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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 328 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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Title: Executioner (1974)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
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
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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The meanest Chiba movie yet! See more »

Genres:

Action

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Direct Hit! Hell Fist  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Connections

Followed by Karate Inferno (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Basically Lupin III
22 August 2012 | by See all my reviews

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.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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