Monday, June 28, 2010

Wendy's Films of 2010 #85 and #86: The Streetfighter (1974) and The Streetfighter's Last Revenge (1974)

I had sort of mixed feelings about these films, particularly the first (The Streetfighter), mostly because I was torn between loving the action and violence and not liking Sonny Chiba's character (Terry Tsurugi) whatsoever. Am I wrong to dislike someone who ends up killing the brother of a man he rescues because of payment issues? And what about the completely unnecessary selling of their sister into prostitution? Then he decides to protect another woman from being killed for the rest of the film! It's one thing to have a dark character, but geeze, you'd think his sense of morality wouldn't be so schizophrenic.

I did quite enjoy the fighting though. Sonny Chiba's defeats are always thoroughly entertaining, I particularly enjoy the punch that knocks out nearly all of one man's teeth. The deplorable acting and dubbing makes it even better. I usually hate dubbing, but sometimes it improves a movie far, far beyond its original potential.

Chiba isn't quite as morally contemptible in the forth film: The Street Fighter's Last Revenge. In it, he's hired to retreive the second of two tapes which together reveal the secret to making cheap heroin. Sure, that might sound a little morally reprehensible, but at least he's not forcing anyone into the slave trade. He also adopts disguises and goes badass on the guys who hired him when they double-cross him. So, not exactly something I'd recommend to someone looking for a seriously good martial arts film, but rather something with a bit more senseless violence and poorly dubbed humour. I even read somewhere that the original isn't even about heroin. Now that's classy dubbing.

You can find both films in the Streetfighter Collection if you dare...

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