Saturday, November 15, 1980
1000bite the dust
a few particularly stand out. The
Supreme Ninja (Keyo Matsuo), a Bon-
dian lethal-glamour-girl, consistently
breaks into gleeful hyena laughter at
her own wickedness, then abruptly
halts and resumes her evil frown. When
she manages to kidnap the son and has
him poised over a bottomless well,
ready to be sacrificed for the cause of
Bad, the father shows his con-
cern-"Kill him if you dare, it will not
Later the Lone Wolf and his son are
pursued onto a ship by the three
giggling Masters of Death, and a
passenger complains 'of the car-
nage-"It makes me sick! Those swine
will kill anyone who gets in their way!
It's just bad taste!" The son keeps
track, to amuse himself, of how many
foes his father dispatches, and after one
bout with some ravenous female
warriors, muses, "Three hundred and
forty ... five."
DEFINITELY the film's most biz-
zare episode is one in which the Lone
Wolf, his son and a seemingly
unaggressive women escape a flaming
vessel andswim to an island. Having
conveniently found an abandoned hut,
the Wolf proceeds to strip himself and
then tear off the terrified lady's clothes.
Everybody knows what happens next
(heh, heh), but it doesn't-having
stripped and wrestled to the ground the
poor girl, the Wolf says, "There is no
fire. We must stay warm," so the trio
cling together maternally for the
evening, while the camera provides
some utterly off-the-wall shots of the
son contemplating his father's chest
and his surrogate mother's humungous
As if all of this wasn't enough
already, there's a wonderful climax in
which the wolf single-handedly cuts
down an entire army in the desert, and
duels with three Masters. One of the lat-
ter is colorfully slashed, but has time to
croak out a few appreciative last wor-
ds-"your technique is magnificent!
When cut at the neck, a sound like
wailing winds is made. I had always
hoped to cut someone like that, but to
have someone cut my own neck like
that is. . . .ridiculous!" Thump.
SHOGUN ASSASSIN has clean, un-
cluttered, occasionally handsome
imagery that goes far beyond the stan-
dards of American hack action work.
Still . . . Art, this is not. The U.S.
musical score of synthesizer
bleats-somewhere between Tangerine
Dream and Eurodisco-by Mark Lin-
dsay (yes, of Paul Revere and the
Raiders) is ideal for the energetically
ridiculous procession of wildly
choreographed battles, with bodies
flying through the air and then falling
lifeless to the ground with slowed-down
double-take expressions of surprise.
Divine camp, Shogun Assassin is the
most enjoyable trash to cross the
Pacific in mauled form since What's
Up, Tiger Lily?
The Lone Wolf and his two-year-old son surrounded by beautiful-but-deadly
female hit persons at the moment, but considerations of deference to the
opposite sex and being outnumbered X e hardly likely to detain the samurai
supermen back in the Japanese adventure Slhgun Assassin.
E N PI CT S
0A NEW-WORLD PICTURES RELEASE
full of the wit, the
the kind of
those of all
Vinceat Canby, N.Y. TIMES
Steve Dixon as Man and Darryl Rocky Davis as Styles (left to right) are victims of the South African apartheid gover-
nment in Sizwe Bansi is Dead' by Athol Fugard at the Canterbury Loft this Saturday and Sunday.
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