Monday, April 15, 2013

The Streetfighter (1974)

After turning down a kidnapping job because the money isn't good enough, mercenary Terry (Sonny Chiba) becomes a marked man and must take down his would-be employers.

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If you only know Sonny Chiba from his brief role as samurai swordsmith Hattori Hanzo in the Kill Bill films, boy are you missing out. For my money Chiba can stand toe-to-toe with the great ToshirĂ´ Mifune when it comes to sheer charismatic bad-assery. If you find yourself looking for a good entry point to this living legend's fifty-year career, look no further than the classic that is The Streetfighter, the first film ever rated X for violence! Need more incentive? This is the film Clarence is watching in True Romance when he first meets Alabama! I knew that last bit would really sell you on this!

Now when you finally decide to inject this movie into your life, be careful you aren't acquiring either of the awful live-action adaptations of the similarly titled Street Fighter video games. If you start the movie and see either Jean-Claude Van Damme or Kristin Kreuk on your screen, you fucked up royally. Actually, let me make things easy for you. Since the film is public domain, not available on Netflix and can most often be found in the dollar bin, here's a link to the entire film on Youtube. Surely not the ideal way to experience any film, but until Criterion or somebody issues a pristine, anamorphic, Blu-ray transfer, this will have to do. Now don't say I never gave you anything. You're welcome.

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