"People said his brain was infected by devils."
Among the finest lines of dialogue in all of motion picture history, and we're not just saying that 'cause Cage's "Agent Orange" has played nonstop since the dawn of the new year.
Not since we watched the Hills Have Eyes at the Regent Manor Cineplex all the way back in early '02 has a film so risen above and beyond our expectations, expectations that had incubated and festered within the very cockles of our bowels since late '94. Shogun Assassin is a treasure. It's the kind of thing that reminds you that "big" Quentin Tarantino's nothing but a cinematic Beck Hansen and reminds us that the cosmic wisdom of Joe Bob is so entwined in the fibers of our being that to emblazon the Drive-In Oath on our chests would be an exercise both trivial and insulting.
Yes, it's that serious.
Shogun Assassin is why the Highland Cinema broke ground in the first place. We exist only to satiate our need to hear a toddler narrate his tale as a killer-in-training, to watch as he remains silent onscreen only to matter-of-factly relate his memories of his father's endless evisceration of evil ninja hordes in the name of justice and loyalty. We've seen genius; it has the soaked look of an Earl Scheib drop cloth and the fiercely spiritual sound of the naive Eastern fetishism. Don't sleep on this one any longer.