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Shôrinji kenpô (1975)

R | | Action, Drama | February 1976 (USA)
Sonny Chiba plays the character referred to as "Mr Soh", who is based on the true life founder of Shorinji Kempo, Doshin So. Mr Soh has been acting as a secret agent in Manchuria during the... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Doshin So (as Sonny Chiba)
Yutaka Nakajima ...
Kiku Sakamoto
Makoto Satô ...
Kentaro Otaki
Naoya Makoto ...
Hiroshi Tomoda
Sanae Kitabayashi ...
Kino Nakano
Akiko Mori ...
Akira Ôizumi
Hôsei Komatsu ...
Sakai Osa
Kyôichi Satô ...
Kaga
Genji Kawai ...
Murayama Senzo
Junichi Tatsu ...
Miyoshi Bungo
Kazuhide Haruta ...
Michiomi Nakano
Kinji Takinami
Rikiya Yasuoka ...
Takehara
Joya Sato
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Storyline

Sonny Chiba plays the character referred to as "Mr Soh", who is based on the true life founder of Shorinji Kempo, Doshin So. Mr Soh has been acting as a secret agent in Manchuria during the Japanese occupation. He is first seen spying on a meeting of Chinese soldiers as they plan a surprise ambush on the retreating Japanese Army. He is discovered and has to fight his way out, using fists, feet and then a machine gun. He rushes to inform the Japanese commanders of the plot, but is horrified to learn that Japan has done the unthinkable by surrendering unconditionally. Soh returns to his homeland to find a ravaged land of beaten people. Victimised by gangsters, occupation forces and corrupt local officials, the poor and the disenfranchised have lost the will to fight back. Using his "Shao Lin" skills (subtitle translation of Shorinji Kempo), he regularly champions the weak and teaches the black market thugs the error of their ways, becoming a regular guest at the local prison. He is seen... Written by David Noble

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

martial arts | See All (1) »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

February 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Killing Machine  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The promotional trailer on the DVD release shows a missing scene, where Otaki is involved in a one-to-one fight with Soh just before he breaks down and tells him his wife is dead. See more »

Connections

Edited into Martial Arts Mayhem Vol. 3 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
classic Chiba!!
8 March 2007 | by (Toronto) – See all my reviews

"The Killing Machine" undoubtedly did not make the short list for foreign films up for Oscars in 1975, but for Chiba fans, this is pure gold.

It's 1945, and Chiba is a spy in the Japanese Imperial Army, one of the many "disillusioned" young men after Japan's unconditional surrender. The story takes him from the poor streets of post-war Japan, taking care of homeless kids, to founding a karate school which provides a bulwark of purity against corrupt drug traffickers.

The campy hokeyness is best exemplified in the first scene, when Chiba is spying on Chinese commanders in a nondescript house at the front. He is discovered, fights his way out, and in the split second change in scene, stumbles into a Japanese office, like it was located in the very next room (hey, do you think the two sets were side by side????).

But this film contains some great fight scenes. Back kicks, devastating punches, spurting limbs, and genitalia severed with scissors and fed to the local stray dogs abounds. In my fav scene which really exemplifies Chiba's style, he lays waste to an opponent by bending his arm back and breaking it, and it flops backwards at a grotesque angle. Then, as though this wasn't enough, he takes the time to turn the guy over and break his other arm! Classic!!! who can argue with this type of genius!!

Definitely, definitely see this, if possible with some beers and a bunch of friends with the same taste in campy 1970's martial arts films.


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