Ah! The Sonny Chiba classic. Full of ridiculous, over the top “mean & nasty” brawls, a film which no doubt held the title of most violent martial arts movie of all time until 1991’s splatter fest, ‘Story Of Ricky’.
‘The Street Fighter’, for the uninitiated, tells the story of Terry Tsurugi, a man who is essentially the hardest man on the planet. He is paid to beat the shit out of people, he’ll take jobs from whoever as long as the money is good. But someone decides to mess him around; Which isn’t a good idea when you’re dealing with a man who is capable of tearing off your nut sack with his bare hands.
‘The Street Fighter’ spawned two sequels, ‘Return Of The Street Fighter’ and ‘The Street Fighters Last Revenge’, with ‘Return’ probably being my favourite of the series, only because of its punchier choreography and a complete prick of a bad guy. But it’s ‘The Street Fighter’ that contains the jaw dropping and memorable moments that are lacking from the sequels; from the aforementioned sack removal, to a fantastic moment, when for some implausible reason, we get an x-ray view of Tsurugi’s fist smashing into someones skull. Magical.
This series also spawned a spin off series (at least in name only when it was renamed for it’s US release) with the ‘Sister Street Fighter’ movies, starring the fantastic Etsuko “Sue” Shihomi (who also has a small role in ‘The Street Fighter’) as well as Sonny Chiba in it’s first entry, although not as his Tsurugi character.
Anyway, sit back and enjoy this classic slice of of grind-house karate goodness.
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