Dragon Princess

July 31, 2017 at 12:36 am (5 Heads, Dragon Princess) (, , , , , )

Dragon Princess – 1976 – Japan

Kazuma (played by Sonny Chiba) is a karate instructor in Tokyo. Assassins, hired by a rival instructor, attack Kazuma in front of his young daughter, Yumi. He survives with a crippled arm and a missing eye, but flees Japan to protect Yumi. Living in a seedy Manhattan apartment (these probably don’t exist in real life), Kazuma is a drunk who only cares about getting revenge and training Yumi in karate. He berates her, beats her, and makes her stand in the snow with bare feet. When Yumi writes in her diary, “I hope I never hear the word ‘karate’ again!”, Kazuma is somehow surprised.

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Invasion of the Neptune Men

November 22, 2016 at 1:42 am (6 Heads, Invasion of the Neptune Men) (, , , , , )

Invasion of the Neptune Men – 1961 – Japan

Aliens from Neptune invade Earth. With their advanced technology, they control the weather, impersonate humans, disintegrate people, demolish buildings, and make clocks run backward. To defend the world, Japanese scientists build an energy barrier and special missiles. With help from an alien superhero named Space Chief, they repel the Neptune Men.

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Message from Space

September 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm (8 Heads, Message from Space) (, , , , , , , , )

Message from Space – 1978 – Japan

An evil warlord invades a planet of peaceful primitives. To save his tribe, a shaman throws magical seeds into space to seek out eight legendary warriors. Instead, the seeds find some juvenile delinquents, an alcoholic ex-soldier, and a too-cute robot named Beba. After overcoming their misgivings, these rogues defeat the warlord with daring, ingenuity, and spaceship piloting ability.

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Sister Street Fighter

April 3, 2013 at 1:50 am (6 Heads, Sister Street Fighter) (, , , , , )

Sister Street Fight – 1974 – Japan

Drug dealing mobster martial artists smuggle heroin-soaked wigs into Japan. To avenge her brother’s death, a cute spunky karate girl fights alongside Sonny Chiba (karate master/racing driver) to bust the drug lords. The result is a bunch of gory martial arts battles against the drug lords’ ninja army. These battles are so gory that they were cut to pieces for the American theatrical release. A dude is stabbed in the eye, a dude is disemboweled by a punch, and most spectacularly, a dude’s head is twisted backwards. He staggers in stunned confusion before falling down some stairs.

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Karate Warriors

July 12, 2011 at 2:01 am (8 Heads, Karate Warriors) (, , , , , )

Karate Warriors – 1976 – Japan

While I’ve yet to see the beloved The Streetfighter, I’m hard-pressed to find a more excellent Sonny Chiba flick than Karate Warriors. Compared to his usual stony-faced roles, Chiba’s performance is shiningly emotive and his kung fu is in top form. Karate Warriors triumphs with intrigue, drama, skull busting, and poetry.

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The Bodyguard

January 24, 2011 at 2:12 am (4 Heads, Bodyguard, The) (, , , , )

The Bodyguard – 1973 – Japan

Sonny Chiba is best known for The Street Fighter, Return of the Street Fighter, Sister Street Fighter, and The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge—also the 1977 Golgo 13 film. While Bruce Lee has elegance and Jackie Chan has wackiness, Chiba has ferocity, savagely busting teeth and jabbing eyeballs. But The Bodyguard’s clumsy, unimaginative, and anti-climactic fights are a poor example. Chiba fan or not, skip it.

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