DVD Review: Lone Wolf and Cub - Baby Cart To Hades (1972) (Super Samurai Week 2013 Day 3)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Wednesday, November 27, 2013 0 comments

Day three of Super Samurai Week 2013 brings us favorite hitman and son for two more adventures wrapped up in a bloody package called "Baby Cart To Hades".  The film starts off with Ogami and his son riding a boat down a river and they meet a very panicky young woman and a guy who is trying to calm her down.  Ogami is told that he can't put his baby cart on the boat but he doesn't mind and shows that the baby cart can act as a boat of its very own and ties it to the back of the boat so they can drag it with them.  We then cut to a small bar where we see some very bad men drinking and complaining about not having sex for a long time.  A man, his wife and her mother just happen to stroll by so the bad men start following them.  The bad men knock out the man and proceed to rape the wife and her mother in a very brutal way.  The husband comes to and starts attacking the bad men but out comes a samurai and slices him down.  The samurai then proceeds to slash the two women which instantly kills them.  The samurai tells the men to draw a straw and then he kills the one who drew the shortest straw.  Amongst all this commotion Ogami happens to walk by and witnesses them trying to cover up the gruesome rape/murder scene.  The samurai apologizes to Ogami and then asks him to duel him but Ogami refuses and carries on.  We then go to a hotel where the panicky woman and the guy that she was with are staying the night.  Turns out the woman is a sex slave that the man bought for his pleasure (I hope he bought extended warranty because I don't see this ending well).  The sex slave doesn't want to live out the rest of her life being his concubine and then murders the man (yep, didn't end well indeed).  The police immediately turn up trying to look for her but lucky enough Ogami is there to try to protect her.  Will Ogami fight the law?  Will the law win? (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

Just like the rest of the films so far we get spoilt with a second tale.  The second story has Ogami taking on a job to kill a very wealthy man.  Ogami then travels to a town where his services are required and the person who wants to hire him is none other than the wealthy man that he is supposed to kill.  The wealthy man offers Ogami a job but he refuses and then the wealthy man refuses to let him leave as he knows too much.  Ogami pulls out his sword and the wealthy man has no choice but to let him go.  The wealthy man is confused as to why Ogami would refuse a job until he puts two and two together and figures out why.  The wealthy man gets very paranoid and hires his best men to not only protect him but to also take out Ogami as well (yikes).  One man army vs. an actual army?  This has bloodbath written all over it.

I just love how this series manages to fit two whole stories in an eighty minute package and both of them are so filling in a very satisfying way and you can't help but to feel rewarded after watching the whole film.  Both of the tales in this film are simple and easy to follow which makes it very relaxing to watch and also very intense at the same time.  "Story B" was defiantly better than "Story A" for several reasons (which you will find out in the next paragraph) but not to say that "Story A" was bad as it was very decent.  Some scenes did drag on for a little bit as they focused on some scenery way too much making you want to check your watch although it is an improvement after the dragging scenes from the prior film "Baby Cart at the River Styx".

The acting during the first half of the film was very goofy to the point where it was laughable as it looked like flags blowing in the wind due to their facial expressions going all over the place and the way they said their lines was like watching an episode of Power Rangers (Go,Go Ogami! Doo le do doo do).  This was especially bad during the rape scene where I didn't know whether to laugh or gasp in horror but it did make the scene disturbing as it looked like they were being raped by Puttys (Power Ranger villains).  Although it doesn't ruin the movie one bit but it does take away some of the serious tone from this movie.  Second half of the film has none of that cartoon acting and is all serious and it will make you forget about the muppet acting from the first half.

Action in this film isn't as gruesome as it has been as the prior films but that doesn't stop this from having some of most exciting battle scenes this series has to offer.  One of the main reasons why the action is so badass in this film is because of the introduction to guns and projectile weapons.  The mixture of gun and sword play is done so well in this film and turns it into a bizarre hybrid of samurai and western films.

The special features are just like the ones from the first two movies but themed after this one.  If you don't know what I'm on about let me just tell you what you get:  Promotional pictures,  production notes, and trailers for some of the movies in the "Lone Wolf and Cub" series.  If you can overlook some of the cheesiness in the first half of the film you will find this to be a very good installment in this series.  I defiantly recommend grabbing some friends and beers (and maybe some barbecue or cheese and onion flavored chips) for a viewing of this cult classic samurai film. 

That wraps up the third day of this year's Super Samurai Week. Tomorrow you will find a review of the fourth film in the series titled: "Baby Cart in Peril".  I'm sure as hell looking forward to that review (and also the rest of them for that matter) but until then it's time for this sword to return to it's sheathe.

Title: Lone Wolf and Cub - Baby Cart To Hades
Directed by: Kenji Misumi
Starring: Tomisaburo Wakayama
Genre: Action
Running Time: 89 minutes
Distributor: Madman Entertainment/ Eastern Eye (www.madman.com.au)
Rating: MA15+ (High level violence)
Price: $39.95 (as part of "Lone Wolf and Cub Ultimate Collection")
Recommended: Yes


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