Film recommendation: Lone Wolf and Cub - Baby Cart in the Land of Demons

Posted On: 14 March 2023

The fifth instalment in the “Lone Wolf and Cub” series, which features Ogami Itto, a wandering samurai, and his young son Daigoro, who travels with him in a baby cart was released in 1973 and directed by Kenji Misumi. In "Baby Cart in the Land of Demons," Ogami Itto (Tomisaburo Wakayama) is hired by a clan to assassinate a powerful and corrupt chamberlain who has been oppressing the people. The chamberlain, however, is not an easy target, and Itto finds himself facing a series of deadly traps and skilled assassins hired to protect him. Meanwhile, Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa) is kidnapped by a band of ruthless thieves, who threaten to kill him unless Itto abandons his mission.


Compared to the previous four films in the "Lone Wolf and Cub" series, "Baby Cart in the Land of Demons" is more focused on action and spectacle. The film is known for its graphic violence, inventive action sequences, and striking visual style, which includes vibrant colors and elaborate set designs. While "Baby Cart in Peril" still contained plenty of action and violence, it was also more character-driven and emotionally resonant. In contrast, "Baby Cart in the Land of Demons" returns to the series' roots with a straightforward plot and a focus on thrilling action set pieces. It features some of the most memorable sequences in the entire series, including a battle with a skilled female assassin and a showdown with a group of ninjas in a bamboo forest. Despite its emphasis on action, "Baby Cart in the Land of Demons" still manages to explore the relationship between Itto and Daigoro, particularly in the scenes where Daigoro is held captive by the thieves. It also features a memorable villain in the form of the chamberlain, who is depicted as a sadistic and depraved character.


Overall, "Baby Cart in the Land of Demons" is a faithful adaptation of the manga in terms of its basic plot and characters, but of course there were some changes to the details and tone. For example, the film's portrayal of the chamberlain is more overtly villainous than in the manga, where he is depicted as a more complex and nuanced character. And it also introduces some new characters not found in the manga, such as the band of thieves who kidnap Daigoro.