IMDb > Sonny Chiba's Dragon Princess (1976)

Sonny Chiba's Dragon Princess (1976) More at IMDbPro »Hissatsu onna kenshi (original title)


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Release Date:
31 January 1976 (Japan) See more »
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Tagline:
Her Father Is A Streetfighter See more »
Plot:
Karate master Kazuma gets severely beaten and crippled by nefarious rival Nikaido. Kazuma trains his loyal daughter Yumi in the martial arts so she can exact a harsh revenge on Nikaido and his band of evil thugs. | Add synopsis »
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One of the better Sonny Chiba flicks that isn't The Street Fighter See more (15 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Etsuko Shihomi ... Yumi Higaki

Shin'ichi Chiba ... Kazuma Higaki (as Sonny Chiba)
Yasuaki Kurata ... Masahiko Okizaki
Jirô Chiba ... Jiro Chinen
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bin Amatsu ... Hironobu Nikaido
Masashi Ishibashi ... Shiroge Oni
Tatsuya Kameyama ... Baba
Shunsuke Kariya ... Yokoi
Yoshi Katô ... Kakuzen
Genji Kawai ... Robert Okizaki
Hôsei Komatsu ... Eisaku Ohba
Yûsuke Nagumo ... Mashiko
Ryôjirô Nishimoto ... Nagashima
Kyôko Okada ... Mrs. Chinen
Takeshi Omaeda ... Yasuda
Go Otsuka ... Li Tie-Gen
Kazuyuki Saito ... Tabuchi
Gajirô Satô ... Takataro
Kyôichi Satô ... Inukai
Kôji Sawada ... Miyoshi
Gôzô Sôma ... Oishi
Chû Takatsuki ... Kuroe
Toyoko Takechi ... Ojo
Akira Ôizumi ... Gensuke

Directed by
Yutaka Kohira 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hirô Matsuda 

Original Music by
Shunsuke Kikuchi 
 
Cinematography by
Hanjiro Nakada 
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hissatsu onna kenshi" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
81 min | USA:90 min
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Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
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FAQ

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One of the better Sonny Chiba flicks that isn't The Street Fighter, 29 July 2013

Well, Chiba's not the main character though, so a lot of people ignore it. Unlike a lot of Japanese karate movies, The Dragon Princess takes massive influence from the Hong Kong kung-fu stuff was popular around the same time, which highlights the disparity between the two countries in terms of craftsmanship. For no apparent reason, the opening death duel takes place in a windy cobweb-encrusted abandoned church ostensibly in the middle of some ghost town, with leaves blowing in through the flapping wooden doors. There's an almost psychedelic playfulness with color throughout the movie, and details like breakaway props are handled very well--unlike the Chinese stuff, there was a lot of attention payed to making this film "look cinematic." With that said, there is a simple training/revenge story arc, and emphasis is on the rural rather than the urban, but 70s fashion, funky porn guitars and un-stylized, dirty shakeycam combat are always there to remind you it's a karate movie.

The cool thing about Su Shiomi is that like Sonny Chiba, she was designed to play the same role every time. She's endearing; her face tells you everything you need to know about her character. Which is great, because the plot is horrible! It's hard to tell whether some aspects are plot holes or just weird little moral irregularities. Like, early on the main villain spares Sonny Chiba's life (he only wants to raise his position, so Chiba leaving town is good enough), and so Chiba hobbles out and catches a plane to New York for the next decade. Even though he's very much alive, he STILL puts his daughter through a grueling training regiment during her childhood for the sole purpose of revenge. "Avenge my non-lethal injury and minor inconvenience!" Anyway, the story isn't important. There's supposed to be something about a tournament, but it's just an excuse to toss in some neat "around the world" setpieces as the villain's gimmicky miniboss team travels to Cuba and South America attempting to kill high level contestants.

By the way, the bad guy's played by a test tube clone of Han from Enter the Dragon (probably). He's pretty believable with his nervous/amused facial tics and generally amicable, businesslike approach to villainy.

The most common grindhouse version of the film that's floating around may be cut, at a brisk 79 minutes (including a badly spliced in 70s sex scene that's not even from this movie), but it doesn't seem as if anything important is missing.

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