Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (1973)

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7.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great looking action

Weaker story

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Lone Wolf and Cub:  Baby Cart in the Land of Demons

Studio:  Toho

Genre(s):  Martial Arts/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  August 11, 1973

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

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Ittō, you will be mine…oh yes you will be mine!

Ogami Ittō (Tomisaburo Wakayama) and his son Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa) have a new assignment.  Five men have brought them five hundred ryo and an assignment:  stop the delivery of a message from unlawfully allowing a young girl to take control of her father’s house.  Along the way, Ittō faces challenges and Daigoro must prove his own worth as well.  The return of Ittō’s enemy Yagyū Retsudō (Minoru Ohki) could thwart Ittō’s attempt and threaten the mission.

Directed by Kenji Misumi, Lone Wolf and Cub:  Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (子連れ狼 冥府魔道 or Kozure Ōkami: Meifumando which translates to Wolf with Child in Tow:  Crossroads to Hell) is a samurai action film produced by Toho.  Following Lone Wolf and Cub:  Baby Cart in Peril in 1972, the film is the fifth entry in the series based on Kazuo Koike’s classic manga series which ran from September 1970 to April 1976.  The film was released in the United States as Shogun Assassin 4:  Five Fistfuls of Gold.

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That’s right…I’m a kid getting flogged…and I don’t care!

I love the Lone Wolf and Cub series.  The film continues the story and style of the previous films, but it is one of my least favorite entires in the series.  Though the movie is still fun, structural problems in this film do hurt it.

The movie feels a bit incomplete.  The story just wanders a bit and keeps adding facets to the plot.  It becomes bogged down and the movies work best when they are simplistic.  There is an odd moment in the film in which Daigoro has his own adventure (which is more in line with the simplistic nature) with a pickpocket named “Quick Change” Oyô (Tomomi Sato) but it is completely stand alone.  Thematically, it shows how Daigoro is growing up and becoming independent, but it is random within an already strung out, wandering story.

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No peeing or bleeding out in the pool!

Tomisaburo Wakayama and Akihiro Tomikawa continue to be a great combo.  The director does a good job getting a nice performance from the child and I can’t imagine how many takes it takes. Tomisaburo Wakayama is solemn and brooding as Ittō and he is good as his father who is willing to put his child in danger.

Visually, Lone Wolf and Cub continues to excel.  The movie is extreme cinema and highly visual.  Blood flies along with limbs in all the films and this entry doesn’t disappoint though it seems that there is less slaughter than some of the entries.

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Ouch…that’s going to leave a mark!

Lone Wolf and Cub:  Baby Cart in the Land of Demons keeps the tradition of the other films and each film feels more like a piece of a bigger story.  The movie might be the second to last film, but it feels no signs of slowing…meaning you shouldn’t expect much of a character arc for Ittō.  Lone Wolf and Cub:  Baby Cart in the Land of Demons is followed by Lone Wolf and Cub:  White Heaven in Hell in 1974.

Related Links:

Lone Wolf and Cub:  Sword of Vengeance (1972)

Lone Wolf and Cub:  Baby Cart at the Rive Styx (1972)

Lone Wolf and Cub:  Baby Cart to Hades (1972)

Lone Wolf and Cub:  Baby Cart in Peril (1972)

Lone Wolf and Cub:  White Heaven in Hell (1974)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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