6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Madcap Pythonesque mock-up of Hollywood's "Asians"
raktratt from Republika Srpska
24 September 2005
A side-splitting spoof of western perceptions of Asian culture as
presented by Hollywood, beginning with Charlie Chan and Fu Manchu in
the 30s and 40s and then straight through to the James Bond and early
No need for any sort of substantive plot as we chuckle along at the
antics of bumbling inspector Hoku (played by Zero Mostel) as he follows
the trail of robot-thieving criminals (this is supposed to be set in
Japan after all). Along the way our hero meets up with various
unexpected dangers from Japanese keystone cops and a police captain
bent on suicide (played by veteran Japanese actor Frankie Sakai). The
"action" is frequently interrupted by our hero's fantasy dream
sequences of his previous incarnation as a great samurai and moments of
Zen-fortune-cookie clarity. Fans of Japanese cinema will also note that
experienced actress Keiko Kishi makes an appearance as the hero's love
Great fun for some of us, but the humor, and especially the parody, may
well not be to everybody's taste, especially those already deeply
offended by the subject of ridicule, one of Hollywood's largest and
oldest sub-genre catalogs.
I don't think the 1976 date stated above is accurate, as the film was
made much earlier. As noted above, it was never released in theaters.
It has appeared as the late-night movie on North American television
occasionally before being released on VHS in 1999.
It should be noted that Hollywood was still churning out various
strange representations of Asian culture well past the time this movie
was made. It's too easy to see Cato (as played by Bruce Kwouk) of the
Pink Panther movies in harikiri-deathwishing Captain Yamada, just to
cite one example.
Well worth an 8.0 for those of us who really enjoy this kind of
Add another review