When you think of a Street Fighter movie, do you think of that shittastic Jean-Claude VanDamme film from the mid-80’s? If you do, clear that preconceived notion of garbage out of your head, because for our movie to kick off our July Ninja/Martial Arts theme week, we’re talking about the 1974 Sonny Chiba fightfest THE STREET FIGHTER (aka Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken)! The one question you need to ask yourself before watching this is… Are you ready to get your guts kicked out?
Chiba plays as Terry Tsurugi – a mercenary master martial artists for hire who uses his own unique style, and will do almost anything for money. He gets hired to break Tateki Shikenbaru, a convicted murderer of of jail, and he decides to do it by using an ancient technique known as the “oxygen coma punch”, which makes Shikenbaru appear to have a heart attack on his way up to his pending execution. As they rush the felon to the hospital, Chiba and his sidekick Ratnose ambush and hijack the ambulance and deliver the murderer to safety. Back at his home, Tsurugi is confronted by Shikenbaru’s brother and sister asking about his whereabouts. When he refuses to tell them, a fight breaks out and the brother ends up jump kicking himself out of the highrise, splattering on the ground below. Tsurugi sells the sister into sex slavery, and finds out that he was hired by Yakuza to break Shikenbaru out of jail. They now want him to assassinate the daughter of a recently deceased oil baron, but the money isn’t right. Tsurugi decides that it’s time for him to protect the oil baroness now that the Yakuza wants him dead for refusing to work for them. The bodies pile up as Tsurugi kicks multiple asses and breaks piles of bones, and proves he’s the ultimate badass.
Monkeyface: Sonny Chiba’s Street Fighter, what a way to start martial arts week! I had heard of Chiba growing up but never really got a chance to see any of his movies until about 5 years ago. This was the first movie of his I saw and it’s one of his best. In contrast to someone like Jackie Chan, Chiba doesn’t have a lot of flashy moves; he is quick and to the point… and it usually means your ass. He’s like the Japanese Steven Segal, except good! He just wipes the floor with people.
Sean: You know, I had seen bits and pieces of this one multiple times, but I had never sat through an entire viewing of it. Man… I was missing out. This movie is great. I can say that I was a little confused with the plot at some points, but it wasn’t anything major. Who are we kidding here anyhow? The plot is secondary to all the buckets of blood and the outrageous fights that break out every few minutes. I also have to make note, I loved the castration scene, that was great!
Raz: I have owned this movie for quite some time but I had never fully watched it until now. On several occasions I had tried to watch this movie but the timing was never right and I never made it all the way threw. The plot also confused me at times but overall this is a great movie. It truly is a blood bath.
Monkeyface: Throughout the movie I’m confused on whether Terry is good or bad. He helps a guy escape prison (bad), and then he kills the brother of the guy who he helped escape because he couldn’t pay (bad). Later he tells the yakuza he won’t kidnap a girl for them (good). He goes to find the girl anyways and gets in a fight with the leader of the people protecting her (bad), but then he joins them (good). He then says he is more concerned about getting money than protecting the girl (bad or Han Solo good), but when she is captured he goes to get her (good)… but then he ripped off a guy’s “frank and beans” and I realized he was bad… BAD ASS that is!
Sean: Han Solo WISHES he could be Terry Tsurugi! That’s the appeal of Terry though, he plays both sides to his benefit, the ultimate anti- hero! And what a cliffhanger ending huh? I mean there’s this massive fight scene (isn’t every fight scene massive in this one?), with Tsurugi taking out the main bad guy, and then boom “THE END (FOR NOW) – Watch out for RETURN OF THE STREET FIGHTER!” They didn’t let the sheets get cold, did they? I wonder if they filmed these back to back, or when the English releases came out, they just did them both at the same time just because they could. Regardless, I can tell you that I’m looking forward to seeing the sequel. If it’s even half as good as Street Fighter, I’m fucking sold!
Raz: The one thing that had me very confused about this movie was the fact Terry Tsurugi kept getting his ass kicked. Is he a good fighter or does he have a great constitution and he gets the drop on his enemies because they think they have won? He defiantly can take a licking and keep going. One part in particular sticks out when he royally has his ass handed to him by the karate dojo master. Terry claims to have beaten him but he is the one that is bruised and bleeding and the other guy does not have a scratch on him. Don’t get me wrong I think Terry is one bad ass mother fucker. He will punch you in the fucking head and make blood shoot out of all of your orifices. I guess Terry could have ripped the guy nuts off to prove his point but then he would have been out of a job…
Monkeyface: This movie is just freakin’ brutal! Terry breaks out all of some guy’s teeth, tears out someone’s throat, and the topper to all of that… he rips of this dude’s scrotum!! I’m guessing those things right there were the reason the film was the first to receive an X rating for violence. Besides that, Chiba’s facial expressions are priceless! I would be terrified of him even if he didn’t throw kicks at my face. He just has this “man, I’ve gotta drop the deuce” look on his face when he fights. I’ve seen this movie a few times and it just keeps getting better.
Raz: I really enjoyed this movie. My only regret is that I did not watch it sooner.