Available on DVD !
To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat
Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
you might want !!!
Itto Ookami (Tomisaburo Wakayama) is the shogun's sole executioner ...
especially when he beheads the wrong people at the wrong time. But
additionally to that, there's also the Yagyu clan, the shogun's official
assassins, who have laid their eyes on his position as executioner. So
Retsudo Yagyu (Tokio Oki), shadow leader of the Yagyus, cooks up a plan to
legally get rid of him ... first he has Ookami's wife Azami (Reiko
Wasahara) killed & evidence planted that might prove Ookami guilty ...
then police inspector Bizen Yagyu (Taketoshi Naito) is sent to arrest
Ookami ... but Ookami, innopcent, doesn't go down without a fight, &
he soon kills Bizen - which of course makes Ookami a criminal & gives
the Yagyus all justification in the world to hunt him down ...
soon wanders the country, only his trusted sword & his 3-year-old son
Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa), whom he pushes around in a babycart, on his
side, always ready to fight, & kill, Yagyu-assassins - who have yet to
prove strong enough to kill him.
However, since on his travels through
the country he does need money, he rents out his services as
Soon he accepts the job of saving a feudal lord from
the clutches of evil chamberlain Sugito (Fumio Watanabe), who has hired a
gang of assassins to ambush their victim in a quiet spa ... & once
Ookami arrives there he has to realize the gang of assassins, led by
ruthless Kanbei & his second in command Monosuke, have already put up
camp there & are terrorizing especially the tourists. Ookami is
reluctant to give away his true identity too soon, & rather accepts
the assassins humiliations, as they soon force him to publicly make love
to a whore (Tomoko Mayama), to save her life & his own.
whore realizes there's more to Ookami than meets the eye, especially by
the fact that he can still perform even though his life is threatened,
& she soon tries to become friends with him & Daigoro, while the
other tourists dismiss both her - bwecause she's a whore - & him -
because he has let himself be humiliated -, while they are incapable of
improving their own situation ...
Soon the assassins, knowing their
victim is about to hit town, prepare to kill the tourists, just to not be
givn away, when Ookami pulls his small arsenal from Daigoro's babycart
(where the assassins have never suspected weapons) & pretty much
single handedly mows down (in the truest sense of the word) Kanbei,
Monosuke & his gang ...
Having done his job, he leaves (most
possibly to collect) with Daigoro, not waiting for the others, who have
never accepted him in the first place, to thank him for saving their
lives, & when the whore, the only one who has put his trust in him,
tries to follow, he sends her away by almost threatening her life.
on an - in Japan - immensely popular comicbook, Sword of Vengeance
(& the whole Lone Wolf and Cub-series that followed)
features one of the more unlikely hroes of the samurai-genre: A (caring)
father, both on the run & on a quest for vengeance, who invariably
pushes his young son around in a baby cart, even into battle - which he
wins most of the time by brutally & graphically dismembering his
Truth to be told, this film might not be a masterpiece of
samurai cinema (nor is any of the whole film-series), as beneath the
original surface it does lack subtlety, & somehow Ookami always comes
out the shining hero, if a most unlikely one. But that said, the film
moves at a considerable pace, features great bloody fights, & thus
stays entertaining thgoughout.
The producer, Shintaro Katsu, by the way,
is lead actor Tomisaburo Wakayama's elder brother, who has made a name for
himself as an actor playing Zatoichi in the long-running
series of movies from the 1960's & 1970's.