Lone Wolf and Cub is a seminal Manga series that’s been adapted into six films. These films have influenced visionaries like Quentin Tarantino, Geoff Darrow, and Genndy Tartakovsky. The character dynamic can be traced to contemporary hits like God of War 4 and The Mandalorian.
Now that there’s a new Lone Wolf and Cub movie in the works and the original films are streaming on HBO Max, it’s the perfect time to dive into this blood-soaked world.
The series of films follow a wandering assassin and his son as they travel throughout the Edo period of Japan. Forget everything you learned in Japanese history class and welcome to a world where ninjas ride skis and Baby Carts hide gatling guns. Lone Wolf and Cub nails its own bombastic bipolar tonality and serves as a gold standard for grindhouse cinema done right.
The Lone Wolf and Cub movies can be watched in any order. some viewers may find the films repetitive but I think they work well for a movie marathon. My favorite of the films six films were Baby Cart in Peril and Baby Cart at The River Styx.
It is a rare thing where a character becomes so iconic that it creates its own subgenre. Characters like Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, and Superman come once in a lifetime. Lone Wolf and Cub is this kind of story and its characters’ legacy continues to kick ass to this day!