Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Entry: Lone Wolf and Cub

I'm not industrious enough to double-check, but the plurality of my posts are related to movies. Why not, sounds good to me. It's one of the things that I really love to geek out about, to the point where I have to check myself to make sure I'm not solely using the term "film" and sounding like a complete gasbag.

Anyway, something that gives me great pleasure when browsing Wiki articles on films (see, there I go) is reading about subgenres, like chanbara, Japanese action flicks about samurai. Apparently a lot of these movies are serials featuring well-known characters. I had heard of Zatoichi the blind samurai (and by "head of" I mean "saw a parody of him on The Boondocks"), but the one that really caught me off guard with his sharp sharp katana was Lone Wolf and Cub: six films, four plays, a television series, and a 28-volume manga about a samuai, Itto, and his 3-year-old son, Daigoro, who he pushes around Japan in a baby carriage, all the while stabbing ninjas and seeking revenge for the murder of his wife.

One thing I'm not quite clear on: does Daigoro fight alongside his dad? There's a screenshot of him from one of the movies:

(D'awwwww, baby samurai!) He's holding that stick like a weapon, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's fighting. Besides, if my dad was the Shogun's grand executioner and all I got as a weapon was a lousy stick, I would be pissed. But how would they achieve that in the movies with a child actor? A midget stand-in? I found a trailer for one of them (NSFW):

which includes Daigoro brandishing the stick, but it doesn't really answer my questions. I don't speak Japanese, so I don't have the slightest clue as to what the dialogue is ("What are you, crazy? He's not even wearing armor! I should call child services.").

I'm interested in seeing these, partially because I like a good action flick, but also because the some of English names are the best titles ever given anything in recorded history:

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons

How could anyone not want to see a movie subtitled "Baby Cart to Hades?"

1 comment:

AiYume said...

The films are available with English subtitles from AnimEigo. They are quite enjoyable, especially if you like lots of fake squirting blood. There is also an edited English-dubbed version of the films that I have not watched called Shogun Assassin available from the same company.