Review Detail

9.4 2 10
(Updated: August 17, 2020)
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
A personal definition: "corny" is something cheesy-bad, done without much style. "Campy" is something cheesy-good, done with excess style. The secret to an enjoyably cheesy movie is that the movie itself knows what it is and leans into the camp.

The original Shogun Assassin, like many imported dubs of older Asian films, was enjoyably campy. Not as good as the grindhouse originals, which are some of the best chambara films ever, but still enjoyable. This film mostly succeeds as a sequel to Shogun Assassin.

You can tell this fanedit is made with love and reverence for SA, and it emulates it fairly well. Generally the A/V quality is very good, though a couple of shots are blurred (I assume in the render) that are clear in the original films. There are also a couple of hard edits which seem abrupt or cause a bit of confusion in what are already sometimes chaotically-edited films. Some insert shots and establishing shots would help the film flow more smoothly. The audio quality is quite good, though the levels could sometimes use adjusting...the music veers towards 'too loud'.

Where this edit shines is in the music, which is extensively reworked. The choice of style for the tracks and the placement of them fits very well with the aesthetic of "early 80's chopsocky dub", and is both compelling and cheesy. There are some occasions where the plodding synth beats end up making fights feel plodding too, however. Just letting the track play through these scenes doesn't work as well as some artful cuts would've. The scenes that work best in this film are actually the ones where action remained untouched from the original Japanese movies.

I appreciate all the new voiceover to replicate the feel of SA. The voices do sometimes get a great nostalgic tone, reminding me of cheesy '80s anime dubs. At other times, they're just flat, and the lack of style moves the scene into the corny-bad category. I wanted a few (Daigoro's especially) to be either much better or much worse. I know what they're going for (emulating SA) but a film with ridiculous fights, more lost limbs than a Star Wars movie, and gushing blood everywhere should never feel flat and dry. All style elements should get turned up to 11.

If you loved the first SA, you'll likely love this film. However, I hope that stimulates you to go watch the originals, which are really fantastic. They're stunningly dynamic, action-packed films at 90 minutes or less each. I'd recommend watching any given one in the series over an SA film, honestly. One last point of feedback: while I do appreciate all the work that went into this, having the name Scott Sandrock get a credit on every single title card at the front of the film seems like over-stating the case. I think 1 title card with a "fanedited by" credit like most other edits on this site comes off more appreciative of all the other people who, you know, actually made the film. Maybe that's just me, though. Thanks for stimulating my interest in the Sword of Vengeance series again! Great work.

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Yes
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Digital
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