11/1980
Theatrical Release Date: 11/11/1980
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 26min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Mass Slaughter
Sir Jub-Jub | Sir Jub-Jub's Lair, Alaska | 07/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Shogun Assassin" is a great film. Much "controversy" has arisen over the years regarding this film having been cobbled together from two other films in the Lone Wolf series. I think that what has been achieved is an extremely entertaining, fast-paced piece of action. By eliminating non-essential story lines and including a voice over narration, the action moves at break neck speed. The amount of blood spilled is so over the top as to be cartoonish, which only adds to the uniqueness of the movie. The DVD transfer is excellent and the restored picture is high quality. Some reviewers have complained about certain scenes being unrestored, it is actually only two shots totaling maybe five seconds in length. Both shots are of a castle and the excuse for not restoring them was that they were stock footage with no original element available. I do not know why the company had to place the disclaimer of this fact on the film, as I doubt anyone would have really noticed anyway. An added bonus on the DVD is the inclusion of the trailer which, I had never seen before. I can only imagine an audience seeing this trailer and somehow not wanting to see the film, it is awesome. Anyway, if you have never seen "Shogun Assassin" or have seen it a thousand times, buy this DVD, it is well worth it."
For once, the American version is better
Groupzero | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yes, it's recut, rewritten, rescored, dubbed, and chopped down from two separate films. Yet even my Japanese friends agree: this version of "Lone Wolf and Cub" is better than the original Japanese films. Here's why:

1)That fantastic score by Marc Lindsay (of Paul Revere & the Raiders fame), which absolutely blows away the original.

2) The brilliantly-written and witty script ("Those swine will butcher anyone who walks in their way! It's just bad taste!"). The highlight is the narration of Daigoro, which is not found in the original.

3) A really first-rate dub. (Even Daigoro's pronunciation of "harakiri" is accurate.)

4) Wall to wall action! This is truly the "good parts" version of "Sword of Vengeance" and "Baby Cart on the River Styx."

5) Lone Wolf is actually a MUCH cooler customer in this version. The American editors have gone through and carefully removed all of actor Tomisaburo Wakayama's over-the-top emotional reactions, creating virtually a new performance in the editing room. This version of Lone Wolf is more self-possessed and calmly lethal than the original Japanese version.

That much said, there are two problems with Animeigo's presentation. The lesser is the idiotic unremovable "unrestored" notice plastered over the opening shot of Himeji Castle, which could have been handled much less intrusively by a title card before the start of the film.

Far worse, though, is the image quality. This version was constructed from Animeigo's transfers of the original films (also available on DVD), yet the picture quality is not nearly as sharp as the originals'. It actually appears to be a generation down in quality. After years of neglect and bootlegging, poor "Shogun Assassin" still can't get a break!"
There will be blood
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 04/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am not usually a fan of dubbed versions of Japanese films. Most of the time, they are so poorly done I don't know why they even bother. But somehow, I find "Shogun Assassin" to be not only forgivable, but an awesome flick.

Maybe because this is more than just a dubbed version of the original film. The director, Robert Houston, spliced together the "good parts" of two films, Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance and Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx into a single story. He then hired deaf lip-readers to help him create an English-language script that was synchronized to the mouth movements, and Mark Lindsay from the band Paul Revere & the Raiders to lay out a funky synthesizer track for a score. It reminds me a bit of the animated series Robotech or even Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily? which both created new stories out of Japanese material.

Or maybe it is because "Shogun Assassin" is just so cool. The story is a simplified version of the original Lone Wolf and Cub series. You still have the wandering swordsman with his killer baby, but this time they are only fleeing from "The Shogun" instead of any complex story of clan rivalry. They are pursued by endless squads of "ninjas" which are handily and bloodily dispatched in grand style. That's about it. This is definitely the "good parts" version, and the fun comes from the endless swordfights and syntho soundtrack.

The violence here is over the top. There is one scene where a female ninja proves her prowess by fighting a battle with the Shogun's top fighter, and she slowly slices him to pieces, first fingers, then ears, then feet. It is a visual demonstration of the famous "To the pain" scene from The Princess Bride. All of the scenes go like that. No sword is drawn but body parts go flying. Good times indeed.

The entire series has been released by Animeigo in the Shogun Assassin: 5 Film Collector's Set. Chances are if you see the first one, you are going to want to see them all.
"
5 Film Collector Set Has Some New Special Features!
David Baltazar | SAN JOSE, CA United States | 07/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This review is for; Shogun Assassin: 5 Film Collector's Set

I just wanted to point out some of the new special features in this new set that wasn't available in the individual releases. Besides being released in the new box that takes ups less space than the original five snap cases, audio commentary is provided by Ric Meyers (a film scholar) and Steve Watson (a martial arts expert) as well as a video interview with Scott Houle who did the audio dubbing for parts 3, 4 & 5. Note the commentary and video interview is only on part one (Shogun's Assassin). The video interview is about 31 minutes long as Scott Houle answers a series of questions about the technical aspects of film dubbing. The other four discs in the set appear to be indentical to the individual releases the were released earlier. Also, a 26-page booklet featuring an essay, making of interview, liner notes, cast bios, black & white photos as well as "where are they now" information. Any special features from the previous released discs are still in the new boxed set such as all the trailers, photo slide shows & production notes. All of the discs are stored in a five-fold cardboard insert that slides into the outer box (similiar to typical TV series DVD sets).

Great boxed disc set to have if you want the new special features on disc one only and the booklet! Otherwise it is very identical to the prior individual releases."