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Executioner (1974)
"Chokugeki! Jigoku-ken" (original title)

 -  Action  -  1978 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 322 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 15 critic

Three street toughs are hired to take down a Tokyo drug dealer in this hard-hitting Toei karate action film.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Ryuichi Koga (as Sonny Chiba)
Eiji Gô ...
Yutaka Nakajima ...
Emi (as Doris Nakajima)
...
Toga as a boy (as Hiroyuki Shimosawa)
Yasuaki Kurata ...
Karate teacher
Makoto Satô ...
Ryô Ikebe ...
Arashiyama
Masahiko Tsugawa ...
Mario Mizuhara
Michitaro Mizushima ...
Hakusessai Koga
Rikiya Yasuoka ...
Lone wolf
Hideo Murota ...
Boss
Meika Seri ...
Woman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kôji Hio ...
Bunshô Chin
Hiroshi Nawa
Edit

Storyline

Three street toughs are hired to take down a Tokyo drug dealer in this hard-hitting Toei karate action film.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Chiba... is back - more deadly than any weapon! See more »

Genres:

Action

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Direct Hit! Hell Fist  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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References The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
8/10 - remember it's a ninja film and enjoy it!
5 March 2006 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

In order to bust a gang of drug smugglers the law can't touch, two cops hand in their badges and hire a ninja and a pervert to take the bad guys on! Hey, don't look at me, I didn't write it :p I keep trying to like Sonny Chiba films, but have been consistently disappointed (I've liked films he's been in, such as Stormriders, but not films he's starred in). But I keep trying, because it's clear a man of such martial arts talent *should* be able to pull out some great films. Finally I've found one that, for me, realises Chiba's potential - THE EXECUTIONER - and I realised that the problem with most of the other Chiba films I've seen was a complete lack of ninjas! Chiba plays the heir to the leadership of the Koga ninja clan, whose grandfather puts him through arduous training as a child so that the clan's skills will survive. When he's old enough to leave the roost he finds his ninja skills are really not that much use, and just about makes a living as a second-rate private detective. The former cops hook him for their mission with the promise of billions of yen's worth of drug money once they take the dope from the Yakuza that are supplying it.

The 70's knew what people wanted when they went to the cinema - sex and violence! THE EXECUTIONER has little ambition more than to provide us with some of both, though definitely more of the latter. The influence of Bruce Lee is strong, but Bruce would probably never have been involved with something this sleazy. Chiba is like Bruce minus the philosophy and principles - a "bad ass", in other words. There's not a lot more to say about the film really... the plot offers little in the way of surprises, but quite a few cheap thrills and some genuine laughs (the film doesn't seem to take itself too seriously), and Chiba pulls a guy's rib right out of his chest. What else do you want????


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