Thursday, December 15, 2016

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril (1972)


This film made me feel a very specific type of cinephile shame. Of the four Lone Wolf and Cub films that I've seen so far, I like this one best. So where does shame come into the equation? My shame comes from the fact that this is the first film in the series not directed by the legendary Kenji Misumi who, in addition to directing the bulk of this series, also directed six of the Zatoichi films. This is the one and only film in the series directed by Buichi Saito whose filmography is filled with films only an aficionado in Japanese cinema might recognize. I swear I'm not saying all of this to be a contrarian. I'm not trying to be "that guy" who prefers Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music to Transformer. I'm not even saying it is a masterpiece. Like the other films it suffers from not being able to successfully balance the ongoing story with the "adventure of the week". But thanks to Saito's particular use of pans, tracking shots and push-ins, my attention was maintained throughout the litany of endings. Perhaps I should track down more Buichi Saito films. Maybe I'll be the guy who "discovers" this forgotten master! Or maybe I'll just be that contrarian guy.

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