Lone Wolf and Cub: Babycart at The River Styx/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
In this installment of the classic Lone Wolf and Cub series, Ogami Itto (Tomisaburo Wakayama) and his baby son Daigoro are hired by a clan to rescue one of their men who holds a secret in regards to a rare purple dye which the Shogunate want to get their hands on. The main obstacle is the fact the man with the dye is going to be kidnapped by the Hidari brothers. The brothers all have special weaponry skills. One uses a mace glove, one uses a spiked club and the other a razor sharp hand claw.
Meanwhile, The leader of the evil Yagyu Clan, Retsudo has sent one of his soldiers Bizen to the meet with the female Akashi Yagyu Clanswomen. Bizen explains that they have sworn to kill Ogami Itto and his son by any means necessary and needs the Clanswomens' help. The leader of the female Yagyu orders one of Bizen's ninja soldiers to a match with her minion. Let me tell ya, these chicks do not mess around. They systematically chop off every piece of this guy. From his ears to his arms. Pretty soon hes nothing but a bloody torso. After witnessing this, Bizen is convinced that the Clanswomen are up to par on their assassin skills.
While walking on the road to rescue to the dyemaker, Ogami and Daigoro are confronted by the Akashi Yagyu Clanswomen assassins. These wolf women come dressed in sheeps clothing. Some are incognito as performers, some are dressed as poor washwomen. They are super deadly and they give Ogami a real match. Little Daigoro gets annoyed by their attempts so he helps his father by pressing a latch on the Babycart, releasing a large blade which stabs one of the women.
In one awesome sequence, The Yagyu send another small army of ninja after Ogami. They steal his sword from him, so he goes with Plan B. He pushes the babycart towards the ninja and the wheel blades pop out, striking and chopping off some of their legs! Then he connects up his special duel bladed sword of death and goes to town. The red blood spurts and sprays like garden hoses!
After this, Ogami is extremely spent and begins to stumble. Luckily, they find a small cabin, where he collapses. Daigoro is left by himself and he goes out to get some water. Since he keeps spilling it from his hands, he keeps the water in his mouth and feeds it to Ogami. He also finds a religious Japanese statue where a local has left some dumplings as a gift. Daigoro keeps his honor by removing his jacket and leaving that as a gift for the statue. He takes the dumplings back to Ogami and tears pieces up to help him eat some.
Nearby is a sound of pounding drums, and when Daigoro hears them he walks outside to see where its coming from. Pretty soon, Ogami awakes and sees Daigoro is gone. He is confronted by one of the Yagyu who leads him to a clearing. The scum have hung Daigoro up over a deep well. Ogami wants his son back, and explains that he and Daigoro are cursed, they are not like regular people. He says he will accept this fate if it must be so. The Yagyu ask him why he wants to rescue his son then. He must love him. Ogami answers that even demons should not give up trying even if they are cursed. The Yagyu drop the rope, but Ogami grabs it and takes out the killers just in time and then pulls Daigoro up to safety.
The next place they need to go is on the shuttle boat to rescue the dyemaker from the Hidari brothers. When the brothers find out that Ogami is onboard, instead of fighting him, they just set fire to the boat, and escape, leaving Ogami and Daigoro and many others to burn. Ogami throws Daigoro (in babycart) into the water and uses a staff to pole vault over the flames. Next up, a showdown in the desert with the Hidari brothers! Awesome!
This is one of my top favorite films in the series next to Babycart To Hades. Its directed expertly by Kenji Misumi. Its got lots of cool action sequences, badass characters, lots of blood spraying/spurting, limb chopping, tender moments and humor. Highly recommended!
Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He is currently majoring in Communications and Interactive Media Design.