(Tomisaburo Wakayama, Kayo Matsuo, et al / DVD / R / (1980) 2006 / AmigEigo)
Overview: Long ago there was a great samurai warrior who served his Shogun honorably. The Shogun however grew paranoid as he became more and more senile. The Shogun sought to destroy all those who might stand to oppose his rule, and so he sent his ninja spies to the samurai's home. The ninjas failed to kill the samurai, but did kill his beloved wife. From then on, the samurai swore on his honor to seek out the Shogun and avenge the death of his love. The samurai roams the countryside with his toddler son taking on mercenary work for money until the final battle with the Shogun's three Masters of Death.
DVD Verdict: "Shogun Assassin" is a great film. Much "controversy" has arisen over the years regarding this film having been cobbled together from two other films in the Lone Wolf series. I think that what has been achieved is an extremely entertaining, fast-paced piece of action. By eliminating non-essential story lines and including a voice over narration, the action moves at break neck speed. The amount of blood spilled is so over the top as to be cartoonish, which only adds to the uniqueness of the movie. The DVD transfer is excellent and the restored picture is high quality. Some reviewers have complained about certain scenes being unrestored, it is actually only two shots totaling maybe five seconds in length. Both shots are of a castle and the excuse for not restoring them was that they were stock footage with no original element available. I do not know why the company had to place the disclaimer of this fact on the film, as I doubt anyone would have really noticed anyway. An added bonus on the DVD is the inclusion of the trailer which, I had never seen before. I can only imagine an audience seeing this trailer and somehow not wanting to see the film, it is awesome. Anyway, if you have never seen "Shogun Assassin" or have seen it a thousand times, buy this DVD, it is well worth it. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Daigoro's History Lesson