From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Revision as of 19:48, 26 July 2009 by HungFist
Also Known As
- I Agria symmoria tou karate (Greece)
- The Deadliest Dragon That Ever Smashed the Street Gangs!
- More Than A Streetfighter!
- Released in 1976
- Running Time: 89 Min.
- Production Co: Toei Company
- Distribution Co: Silverstein Films (1981) (USA) (theatrical) (dubbed)
Cast and Crew
- Directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
- Written by Tatsuhiko Kamoi
- Starring Sonny Chiba, Akane Kawasaki, Akiko Koyama, Hideo Murota, Isao Natsuyagi
Previously only available on abysmal full screen ”bootlegs”, this marks the first time Karate Warriors has been officially made available on dvd. BCI’s new US release is the same old english dub but at least the widescreen presentation does justice to the film’s great action scenes. Karate Warriors is probably best remembered for the superb slow-mo effect where Chiba does a roundhouse kick (or some other move) in slow motion and just when his foot about to hit the target the action speeds up a little bit and then quickly after goes to back to slow-motion mode. The same effect was later re-used in Norifumi Suzuki’s Shogun’s Ninja (co-starring Sonny Chiba).
The storyline is a sort of modern adaptation of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, with Chiba playing a lonely karate warrior who arrives a small town ruled by two rivalry gangs. More conflicts are caused by a second lone wolf, a Kozure okami esque samurai warrior played by Isao Natsuyagi. The leaders of the gangs are played by Hideo Murota and Eiji Go. Karate Warriors (Kozure satsujin ken) is directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi (Sister Street Fighter, Wandering Ginza Butterfly) and is sometimes considered a part of The Street Fighter (Satsujin ken) series although the characters are different and there's no story connection.
Reviewed by Hung Fist - 9/17/07