A sort of remake of Lone Wolf and Cub for the western market condensing the series in one film. In 1980, Americans David Weisman (producer) and Robert Houston (director) stumbled upon the Japanese Lone Wolf and Cub films (in turn based on a hugely successful manga comic book), and realised that while Western Audiences at the time would lap up the violent battles, they might not be ready for the Chanbara genre’s comparatively slow pacing and period politics. They decided to take the best bits of Lone Wolf and Cub parts 1 and 2, and add their own dubbing and simplified plot. Shogun Assassin was born, and is probably responsible to this day for the Chanbara movie’s arrival in the West. Best approached as an introduction to the Lone Wolf and Cub legend.
The story is of a great samurai warrior who served his Shogun honorably. The Shogun however grew paranoid as he became more and more senile. The Shogun sought to destroy all those who might stand to oppose his rule, and so he sent his ninja spies to the samurai’s home. The ninjas failed to kill the samurai, but did kill his beloved wife. From then on, the samurai swore on his honor to seek out the Shogun and avenge the death of his love. Hr roams the countryside with his toddler son taking on mercenary work for money until the final battle with the Shogun’s three Masters of Death.