No, not the video game… think Japan’s answer to Bruce Lee, but in the form of Sonny Chiba. If you’ve seen True Romance, you might remember that Christian Slater’s character attends a Chiba marathon in the beginning.
I finished the movie with mixed impressions. As far as martial arts go, there’s nowhere near the grace or charisma that Lee had. For the most part, the fights are brutal and gory. But it’s good for the kitsch factor.
Think of a kung fu version of Shaft. The fight scenes aren’t all that great, but the cheesy blood and funky disco music sure is. It’s all worth it as Chiba rips out various organs and spouts stereotypical “I’ve got a black belt so I’m gonna kick some @$$” dialog.
I get a kick out of the fact that this movie was originally rated “X” when it came out here in the States. It really shows you how much movie ratings have “developed” in the past 30 years or so. Nowadays, I doubt anyone would bat an eye at the bloodshed. If anything, they’d probably find it quite humorous.
Of course, if you told Chiba you found one of his movies funny, he’d probably rip off your leg and beat you over the head with it.