Does anyone have any suggestions at to why these films might be worth investigating? Is the Yasuzo Masamura one any good? I recently watched the first in the trilogy (Sword of Justice) and enjoyed certain balls-to-the-wall qualities (like Hanzo's self-torture scenes), but the fights were mostly underwhelming (poorly shot, often unconvincingly choreographed), and the misogyny was just unforgivable.
I ask about this one, though, because I must have watched an important precursor to Takashi Miike, what with the shared interest in extreme sex, torture, oversized genitalia, steam-activated tattoos, anachronistic elements clashing through diegesis and outside of it (e.g., the Curtis Mayfield Superfly rip-offs that comprise Hanzo's cheesily enjoyable soundtrack). I admire the matter-of-factness, which might be an especially Japanese trait here, with which characters dive into situations which test or exert their bodily limits. Is it worth it to look at the other films?
(I've also not seen any Lone Wolf and Cub films, and none of the original Zatoichi films in their entirety. Recommendations there are welcome.)