Posts Tagged ‘Goseki Kojima’

Haunted Samurai (1970)

Monday, December 4th, 2023

HAUNTED SAMURAI, a.k.a. SHINOBI DEMON: DUEL IN THE WIND, a.k.a. KAZE NO TENGU (1970), is an obscure samurai movie I uncharacteristically blind-bought from Diabolik DVD. It’s apparently never been on video and they made a limited edition blu-ray and I went for it.

Diabolik say it’s “based on the works of Goseki Kojima, the artist behind the legendary Lone Wolf and Cub.” Not the writer, Kazuo Koike, who was involved in quite a few movies, but the illustrator, Kojima. According to the film historian commentary track it’s based on a manga he wrote and illustrated, and it sounds like he calls it “Donenke” or something like that, but I could find no information about it anywhere. The opening credits do play over what looks like Kojima’s art.

(Update: It’s called Doninki [土忍記, “Earth Ninja Chronicles”] Thanks Matthew B.!)

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Lone Wolf and Cub: Babycart in the Land of Demons

Tuesday, June 27th, 2023

As a serial discusser of movies, I often run into this thing where I find that other people put a way higher premium than I do on things being logical, or realistic, or believable. They complain about characters making a bad choice or a strange choice or not doing the obvious choice. They seem to think it’s better for characters and stories to be normal, or sane.

Yeah, sometimes, occasionally, maybe, in moderation. Sure. But there are also times when it’s an intentional artistic approach, and clearly a great one, to depict the way the world works, and the way humans behave, in a heightened manner. It can be way more interesting for characters to be extreme, to act unreasonably. It can even be more true to show life how it feels, instead of how it actually is. Or it can just be way more fun to show life how it’s not.

Case in point: LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART IN THE LAND OF DEMONS (1973), the fifth of the six LONE WOLF AND CUB movies. As always it’s a story about traveling assassin Ogami Itto (Tomisaburo Wakayama, THE BAD NEWS BEARS GO TO JAPAN), a.k.a. Lone Wolf and Cub, being hired to kill someone. Usually people hire him by leaving money at a shrine. This time there’s a much more complicated method. A guy gets his attention by walking around wearing a veil with ox-head and stallion-head demons painted on it. When Ogami asks him about it the guy pulls out a sword and quickly loses a duel to him. (read the rest of this shit…)