The Criterion Collection Announces Lone Wolf and Cub Remastered Edition for Blu-Ray
The Criterion Collection suddenly got my interest more than the usual with their recent announcement of a remastered version of the franchise Lone Wolf and Cub.
The avant-garde group recently released new details for their Criterion Club Lone Wolf and Cub set which will feature ALL the movies from based on the classic Japanese manga.
Based on the best-selling manga series, the six intensely kinetic Lone Wolf and Cub films elevated chanbara to bloody new heights. The shogun’s executioner, Itto Ogami (Tomisaburo Wakayama), takes to wandering the countryside as an assassin—along with his infant son Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa) and a seemingly infinitely weaponized perambulator—helping those he encounters while seeking vengeance for his murdered wife. Delivering stylish thrills and a body count that defies belief, Lone Wolf and Cub is beloved for its brilliantly choreographed action sequences as well as its tender depiction of the bonds between a parent and a child.
As we mentioned earlier, the set will feature all of the movies featuring the violent adventures of this father-and-son team. The list of movies which you’ll find when you order include:
LONE WOLF AND CUB: SWORD OF VENGEANCE
Kenji Misumi 1972
The inaugural film in the Lone Wolf and Cub series immediately thrust Itto Ogami into the ranks of the all-time great samurai movie icons.
LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART AT THE RIVER STYX
Kenji Misumi 1972
This exploitation-cinema classic took the action and graphic violence of the Lone Wolf and Cub series to delirious new heights.
LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART TO HADES
Kenji Misumi 1972
The third Lone Wolf and Cub film follows Itto Ogami and Daigoro as they stumble upon a crime scene involving a group of lowlife swordsmen from the watari-kashi class.
LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART IN PERIL
Buichi Saito 1972
In this distinctly lowbrow entry in the Lone Wolf and Cub series, Itto Ogami is hired by the Owari clan to assassinate a tattooed woman who is killing her enemies and cutting off their topknots.
LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART IN THE LAND OF DEMONS
Kenji Misumi 1973
Balancing physical action with Buddhist musings on life and death, the most spiritual of the Lone Wolf and Cub films finds Ogami’s combat skills put to the test by five different warrior-messengers.
LONE WOLF AND CUB: WHITE HEAVEN IN HELL
Yoshiyuki Kuroda 1974
In the final Lone Wolf and Cub film, star Tomisaburo Wakayama decided to make the sort of wild movie he’d always wanted to: one in which Lone Wolf battles zombies and Daigoro’s baby cart zips improbably across an icy landscape on skis.
of course this wouldn’t be a Criterion Collection without those bloody juicy features and bonus content. For the CC Lone Wolf and Cub fans can expect the following:
- New 2K digital restorations of all six films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays
- High-definition presentation of Shogun Assassin, a 1980 English-dubbed reedit of the first two Lone Wolf and Cub films
- New interview with Kazuo Koike, writer of the Lone Wolf and Cub manga series and screenwriter on five of the films
- Lame d’un père, l’âme d’un sabre, a 2005 documentary about the making of the series
- New interview in which Sensei Yoshimitsu Katsuse discusses and demonstrates the real Suio-ryusword techniques that inspired the ones depicted in the manga and films
- New interview with biographer Kazuma Nozawa about Kenji Misumi, director of four of the six films
- Silent documentary from 1939 about the making of samurai swords, with an optional new ambient score by Ryan Francis
- New English subtitle translations
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay and film synopses by Japanese pop-culture writer Patrick Macias