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Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken

Street Fighter

Japan 1974
produced by
Toei
directed by Shigehiro Ozawa
starring Sonny Chiba, Waichi Yamada, Tony Cetera, Yutaka Nakajima, Teijo Shikeharo, King Stone, Masashi Ishibashi, Akira Shioji, Osman Yusuf, Ángel Cordero, Bin Amatsu, Jiru Chiba, Tatsuo Endo, Takuzo Kawatani, Masafumi Suzuki, Fumio Watanabe, Rinichi Yamamoto

Street Fighter

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Tsurugi (Sonny Chiba) is maybe the best, most ruthless thug in the business, an expert in karate & more than able to break people free from death row & not even shying away from killing his employers or selling them into prostitution should they refuse to pay up. But when the Chinese mafia wants to hire him to kidnap Sarai (Yutaka Nakajima), sole heiress to the world's third largest oil company, but refuse to pay him the big advance he demands, he not only walks out on them, but lets himself be hired as Sarai's bodyguard by Karate master Masaoka (Masafumi Suzuki). Sarai of course doesn't like him at all at firt because of his rather rude manners, but soon comes to rely on his abilities as a thug.

However, since pretty much everybody in Sarai's company is in on the mafia's scheme, it's an easy task for them to distract Tsurugi long enough - by crushing his car with him in it - to snatch Sarai.

Of course Tsurugi has soon picked up her trail again, & even though outmanned by the mafia's fighters, he can free her - even if that means he becomes the gangstter's prisoner himself. Then though his incompetent but loveable sidekick Rakuda (Waichi Yamada) blows the whole thing hen he wants to come rescue him but instead has to betray Sarai's whereabouts to the gangsters in order to save his friends hide ... who is almost killed anyhow ...

Not one to be taken back by setbacks, Tsurugi has soon picked up Sarai'S trail again & closes in on her on a big oil-tanker where she is about to be forced to sign over her company. Tsurugi of course fights his way through is adversaries, but they do have some aces up their sleeves as well, in form of karate master Shikenbaru (Masashi Ishibashi), whose sister Tsurugi has sold into prostitution & who now wants not only revenge but also prove his own skills by defeating Tsurugi. But Tsurugi is not one to be easily beaten, even thogh the gangsters shoot at him, wound him with a knife & try every other dirty trick in the book - much to the dislike of Tsurugi's Karate-adversary, who wanted a fair fight.

In the end though, Tsurugi has defeated everybody & ultimately saved Sarai, even if he's now more dead than alive himself ...

 

Street Fighter certainly doesn't feature a good, original let alone inventive story, or interesting characters, & even the action, while competently choreographed, isn't really standing out. What sets this movie apart though is the uncompromising brutality of its action, not justified by its hero's lofty goals: Tsurugi often enough clearly states he's in it for the money, & to achieve his goals he kills, rapes & sells women into prostitution without so much as flinching an eye, & his almost animal-like behaviour does only emphasize his ruthlessness ... & this is something that makes this little b-actioner rather outstanding again, for better or worse.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
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Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD