The Official Sonny Chiba Thread!

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Unread post by HungFist » 25 May 2007, 21:43

The Street Fighter (Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken) (1974)

The Street Fighter is probably the best known Sonny Chiba film so I’m not gonna talk that much about the actual content of the film. The Street Fighter was directed Shigehiro Ozawa who had been working at Toei since mid 50’s. The Street Fighter was one his later movies. Other well know films he directed include Return of the Street Fighter, The Defensive Power of Aikido (starring Sonny Chiba’s brother Jiro Chiba and co-starring Sonny Chiba) and the fourth part in the Red Peony Gambler series. The success of The Street Fighter spawned two sequels plus Sister Street Fighter series that isn’t directly related to the Street Fighter movies. Karate Warriors is also sometimes considered a part of the Street Fighter series although as far as I recall China does not play the Takuma Tsurugi character in that film. Jmdb however lists it as the fourth film in the Gekitotsu! series.

The star of Sister Street Fighter, Etsuko Shihomi, also appears in The Street Fighter as the main villains sister. Her role is mostly karate free although we all know how much ass she can kick. Etsuko does great work though and manage to come up with one rather touching scene, too. Sonny Chiba reqular Masashi Ishibashi plays the main villain and the supporting roles feature such familiar faces as Bin Amatsu (the blind swordsman), Tatsuo Endo (the traitorous business man), Yutaka Nakajima (the daughter of the dead oil company boss) and Fumio Watanabe (the bad guy who tries to hire Chiba to kidnap the girl)

The Toei transfer is very soft. Prepare to turn every sharpness setting you have to maximum. That won’t make it sharp but it will make watchable. The color and brightness is far superior to HK Video, which however does’t have any problems with shapness. It’s up to your personal preferences, but myself I think the Toei transfer is more pleasing. It could be much, much better, though. Picture comparisons can be found here and here

Fans like me will be delighted to see that Toei has included the original teaser trailer along with the original trailer. Nice photo gallery with productions stills is also included. HK Video dvd only has the original trailer and worthless biographies + bonus trailers for other films. Optimum probably has the exact same extras that appear on their other Chiba dvds, meaning original trailers (no teasers) and a poster gallery for their Chiba releases. The Toei dvd uses the original poster for cover art. I’m sure of it, the poster on my wall is identical, hehe.

Alternate poster
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Unread post by HungFist » 28 May 2007, 18:07

Sister Street Fighter: Hanging by a Thread (Onna hissatsu ken: kiki ippatsu) (1974)

Shinichi Chiba does not appear in Sister Street Fighter: Hanging by a Thread (aka Sister Street Fighter in Danger) but since half of the cast is more than familiar from Chiba films I though this wouldn’t actually be so much off topic. So, Etsuko is back and kicking just as much ass as she did in the original film. Some people think Sonny is the only truly mean badass of japanese martial arts cinema but in fact Etsuko too can be one hellava mean chick when she feels like it. Twisting a guy’s head 180 degrees in the previous film and cutting off a villains arm in this one are good examples. Her martial arts are also very impressive and she’s certainly no pop star pretending she can fight.

But lets get back to the cast. The main villain is played by Hideo Murota (Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion, Zero Woman: Red Handzuffs) and as expected he does great job although he doesn’t do much martial arts in the film. The fighting is left mostly Masashi Ishibashi who plays the villain in just about every other Sonny Chiba and Etsuko Shihomi film ever made. But it’s great, the guy is excellent and I love to seeing him playing the villain. The most famous male star in the film however is Yasuaki Kurata who makes the already great cast even better. There’s also quite a few other familiar faces in the supporting roles.

The fighting is great although zoom is over used and early on there’s maybe too many occations when the image is frozen and a text explaing the fighters fighting style is displayed. Near the end there’s one wonderful surreal colorful scene that I won’t spoil with screencaps. Fans of 70’s pinky violence film should know what to expect. And one last thing; you gotta admire the villains’ logic at times. Once they’ve captured and tied up the intruder (with ropes) after a huge fight where half of their men got killed, they decide to humiliate him by throwing him down from the second floor to the room where his partner is fighting against a swordsman... Great film and essential viewing for all karate film fans.

The Toei dvd is just great. The transfer is an improvement over the previous film in the series (which already beat the shit out of the Ronin Ent. transfer, although I think they too did better job this time... keep an eye on review board, a comparison just might appear sometime soon). Some scenes display a little bit contrast boosting but unlike usual it never looks bad at all. The transfer is pretty much flawless and looks damn good. Original trailer and picture gallery are included. For some reason Toei has not use the original poster for cover art... and their new art work isn’t even especially good.

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Hideo Murota
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Yasuaki Kurata
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Masashi Ishibashi
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Unread post by EvaUnit02 » 29 May 2007, 23:11

I find it puzzling why Toei are overprotective when licensing out their animated properties, but will willy nilly license out their live-action films (except the Battle Royales in North America for some odd reason).

EDIT: The Battle Royales probably remain unlicensed in the States cuz they'd want to avoid legal confrontation, eg if the BR DVDs had been found in the possession of someone like Klebolt and Harris. Americans love to shift the blame for their own wrongdoings to others.

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Unread post by HungFist » 30 May 2007, 10:07

EvaUnit02 wrote: EDIT: The Battle Royales probably remain unlicensed in the States cuz they'd want to avoid legal confrontation, eg if the BR DVDs had been found in the possession of someone like Klebolt and Harris. Americans love to shift the blame for their own wrongdoings to others.
That's the most likely explanation. It's been released pretty much everywhere else. Even Finland has a two disc SE with both cuts. If it was ever released in the US the local press would write their articles the same day and the just wait for the next school massacre to arrive so they can publish their article on what lead a 15 your old kid to buy a gun from the local grocery shop and use it...

But speaking of Toei policy, Teruo Ishii once said (prolly in the late 90's) that Toei are very protective about their image. He said he doesn't think they want to release his movies on dvd :lol: (they of course later did, but not until after the death of Ishii...)

That probably doesn't have to do anything with anime licenses, though.

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Unread post by HungFist » 31 May 2007, 08:43

Return of the Sister Street Fighter (Kaette kita onna hissatsu ken) (1975)

The third film isn’t quite as good as the first two but still a lot of fun. The main villain is less impressive than before and the film is missing especially memorable scenes but the action is well shot (no more zoomings problems like in part two) and the cast is pretty nice. Masashi Ishibashi - yeah, he’s in the movie – once again plays one of the villains and man, he’s been given some seriously cool clothes this time. Just wait till you see him, he’s amazing. I love that guy. You know, if I ever find out he’s made a movie where plays the good guy I’ll buy that film in an instant.

While the story is rather non-existent and the little there is doesn’t even always make sense there’s other, much more important things like the coolness factor. When the crime boss has to pic one of his thugs for a fight he takes his knife, throws it to the roof and kills a butterfly with it, then the knife falls to one guy’s shoulder and that’s the man he’s chosen for the job. That’s some serious inventiveness! And who’s the guys he’s gonna fight? That’s Yasuaki Kurata of course, returning in a different role. Other stuff worth mentioning include a martial arts tournament which makes you wonder if you’re watching a taiwanese martial arts movie istead of a Sister Street Fighter film. Lets just say some of the participants are rather weird...

The Toei dvd has some issues. The less notable of them is the blooming whites, which thankfully doesn’t lead to washed out overall appearence like what you see on HK Video transfers. Otherwise the image is gorgeous. The only real problem comes with the audio. The fight scenes during the first 10 minutes have some sound effects slighty out of sync. I’m pretty sure it’s a flaw in the original track but Toei should’ve done something for it. Thankfully the rest of the film is perfectly in sync. The extras feature a picture gallery, original trailer and finally original teaser as well. As with the previous two film, Toei has wasted the chance to use original poster as cover art.

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the lovely Michi Love arrives...
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and joins the fight
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Yasuaki Kurata looks like a nice guy...
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... but he can make you fly
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Last edited by HungFist on 31 May 2007, 11:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by HungFist » 31 May 2007, 09:17

Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist (Onna hissatsu godan ken) (1976)

Fifth Level Fist is not a direct sequel although it’s considered the fouth part in the Sister Street Fighter series. All the characters are different and we a have a different theme music, too. Speking of music, the new theme is wonderful and far superior to the ”Sister Street Fighter” theme. Many other single tunes throughout the film are impressive as well so this is very good soundtrack. Stylistically the film is much less rough than the other Sister Street Fighter movies. There’s plenty of humour, a little bit of romance and much less graphic violence. There is some serious themes of racism, though. The quality of action remains high too, although for the first time in the series Etsuko does not get to handle nunchucus. Someone else does though, and without spoiling anything lets just say that brief scene blew my mind.

Unlike in the previous films, here Etsuko really gets to act sweet and kawaii. Seeing her giggle like a little girl and wear kimono and then kick some ass in the next scene is just the kind of combination I like. The cute ”hippie Etsuko” scene is probably my favourite scene in the whole movie. More cuteness is offered in form the lovely Michi Love who takes part in some action scenes, too. She also gets to speak plenty of english which is a big plus. The scenes between her and her brother (the excellent Ken Wallace) are all excellent and really the heart of the movie. This is one of those rare martial arts films where you actually care about the characters.

More great actors can be found in the supporting roles. One of the villains in played by Claude Gannyon, who was the american villain in Return of the Street Fighter. Another familiar actor from The Street Fighter series is Masafumi Suzuki who plays Etsuko’s dad in this film. There’s also some scenes that are set in a movie studio and while some of the actors look familiar I’m unable to recognize them. Those who are more familiar with the older Toei films will probably spot a reference or two in those scenes. Myself I need to get back to this film in a few years...

The Toei dvd is quite pleasing. The last time I was maybe a little bit too critical on it. It requires some sharpness boosting on your part but after that it’ll look very natural and not too soft. A comparison between the Ronin Ent. release and the Toei dvd can be found here. The R1 may be a little better, but I’m perfectly happy with my Toei. The extras are the usual ones; original trailer and a picture gallery. And finally, Toei seems to have used the great original poster as cover art.

dvd menu
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photo gallery
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original trailer
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the film
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Unread post by HungFist » 31 May 2007, 11:50

That’s all for Etsuko reviews for now. Toei will be releasing Norifumi Suzuki’s The Great Chase (Karei-naru tsuiseki / 華麗なる追跡 ) (1975) in september. The film stars all the Sonny Chiba requlars except Chiba himself. But who needs Chiba when we have Etsuko Shihomi, Bin Amatsu, Eiji Go, Masashi Ishibashi and Fumio Watanabe...

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(fifth level fist art work)

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Actually,

Unread post by Linn » 02 Jun 2007, 04:59

HungFist wrote:That's the most likely explanation.
at least two companies I work for attempted to get the rights a few years ago. It had nothing to do with the climate in the US at the time and everything with what they wanted for the rights. It would have been the largest amount for the rights to a single Asian genre film in the last 10/20 years if they had done it.
HungFist wrote:Fifth Level Fist is not a direct sequel although it’s considered the fouth part in the Sister Street Fighter series.
Not so. It was original released under another title. When it didn't do well, it was later released with Sister Streetfighter added to the title. There's some early ads that exist with the original title for the film.

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Re: Actually,

Unread post by HungFist » 02 Jun 2007, 09:56

Linn wrote:
HungFist wrote:That's the most likely explanation.
at least two companies I work for attempted to get the rights a few years ago. It had nothing to do with the climate in the US at the time and everything with what they wanted for the rights. It would have been the largest amount for the rights to a single Asian genre film in the last 10/20 years if they had done it.
That's what I've heard. But I thought it was Toei's stragedy, to set the price so high no one would buy it. They were more than willing to sell it any other buyer, though. Without knowing I'm pretty sure that scandinavian distributors for example could not pay much for the rights because asian films don't make much money here. But they still got the rights... for both versions. The Dir. Cut was also shown on TV recently.
HungFist wrote:Fifth Level Fist is not a direct sequel although it’s considered the fouth part in the Sister Street Fighter series.
Linn wrote: Not so. It was original released under another title. When it didn't do well, it was later released with Sister Streetfighter added to the title. There's some early ads that exist with the original title for the film.
I didn't know that. Do you know what was the original title? But even if it wasn't a part of the series originally wouldn't it be a part of it now? Jmdb lists it as a part of the series and doesn't mention anything about alternate titles. Their info is quite brief though and might be missing some...

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Unread post by HungFist » 03 Jun 2007, 13:13

I forgot to mention it was confirmed at asiandvdguide that Toei's Shadow Warriors (Kage no gundan) indeed comes with a different and superior transfer. The source material however would seem to be the same, so the difference isn't huge. Ronin is mainly much, much darker and probably has worse colours thanks to that. I wonder why Ronin always weakens their transfers by making them so dark (and making skintones reddish in the process). Practically every Toei film or series they've released have been inferior to their Toei / Optimum counterparts, and always for the same reason...

they tend to be very good with the contrast, though (usually beating Toei). Optimum's Golgo 13 also had more artifacts than the Ronin disc... But overall Optimum's transfer was of course far superior... and very Toei like...

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Unread post by HungFist » 03 Jun 2007, 13:32

Toei's next Chiba batch is a bit disappointing from an international fans point of view. On October 21 they'll be releasing:

Return of the Street Fighter
Karate Inferno (The Executioner 2)
Karare Bear Fighter
The Killing Machine (Shorinji Kempo)

Return of the Street Fighter I might be interested in. HK Video's transfer for the film is the best of their Street Fighter transfers (although far from perferct) and the Optimum disc looks good, even better (judging by screencaps) than Toei. If Toei is back on their usual level of quality then their disc should be the winner. But if they continue their super soft December tradition then it won't. The truth is that I haven't bought any Toei dvd released after the last Chiba batch so I don't know if the softness was just some error in that batch... I sure hope so.

As far as I remember Adness's Karate Inferno dvd is excellent. Karate Bull Fighter should be good too, although I think there was ee and boosting. Their Killing Machine was cropped and not the original colour cheme but personally I quite like the look of the transfer. Optimum offers a non-cropped original greenish transfer for those who want it. So, Toei's really going to have to impress me before I buy my third edition of the film.

Edit: HK Video exists too and dvdrama review caps make it look like their other Chiba transfers (aka not so attractive)

Oyama and Street Fighter trilogies are still missing the concluding episodes so I'd expect Toei to come up with a third Chiba batch. Hopefully some films not yet available on dvd like Karate Warriors will be included.

upcoming R2J list here

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Actually,

Unread post by Linn » 06 Jun 2007, 02:38

HungFist wrote:I wonder why Ronin always weakens their transfers by making them so dark (and making skintones reddish in the process).
Cliff answered this on another forum. They were told by Toei every time that Toei had no plan to release these. Toei then gave them the transfers they did with the undestanding that Toei wasn't going to remaster the films (or tv series), and in every case they did just that.

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Unread post by HungFist » 06 Jun 2007, 14:23

His excuse for weak transfers is that they were told no quality transfers would be coming from other companies? :lol:

Okay, maybe that makes sense if they don't have any money for decent re-mastering... but how about Golgo 13? Optimum released their dvd back in 2005 and the Ronin came out a year later. And yet the result was the same; Ronin was dark and red and Optimum looked like a port of a Toei dvd that doesn't exist (even today). Maybe Optimum did extensive remastering on Golgo 13... Or Cliff bought the rights and the materials several years before they released it (back in the Addness days). Or maybe there's just something wrong with Ronin. I find it a bit hard to believe that Toei is delivering them dark and red transfers and all other companies either get more recent remasters or have the money to fix the problems...

Surely Ronin's dvds aren't bad. But when it comes to dvd shopping, the consumers buy the best edition. And the fact is than Ronin's Toei film dvd are continuously beaten by other companies (except maybe HK Video who's transfers are the exact opposite from Romin. I wonder if their explanation is that Toei is delivering them overly bright source material :lol: )

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Unread post by Shingster » 06 Jun 2007, 16:41

HungFist wrote:His excuse for weak transfers is that they were told no quality transfers would be coming from other companies? :lol:
No, I very much doubt Ronin had/have the dosh to do any proper in-house remastering themselves. Linn's post implied to me that they were relying on Toei to provide them with nicely remastered masters, but when Toei said they weren't going to remaster them they settled for what they could get at the time.
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Unread post by HungFist » 06 Jun 2007, 17:20

Meanwhile; a rather useless remider: Kadokawa is once again releasing a low priced limited edition of Sengoku jieitai (G.I. Samurai) (2007/07/06). Useless because it will most likely use their old transfer and which is as bad as the R1 transfer. In fact it looks like the same transfer although I think Kadokawa is sharper. The Kadokawa 2 Disc SE (which comes with a far superior transfer and some nice extras) is the way to go.

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Unread post by Shingster » 06 Jun 2007, 20:34

I just finished watching that Masters of Thunder and oh dear, it's about as good as it looked really! Incoherent plot, terrible acting from the supports, and the direction is so incompetent I can only pray that every scriptwriter and producer in Japan rallies together to shun Kenji Tanigaki from the filmworld forever. Half the time it felt like he wanted to create a loony-tunes cartoon than a martial arts film!

The action is pretty piss-poor as well, the opening sequence is one long fight between a big muscly korean-looking "oni" and about 30 teenage students and the entire thing is rambling, incoherent, barely choreographed, heavily (and I mean really, really heavily) undcranked, and very badly shot - all set to RAWWWWKKKK music. Urgh, from then on I knew it was gonna be a chore.

Chiba and Kurata of course approach the material with true professional seriousness bless 'em, but Chiba's barely in the film and their rather average fight at the end is let down by Tanigaki's laughable approach to action directing.

One thing that made me laugh, the entire film is about the gathering together and training of a group of 7 fighters to dispel an evil demon, but at the end when the 7 band together they decide to split them all up in tiny little scuffles with minor henchmen (like three Idols-turned-zombies and four 10yr old kids), then simply forget about 6 of them and instead focus solely on Chiba, Kurata, and Kinoshita for the entire final act. Thus making most of the film completely pointless! You can see in the NG sequence that plays alongside the final credits that they cut most of the 6 fighter's scenes out of the final act, probably for pace - maybe they decided to have mercy on the viewers and cut it a good 20minutes short? :D

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Right

Unread post by Linn » 07 Jun 2007, 05:53

Shingster wrote:
HungFist wrote:Linn's post implied to me that they were relying on Toei to provide them with nicely remastered masters, but when Toei said they weren't going to remaster them they settled for what they could get at the time.
that's what I was saying. And to be clear, I don't work for BCI, so I can't answer questions about the transfers other than what's been posted on other sites.

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Unread post by HungFist » 19 Jun 2007, 15:47

Virus (Fukkatsu no hi) (1980)

”The entire world is a graveyard”. What a great tagline, and for once a movie that lives up to it. Kinji Fukasaku’s amazing Fukkatsu no hi is simply the best end of the world movie ever made. A deadly virus wipes out the entire human population with an exception of a few hundred people isolated in Antarctica. While the budget sets its limitations Fukasaku makes most of the film’s huge scale. Events take place around the world (incuding large sections in Germany, Japan, USA and many others) and at least five different languages are spoken. The 156 minute running time is used wisely and the film doesn’t feel nearly as long as it is.

Despite this being a more or less fully japanese production most of the actors are Hollywood stars, including Robert Vaughn, Glenn Ford, Olivia Hussey, Edward James Olmos and Bo Svenson. The japanese cast includes huge stars like Ken Ogata, Sonny Chiba (small supporting role), Isao Natsuyagi, Yumi Takigawa, and Masao Kusakari as the main character. While acting isn’t always quite top notch, it actually adds something to the film. Virus is an old school disaster film that aims at entertainment and you shouldn’t take it too seriously, despite it being a very impressive film. The plot is full of holes and some characters have no other function than to briefly step in and create a plot twist and then disappear again.

Although I slightly dislike the ending (it would’ve been perfect without the last few minutes) and I can’t deny it being a fitting conclution for an epic like this. There’s one other scene earlier on that I also don’t like but those are really the only two complaints I have about the movie. Fukkatsu no hi is a huge cinematic achievement. It’s massively entertaining, sometimes darkly humoristic and features some unexpectedly witty plot elements. Just stay away from the international version which is apparently missing no less than 50 minutes of footage.

The Sonny Chiba Action Pack by Ronin Entertainment is the way to go. It includes a not-so-hot version of Golgo 13 (go for the Optimum) and a bloody worthless english dubbed and cut Bullet Train, but the presentation for Virus is thankfully excellent. A very good looking interlaced transfer that is almost certainly a port of the japanese Kadokawa dvd. Optional english subtitles are offered for the japanese dialogue, however opening credits and songs are not translated. Extras feature trailers for other Ronin Ent. releases but not for Virus. The menu is funky as hell but has little to do with the film itself.

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Unread post by HungFist » 29 Jun 2007, 19:19

The Executioner (Chokugeki! Jigoku-ken) (1974)

Teruo Ishii’s The Executioner just might be the most over the top martial arts film in Shinichi Chiba’s career. Endless silly humour is accompanied by quality action and some incredibly brutal violence. You’re likely to fall off your chair during some of the comedy bits... although the humour can’t be described very intelligent or clever. The martial arts scenes are pretty good too, and definitely brutal. Near the end Yasuaki Kurata enters the screen and delivers his best Bruce Lee imitation with a straigh face. The camerawork pretty good throughout and not too shaky, although for some reason I recall once thinking so. Anyone with a taste for ”quality films” should stay away as this is one of Chiba’s rudest and trashiest films. Everybody else; enjoy the ride.

The story is non-existent (even on genre standards) but that’s hardly a problem. Chiba plays a modern mercenary with a ninja training (a member of Koga family, actually) although he’s not exactly a ninja and never dresses like one. But the early scenes do deliver some fun for ninja fanatics. Also worth noting is that there’s a short flashback scene in the beginning where the ”young Chiba” is played by Hiroyuki Sanada. It was his first movie role and he was 13 years old at the time. Other notable supporting stars include Makoto Sato, Eiji Go, Yukata Nakajima, and Masahiro Stugata as the main villain. The way he plays out his role reminds me lot of Hideo Murota in the second Sister Street Fighter film (made later the same year). Murota himself also makes a brief but memorable appearance in the film.

The R1 Adness transfer is quite good. Some scenes display notable boosting while others look perfect. There’s quite a lot of small scratches but since the whole film has a very dirty and raw feeling the transfer is actually quite fit. The audio sound a bit muffled a few times but it’s not a big problem. The only extras are original trailers for the film (no special footage) and the sequel. The cover art is nice and the reverse side has a picture of the original poster. Note that there is also a Toei dvd available (from their December 2006 batch) but I’m unaware of its quality.

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Unread post by HungFist » 29 Jun 2007, 23:22

The Executioner bonus: Yakata Nakajima panty shot

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This shot is a key element to understanding the movie... okay, it's maybe not. Maybe it's 1:20 am right now and I'm tired as hell (not drunk, I swear) and I may not be thinking very clearly. Anyway, the shot is there, I'll go wake up my dog and go to sleep myself. Oyasumi to me. Out.

Edit: what the hell did I post last night :x

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Unread post by HungFist » 30 Jun 2007, 19:59

Karate Inferno: The Executioner 2 (Chokugeki jigoku-ken: Dai-gyakuten) (1974)

Ishii’s sequel to The Executioner starts with the coolest opening credits sequence in recent memory. The title, Karate Inferno, however is a bit misleading as there’s very little karate in the film. The only martial arts showcase comes at the end, although that one scene is a very satisfying one and also more or less true to the title. Fans of ultra violence may be disappointed as most of the film plays out for laughs. Very succesfully, I might add. While the film isn’t one of Chiba’s best it’s definitely a memorable one on par with the entertaining original movie.

As for the humour, you probably though the original film would be impossible to top, but here Ishii’s taken his madness to a whole new level. Some scenes require repeated viewings as your brains are likely to deny ever having witnessed some of the more over-the-top gags... No doubt some of Ishii’s inspiration came from the fact that he did not want to do this movie. But since Toei was very pleased with the original film and wanted more Teruo Ishii martial arts madness they insisted on Ishii delivering a sequel. Turning the film into a mad slapstick comedy was Ishii’s answer.

The principal cast is the exact same as in the previous movie, with even some dead villains returning in different roles. New reinforcements include Tetsuro Tamba and Etsuko Shihomi in small supporting roles, among others. The film ends with a cool Abarashi Bangaichi reference (the classic series starring Takakura Ken, of which Ishii directed the first 10 instalments just before his pinky violence days). That scene also includes a nice little cameo which I won’t spoil.

The Adness dvd (now re-issued my Ronin I think) is very much like their dvd for The Executioner. The transfer seems a bit boosted at times but is sharp and generally doesn’t suffer from edge enhancement. Again there’s plenty of minor print damage but it didn’t distract me from the movie. The original trailer mixes footage from the film plus several other Chiba films. The original poster art can be found from the reverse side, but the cover is not reversible, unfortunately.

The executioner gang: The boss: Ryo Ikebe
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the lady (and the pants): Yukata Nakajima
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and the boys: Sonny Chiba
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Makoto Sato
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Eiji Go
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HungFist
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Unread post by HungFist » 05 Jul 2007, 19:26

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Includes the following two "Grindhouse" flix back to back, complete with movie trailers, commercials, and an intermission: "Karate Warriors" (1976) and "Dragon Princess" (1976).

To salute this film revolution of a bygone era, BCI has developed a line of DVD double features that recreate the ephemeral experience of the Grindhouse theaters with a whole new, interactive DVD experience. Featuring back-to-back film presentations, complete with movie trailers, commercials and an intermission, you can now enjoy the exploitative nature of exclusively licensed cult films in the comfort of your own home with... "WELCOME TO THE GRINDHOUSE". Featuring new anamorphic transfers.

aah, arg, lol. I never thought this would happen but looks like the R1 english dubbed Dragon Princess will end up to my collection... temporarily. The reason being that Karate Warriors is only released in a duble pack with it. Dubbed too, and probably one of those transfers Toei dvd not remaster until a week after BCI started producing their dvd... no, wait. They didn't have money to licence the japanese version from Toei so were do they get their transfer source material?

Anyway, as I was saying; I will get this for Karate Warriors because that film needs to be in my collection, even if it was dubbed. It's such a kick ass film it'll kick ass even dubbed. Maybe I could even getmyself in the grindhouse mood and enjoy the dub a little bit... But still, as soon as someone releases the japanese version (Toei, please, in your third Chiba batch!) the R1 pack will fly out of the window.

Edit: the cover is cool, btw. And to be honest, this looks like a great package for those who grew up watching these films in american grindhouse cinemas... But I'm not one of them. I'm used to seeing films always in their original language and usually remastered aka looking like they originally looked like, and not looking like they originally looked like in the US cinemas :wink:

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Unread post by HungFist » 09 Jul 2007, 15:54

"Sonny Chiba retires"

http://p214.ezboard.com/Sonny-Chiba-ret ... 1592.topic

EDIT:

More about Chiba's retirement
http://www.varietyasiaonline.com/content/view/1692/1/

"Chiba said he realized he'd reached his limit filming a period drama for pubcaster NHK in July. Required to wear a heavy suit of armor for his role of warlord Itagaki Nobukata, Chiba suffered an asthma attack. "Itagaki died (in the drama) -- now I want to bury 'Shinichi Chiba' as well," he told reporters."

"I'd like to train many young people and pass on the name 'Shinichi Chiba' to one of them," he said. Chiba also said he would continue to act under his real name. Sadaho Maeda, and his international stage name, Sonny Chiba.
Last edited by HungFist on 15 Jan 2010, 13:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by HungFist » 14 Jul 2007, 21:03

Seems like I forgot the mention the release date for the double feature. It's August 14. Also coming the same day:

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For my thoughs on this pack read my earlier post and insert The Bodyguard in the place of Karate Warriors and Sister Street Fighter in the place of Dragon Princess :D

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Unread post by thelostdragon » 14 Jul 2007, 23:10

LOL, looks interesting. Isn't it just a shame that whenever Tarantino releases a film, all DVD covers try to cash in on him being inspired by old stuff?
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