Kozure Ôkami: Sanzu no kawa no ubaguruma (1972)
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- Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx
- 95 min.
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Should be on the Best Sequels list. (If anything it's better than the first of the series.)
The Lone Wolf and Cub movie series's second film, the fantastically-titled Baby Cart at the River Styx, continues its adaptation of the famous manga, and with the "origin story" out of the way, is free to develop more interesting villains and get the heroes to different parts of Japan. A lot of badassery and pathos, and Baby Cart (which is what I'm forced to call the baby, I know that's not his name) gets his first active kill. So cute! Despite the carnage! Plus, rocking geisha assassin action. I wonder if the the role of women in the series is an evolving metaphor. In Sword of Vengeance, there were a lot of visual metaphors for motherhood. Here, women are not caretakers, but relentless killers, perhaps because the kid is bonding with his father and moving away from the need for a mother figure. Of course, it's quite violent and gory, but also visually inventive and beautiful, bringing the manga to life (including a scene that I remember being parodied in an issue of Ambush Bug - so THAT'S where that came from!).
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #36 in Patrick Galloway's guide to samurai films
This movie ranks #986 in The Criterion Collection