DVD: Shogun Assassin (18)

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The Independent Culture

The cult film beloved of Quentin Tarantino is re-released uncut on DVD. Shogun Assassin was spliced together for the Western market in 1980 from two films from the Japanese Lone Wolf and Cub series, but was banned in the UK in 1983; a badge of pride when it was released in 2001.

A samurai warrior serves the shogun as his chief decapitator, but is betrayed when the ruler sends ninjas to kill him. They succeed only in killing his wife, forcing him to take his three-year-old son and seek revenge. The tagline – "It's impossible to keep a body count" – is no idle boast: blood sprays across most scenes. Yet, for all its extremes, the film has heart.

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