in about 100 words or less
Japan, 83m, Colour
Director: Kenji Misumi; Cast: Tomisaburo Wakayama, Akihiro Tomikawa, Tomoko Mayama, Taketoshi Naitô, Reiko Kasahara, Tokio Oki
Sword of Vengeance is the first of the Lone Wolf and Cub movies about a distinguished Samurai executioner turned assassin who wanders the countryside with his three-year old son after being falsely accused of treason. As the title suggests, much of the fighting involves Samurai swordplay, which usually ends in decapitation or the loss of one or more limbs and a torrent of blood spraying from a bloody stump or sometimes two. These action sequences were certainly inspired by Sanjuro (1962), and their style is quick and deliberate – also faithfully matching the graphic novels on which they are based. Stylistically, Lone Wolf and Cub’s influence has most recently and widely been represented in Tarantino’s Kill Bill movies (Klaus Ming November 2010).