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Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades (1972)

Director Kenji Misumi returns for the third instalment of the Lonewolf and Cub series – Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades. Tomisaburo Wakayama and Akihiro Tomikawa also return and reprise their repective roles as father and son Ittō and Daigoro Ogami. This time they are travelling by water when Ittō notices ome bamboo reeds are trailing the boat in the reflection on his blade, this can only mean one thing – they are being followed by the Yagyū Clan. Ittō does not give away his advantage until later when Daigoro is relieving himself in a bamboo glade, it is then Ittō slices at several tall bamboo stalks, causing hidden ninja assassins to fall from their elevated perches and fall victim of his blade!

Later a group of four Hatari-kashi (hired fighters) decide to harras a young woman and her mother and their servant. Three of them run to attack and rape the young women, but one, Kanbei (Go Kato) does  kot get involved. When the servant regains consciousness he attacks the trio with a bamboo pole. Kanbei then kills him, who then proceeds to kill the two women. Kanbei then orders three companions to draw straws, saying the one who draws the short straw will be killed in order to take the blame for the rapes and murders.

Ittō happens upon Kanbei as he kills the short straw. Ittō kills the other two rapists when they attempt to attack him. Kanbei recognizes Ittō and requests a duel now that Ittō is involved. Ittō accepts, and they prepare to fight, but at the last second Ittō re-sheathes his sword and calls it a draw. Kanbei is left to ponder why fate will not let him die honorably whilst Ittō continues on his day, and it is far from over…

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