Lone Wolf and Cub Weekend at the Royal! @ The Royal Cinema - Toronto, Toronto [from 6 to 8 July]

Lone Wolf and Cub Weekend at the Royal!


436
6 - 8
July
19:00 - 21:00

 Facebook event page
The Royal Cinema - Toronto
608 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M6G 1B4
Join us from July 6-8 as we enter meifumado during our LONE WOLF AND CUB WEEKEND. Individual tickets are $10 in advance or see all 6 films for just $30 (online only)!

SCREENINGS IN THIS SERIES:
1. LONE WOLF AND CUB: SWORD OF VENGEANCE
Friday, July 6th – 7:00pm

2. LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART AT THE RIVER STYX
Friday, July 6th – 9:00pm

3. LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART TO HADES
Saturday, July 7th – 7:00pm

4. LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART IN PERIL
Saturday, July 7th – 9:00pm

5. LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART IN THE LAND OF THE DEMONS
Sunday, July 8th – 7:00pm

6. LONE WOLF AND CUB: WHITE HEAVEN IN HELL
Sunday, July 8th – 9:00pm

About the films in this series:

1. LONE WOLF AND CUB: SWORD OF VENGEANCE
“Choose the sword, and you will join me. Choose the ball and you join your mother, in death.”

Sword of Vengeance sets the standard for the Lone Wolf and Cub titles to come with a superb mix of period-film genre tropes and blood-and-guts splatter that immediately thrust Itto Ogami into the ranks of the all-time great samurai movie icons. In this installment, the Yagyu clan led by Retsudo Yagyu plots to solidify its power by taking Ogami’s coveted position of shogun’s executioner for its own. Ogami’s wife is killed, but Itto escapes with his infant son, Daigoro, and swears vengeance. They wander the countryside as Lone Wolf and Cub, legendary assassin with child who will carry out any murder for 500 pieces of gold. Brilliant, bloody, and brutal, portions of this film were cobbled with Baby Cart at the River Styx to make 1980’s Shogun Assassin.

2. LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART AT THE RIVER STYX

In this exploitation cinema classic – which was reworked into 1980’s English-dubbed Shogun Assassin – the action and graphic violence of the Lone Wolf and Cub series was taken to delirious new heights. Itto Ogami and Daigoro continue their quest for vengeance through meifumado, the spiritual way of “demons and damnation”, pursued constantly by the Shadow Yagyu clan and the shogun’s spies. This time, a troupe of deadly female assassins are enlisted to kill father and son. And later, aboard a ship and then in the open desert, the duo confronts the Hidari Brothers, fearsome masters of death who wield mailed fists, a club, and a metal claw. The quintessential Lone Wolf and Cub movie.

3. LONE WOLF AND CUB:BABY CART TO HADES

Baby Cart to Hades opens abruptly, like the turn of a manga page, and unfolds amidst idyllic countryside scenery that contrasts sharply with the violence that occurs within it. In the first act alone, swords are drawn for vengeance and for glory but also for random senseless acts, with terrible consequences. The third Lone Wolf and Cub film follows Itto Ogami and Daigoro as they continue their journey and stumble upon a crime scene involving a group of lowlife swordsmen from the watari-kashi class. Ogami bids for the freedom of a girl sold into a live of prostitution by allowing himself to be tied up and tortured in her place. And in the climactic showdown, with Ogami facing an army of 200 men, the true secret power of the “baby cart” is revealed to rain death upon their enemies.

4. LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART IN PERIL

Switching directors for this distinctly trashy – but equally awesome – entry in the Lone Wolf and Cub series, Baby Cart in Peril frontloads the film with breasts and blood but ends up with some of the deepest reflections on the way of the samurai. Itto Ogami is hired by the Owari clan to assassinate a tattooed woman who is killing her enemies and dishonouring them by cutting off their topknots. Meanwhile, Daigoro is separated from his father when he follows a pair of traveling street performers outside of town. All alone, Daigoro is caught in a field of flames and must use his resourcefulness to save his life, under the watchful gaze of a son of the nefarious Retsudo Yagyu, who recognizes Daigoro when he wields a stick the way his father holds a sword. In the end, arch enemies Itto and Retsudo will cause each other serious damage. Samurai honour logic gets pushed to the limit with grim lines like: “How lucky it would be for a child to have a parent who’d wish for his death.”

5. LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABY CART IN THE LAND OF THE DEMONS

The first act of Baby Cart in the Land of the Demons feels almost like a video game, as Itto Ogami and Daigoro confront assorted sub-bosses while collecting coins and enough data to lead them to their final target, with Ogami’s combat skills put to the test by five different warrior-messangers. And yet, balancing physical action with Buddhist musings on life and death, this is the most spiritual of the Lone Wolf and Cub films. As the grim tale progresses, we’re brought right back to the series’ traumatized beginnings, when Itto Ogami is hired to kill a 5-year-old girl and her parents, and accepts the job. This film was director Kenji Misumi’s 4th and final contribution to the Lone Wolf and Cub series, and his second-to-last film before his death in 1975.

6. LONE WOLF AND CUB: WHITE HEAVEN IN HELL

Having run out of existing new stories from Kazuo Koike’s manga to adapt — the manga’s astounding final story arc had not yet been written at the time – for the final Lone Wolf and Cub film, star Tomisaburo Wakayama took over and decided to make the sort of wild movie he’d always wanted to: one in which Lone Wolf battles zombies and Daigoro’s baby cart zips improbably across an icy landscape on skis. With resurrected Yagyu clan warriors and a creepy horror film vibe not previously seen in the series, it’s all just preamble to White Heaven in Hell’s incredible finale: a massive battle in the snow, featuring over a hundred sword-waving stuntmen, pro athletes, and local skiers, that took a month and a half to film. The excess and action that follows conclude the Lone Wolf and Cub series on a high note of jaw-dropping achievement.

CONTENT WARNING: The Lone Wolf and Cub films contain scenes that may be upsetting or triggering to some viewers. VIewer discretion is advised.
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