That's actually my second favourite film in the series, after River Styx.
The fight in the shrine is still shockingly violent.
I should watch the whole series again. I haven't seen them since I showed selected entries to Heka back in 2011 when I was in Finland. Oh, the good old days
The first time I saw the series was when I was about to graduate from high school. I remember I was watching Lone Wolf and Cub the night before my graduation day... I have a lot of nostalgic memories about this series
Yeah, it's a great movie.
I think this series of Lone Wolf and Cub movies is among the finest of Japanese Chanbara/genre exploitation cinema. This series of movies just features the best of everything from Japanese cinema in 6 movies, in my opinion.
I mean, when we are talking about genre cinema with this kind of visual, theatrical manga aesthetic brought to live film, I can't think of any better series than Lone Wolf and Cub in this style. There's the 2 Lady Snowblood movies, which I like a lot and consider great companion movies to Lone Wolf. Then there is the Hanzo the Razor series, which I like but as movies still consider inferior to Both Lady Snowblood and Lone Wolf.
And throughout Japanese samurai movies there's pieces of this aesthetic; like the duel in Sanjuro with the highly stylized death. And it's scattered throughout many other movies, this visual tradition that comes from the woodblock printings and the manga books that depict the mythology of Japan. I mean, you can even find it in Yukio Mishima's movie 'Patriotism' - this beauty of death drawing a painting in blood on the white stage.
Lone Wolf and Cube unites all these aspects of Japanese culture in these 6 movies, in my opinion. I think this is what makes the series so strong.
My absolutely first encounter with this aesthetic was when I was 10 years old and for the first time played Tenchu: Stealth Assassins on the Playstation 1 around 1999-2000. Then I heard the 'Liquid Swords' album på GZA/Genius with the sampled Shogun Assassin segments as intros for the songs, and looked at the album cover and recognized that style. Wu-tang: Taste the Pain was a pretty fucking awesome game too with its over-the-top violent fighting. Saw Shogun Assassin a few years later, and found out about the Lone Wolf movies afterwards.
Yeah, movie-wise childhood years was a good fucking time.