Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2020

DRIVE-IN SCREENING: Shogun Assassin (40th Anniversary)

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Following the murder of his wife at the hands of an evil shogun, an avenging ronin (Tomisaburo Wakayama) roams the countryside with his young son--and the boy’s sword-shooting baby carriage in tow--dispatching ninja assassins with steely resolve in operatically stylized flurries of hallucinatory violence. With its pulsing synth soundtrack (cowritten by Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & the Raiders) and delirious action set pieces—kinetically edited whirlwinds of flashing blades, spurting blood, and severed limbs—Shogun Assassin proved an instant cult favorite that has bubbled its way up from the underground to the mainstream thanks to its influence on artists ranging from the Wu-Tang Clan to Quentin Tarantino. Dialogue and music excerpts are sampled in the GZA album "Liquid Swords", and in Kill Bill: Volume 2, Beatrix Kiddo and her four year old daughter watch the film as a bedtime story. The film’s legacy lives on as the basis for the Star Wars series The Mandalorian.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    85 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Premiere
    40th Anniversary
  • Director
    Kenji Misumi, Robert Houston
  • Screenwriter
    Robert Houston, David Weisman, Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima, and Kazuo Koike
  • Producer
    Robert Houston, David Weisman, Shintaro Katsu, and Hisaharu Matsubara
  • Cast
    Tomisaburô Wakayama, Kayo Matsuo, Minoru Ôki, Shôgen Nitta, Shin Kishida, Akihiro Tomikawa
  • Cinematographer
    Chikashi Makiura