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Overall Rating

Awesome: 27.78%
Worth A Look: 33.33%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad38.89%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 12 user ratings

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Streetfighter (Gekitotsu! Satsujin Ken), The
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by Chris Parry

"Oh brother. What was all the fuss about?"
2 stars

No, this isn't the Jean-Claude Van Doody/Raul Julia festival of shame, rather this Streetfighter is the 1975 Japanese karate flick starring the legendary Sonny Chiba.

Truth be told, Chiba wasn't much to look at as a martial arts star. He wavers between comical and awful. His fight sequences are bland, the noises he makes are reminiscent of a choking asthma patient and his acting consists of staring angrily through his bushy mono-brow.

Having said that, it was the 70's - the time of Shaft and Mr Majestyk - when this was released, so it's comparable with the standards of the time. In fact, The Streetfighter made Chiba a legend in the Asian film world and spawned many imitators and sequels. Fans of Tarantino's True Romance will be aware of the Streetfighter sequels already through Clarence Woherle's fascination with Chiba.

The story is lightweight. A rich Japanese oil heiress is kidnapped by Japanese yakuza ("Ah. You are Yakuza. The Japanese organised crime gang that some say is even linked to the mafia." "You know of us." - great writing, as you can see).

Terry Tsuguri (Chiba) is "not so much a good guy as he is a bad motherfucker who's paid to fuck guys up" (quoting Clarence). Tsuguri is hired to protect the heiress against the yakuza who want to make her sign over her company to them.

Cue the entrance of many golf-pants-wearing American businessmen in cahoots with the bad-guys and an assortment of evil-doers with different "fist-styles" testing themselves against the huffing hero.

In reality, this is a shitty film. "Shaft" has better writing, your average Jackie Chan flick has better action, and anything Bruce Lee has much better fight sequences - but it's campy enough to be fun.

The big downside - the only cut I've been able to hunt down is a 73 minute video botch job on New Line Home Video that looks to have had the worst 'editing for a better rating' job ever - leaving the final five minute showdown sequence over in about 30 seconds and making absolutely no sense whatsoever.

If the only version of The Streetfighter you can find is this 73 minute hatchet job, leave it on the shelf. It's just not worth it. But if you can find the original, with throat ripping scenes intact, take a look.

Even at it's worst, The Streetfighter is better than it's more recent namesake. But then, what isn't?

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originally posted: 01/26/99 22:11:25
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User Comments

3/16/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Lots of gory karate goodness, and social commentary to boot! 5 stars
4/19/08 Chrille I liked it. Some nice gory ideas... You can download it legally for free at 4 stars
8/06/05 Zack Terrific action! One of Quentin Tarantino's favorite series! 5 stars
6/21/04 Eric W Not bad 4 stars
5/08/04 dead next door that sonnychiba dude is one though motherfucker. 5 stars
11/25/02 Charles Tatum Definitely go with the uncut version 4 stars
3/02/02 Alan Smithee This movie is just too funny (unintentionally of course.) check it out uncut though. 4 stars
2/28/02 Waylon Roundtree Brutal, insane, totally classic martial arts action- Sonny Chiba is iconic! 5 stars
1/30/02 Andrew Carden Nothing At All To Blab About. The Direction Was The Only Merit To It. 2 stars
7/27/01 David Alexander McDonald Now on cheap DVD in all its glory! 4 stars
11/01/00 mika it's just something you have to experience yourself... 5 stars
5/22/00 Pat Harp Good movie, funny as hell, good movie to get stoned and watch 4 stars
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  02-Feb-1975 (R)


  02-Feb-1975 (R)

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