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Teruo Ishii was a bit of a troll. When the studio expected something he didn't want to do, he would just have fun with it, go all out, and more or less attempt to sabotage the whole production. With The Executioner they wanted a karate film with Sonny Chiba, and technically that's what he gave them--in the same sense The Room is technically a drama that deals with complex social issues.
So, aside from the fact Chiba's character is supposed to have inherited ninjitsu, this is basically a live action adaptation of Lupin III. It's over-the-top stylish, gaudy, ultra-violent, aggressively sexist, and it's just wink wink nudge nudge the whole way through. The puerility can become a bit much. At times it feels like you're being challenged to see how much sleaze you can take, but the movie oozes style and is a lot of fun, so you stick with it. A few boner and rape jokes later, you're thinking this is absolutely stupid, why would anybody watch this? Then you see something garishly brilliant that reminds you of Dario Argento crossed with French new wave. Did Sonny Chiba just rip that guy's rib out? Holy s***! And suddenly you're back on the movie's side.
And it just goes on like that. It's some of the most extreme, exploitative, intoxicating, dumb tacky pulp you'll see this side of The Street Fighter. Much to Ishii's dismay, The Executioner was a success in Japan, and he was called on to make a sequel. It is also insane.
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