Holey moley kung fu fans ! What have we here? Yes it's the great Sonny Chiba's finest hour in this double bill of butt kicking action 'Street Fighter' and 'Return of the Street Fighter'.
No, these films have nothing to do with any computer game or the turgid Van Damme film but these are actually the first two parts of a classic martial arts series of films released back in the 70's.
The 'Street Fighter' in question is actually a mean spirited mercenary called Terry Tsuguri (played insanely well by Sonny Chiba) who's not afraid of anybody and along the way he manages to piss off just about everybody - which ain't good when includes the Yakuza, the Mafia and more.
While the quality of these movies are pure 70's martial arts gold, they do possess a great sense of style that marks them above the rest of their ilk. The direction in the first film in particular is at times brilliant and shows really well in this sumptious widescreen DVD presentation.
The real star of the show is Sonny Chiba, who is brilliantly cast in the role. He portrays the character of the mercenary like he's the evil bastard brother of Bruce Lee. His face twisting in fight scenes ala a demented Lee, Chiba obviously spent some time watching Lee's mannerisms and movements for his portrayal in this film. Also, the fact that what we have here is a lead 'hero' character that's actually a bit of a ruthless bastard - which is a nice twist that actually endears you to him just that little bit more.
Now, some of you may be thinking - what the hell are they covering this for ? Well, as well as the fact I'm a life long fan of martial art movies there is the consideration that the 'Street Fighter' films are so deliciously violent at times that any genre fan can't ignore them. Eye gouging, ball ripping, skull crushing - it's all here, the fight scenes are very traditional old school fights (which is cool) but at times they do get crazy violent (and you film fans will be whooping with delight whenever they do too!)
Now, since Diamond Entertainment came on the scene they have recieved a lot of flack from certain circles regarding the quality of their releases. The fact is that they put out low price budget discs, so when you're getting a disc for under 10 dollars and the film only has four chapters you really can't complain. The great news is though that Diamond have done an excellent job with this release. Yeah sure, once again there aren't many chapters but we're here for the movies and boy they're quality is just great. And add to that, you're getting TWO great movies for this price then why haven't you ordered this one already !!
Both films are presented in widescreen and look just stunning with a nice sharp image throughout and a clear 2 channel audio that came through my system nicely also. There is little in the way of extras, just some nice biography pages about Chiba and the films but who really cares about extras when you're getting two great Chiba kick ass classics in such nice quality for under ten bucks. Go on and treat yourself, go buy this cracker right now!!
|Released by Diamond Entertainment|
|Region 1 - Rated R|
|Ratio - widescreen|
|Audio - 2.0 stereo|