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RUNNING TIME: 81 minutes
• Image Gallery
• Production Notes
Lone Wolf and Cub return for another film full of severed limbs, gallons of blood, humorous dubbing and fantastic swordplay. As an added bonus, this installment features 33% more tits than the last one!
Tomisaburo Wakayama, Yoichi Hayashi, Michi Azuma and a bunch of white people in a booth overdubbing their dialogue.
Ogami Itto was once the shogun’s favored executioner. It was his job to lop the heads off anyone who dared to show any dissent in the kingdom. Due in part to the machinations of the treacherous inspector Bizen, Ogami’s wife was murdered and he was framed for plotting against the shogun. Ogami becomes a ronin samurai and sets off on his own path, carting his young son along in a tiny buggy full of deadly booby traps.
Look at my freaking haircut, man. It’s not like you can make it any worse.
Each film in the series shows Ogami and his son Daigoro as they traverse the countryside, taking on assassination jobs for hire while avoiding the hired killers sent by the shogun. The third film in the Shogun Assassin franchise, which is actually the fourth film in the Japanese Lone Wolf and Cub series, pits Ogami against a tattooed female assassin who is taking out clans across the countryside. As he tracks the woman, he must also deal with Bizen, who is determined to finish the job he started so long ago and put Ogami six feet under.
It’s hard to measure up to the greatness that was the original Shogun Assassin. It had a rocking ‘80s synth score, featured copious amounts of violence and had an awesomely poor dub that was bad in all the right ways. Shogun Assassin 2: Lightning Swords of Death really missed the mark in trying to measure up to the original. The dub was fine, there wasn’t much action in the film and there was barely any music at all. Fortunately, whatever fine film company that took over and molested Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril did a fine job. Shogun Assassin 3: Slashing Blades of Carnage isn’t as good as the original, but it brings back many of the elements that made the original samurai fest so enjoyable.
Someone go get Billy Mays and his OxiClean. We’ve got a code red on aisle three.
The dubbing is once again atrocious in the best way, especially that of Ogami. The strained grunts and yells of the voice actor responsible for the dub really emphasize the killer nature within Ogami. Unfortunately, the first person voiceover of Daigoro present in Shogun Assassin doesn’t return for the third installment. That voiceover was used mainly to link the two Lone Wolf and Cub films together for Shogun Assassin, but it also gave some insight into the head of the character. For the purposes of this film, Daigoro’s bored expressions and yelps for his father will have to suffice. Maybe he’s still bitter over his terrible haircut and refuses to narrate in protest.
The grating soundtrack also makes its triumphant return with Shogun Assassin 3. It’s not radical ‘80s synth straight out of Gymkata, but it does sound like the soundtrack to a Sega Master System game at times.
Something goes seriously wrong at Cirque de Soleil.
None of the Shogun Assassin films are in short supply of violence and the third installment is no exception to the rule. Severed arms, slashed arteries, decapitations, seppuku, and impaled eyeballs are the status quo in this film. The blood is always the familiar cherry colored red to make sure no one gets too offended at the wanton slaughter. It’s hard to find the climactic scene of Kill Bill very impressive once you revisit the Shogun Assassin universe and see just how many poor soldiers are forced to give themselves “the stranger” for the rest of their lives after Ogami cuts their arms off.
Shogun Assassin 3 doesn’t quite reach the high water mark set by the original, but it comes close enough to still be a lot of fun. Swords, sandals and sultry women still make for a remarkable combination in our day and age.
Dr. Giggles defeats Flaming Swordsman. Flawless victory.
Given the history behind the Lone Wolf and Cub manga and the movie series, you’d think a few interesting featurettes could be created. Maybe, but you won’t find them here. The only information is contained in a small program notes section that defines a few Japanese terms and attempts to put the movie in historical perspective. You know, just in case you wanted to know if a movie featuring 300 severed limbs didn’t fudge around with history. There’s also a black and white image gallery if you enjoy seeing the same stuff you saw in the original film, just in a different tint and not in motion.