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Rating: 8 stars

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Japan samurai escort protection bodyguard sword fight Ninja child tku-tv chanbara dkutv horses chase

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Seen on: 08/17/2020

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Shogun's Shadow (1989)

Directed by Yasuo Furuhata

Action | Adventure | Thriller

Most recently watched by sleestakk

Overview

Iemitsu, Tokugawa Shogun III, hates his eldest son Takechiyo; all his love is given to his younger son Tokumatsu. One day, he orders Takechiyo to an initiation rite in Yedo (today’s Tokio). Takechiyo lives far away under the surveillance of Hotta Masamori, head of the Skura clan, where he was also raised. Hotta does suspect some kind of treachery, but he can not ignore the direct command of the Shogun. Therefore, he starts on his travel with Takechiyo and seven accompanying samurais. A large army under the command of Iba Shoemon, a vassal of the Shogun, attacks their night camp in the vicinity of a copper mine. Hotta dies in this first battle, but Takechiyo and the samurai manage to escape. They are chased by the army, and several skirmishes between the small force and the larger army follow.

Length 114 minutes

Actors

Sonny Chiba | Tetsurō Tamba | Hu Jian Qiang | Ken Ogata | Tadashi Naruse | Hiroyuki Nagato | Yuji Oda | Norihito Arai | Toshihiro Asari | Miyuki Kanou | Masaki Kyômoto | Hiroki Matsukata | Takeshi Maya | Sayoko Ninomiya | Ippei Shigeyama | Seizô Fukumoto

Viewing Notes

Holy shit this movie. Get this damn thing on Blu already. This is a balls to the wall action thriller from the word go and could’ve been called SEVEN SAMURAI ON THE RUN bc that’s what this is… seven mercs for hire given a job to protect a kid, the eldest son of the shogun who wants him dead, and escort the kid to Edo. The super skilled samurai face gangs and armies ruled by the shogun and led by Evil Sonny Chiba. It’s literally road trip Seven Samurai with the big stunt filmmaking of the 1980s… big explosions and crazy stunts amid sword fighting and bloodshed. It’s nuts!

I’ve never seen Ken Ogata in a film like this where he’s the badass samurai hero. He was 52 at the time and so impressive fucking dudes up. The final big setpiece reminded me of 13 ASSASSINS. I’m overdue on a revisit for that one.

If there is a downside it’s the insane danger they put these horses thru. I had to look away a few times bc it’s so violent. I don’t believe they had any animal safety personnel on these sets or if they did they didn’t do much. It’s rough. I almost wonder if that could be reason this movie is not available on home media here. Probably not but eesh those scenes are not easy to watch.

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