Lone Wolf & Cub All-Nighter

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Lone Wolf & Cub All-Nighter

Tomisaburo Wakayama must be the paunchiest bad-ass in Japanese screen history. The younger brother of Zatoichi actor Shintaro Katsu, he achieved some notoriety of his own in the 1970s when he starred in a film series based on the Lone Wolf & Cub manga. The comics tell of a former executioner for the Shogun, who now roams the land as an assassin-for-hire, wheeling his young son before him in a wooden cart. While the jowly Wakayama seemed an odd choice for the role at first, his background in judo helped him bring the necessary physical heft to the role, and the films are now considered cult classics. The first two movies in the series were mashed together in 1980 and released overseas as Shogun Assassin, which was immortalised in GZA's Liquid Swords album and later in Kill Bill Vol. 2. However, you can see four of the originals – Sword of Vengeance, Baby Cart at the River Styx, Baby Cart to Hades and Baby Cart in the Land of Demons – at this all-night screening at Ikebukuro cinephile hotspot Shin-Bungeiza. No subtitles.