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THE MOVIE THAT GAVE MARTIAL ARTS FLICKS THEIR REPUTATION FOR GORE AND SADISM!!! A MUST-SEE!
EL BUNCHO13 March 2002
Remember during the height of the martial arts movie boom (roughly 1973-1976) the reputation that chopsocky films had for being replete with misery, violence, gore and degradation of the human spirit? Well, most films in the genre didn't live up to the hype at all. THE STREETFIGHTER, however, set the standard for onscreen insanity, was originally rated X for violence, and has yet to be equalled (well...maybe THE STORY OF RIKI) for sheer, nasty entertainment value.

Sonny Chiba stars as Terry Tsurugi, an utterly amoral b**tard who is absolutely the last guy you would ever want to face in combat. Bruce Lee's characters had the common decency to simply kill you and move on, whereas Tsurugi would make his punishment of an opponent extremely personal, down to the point of tearing off pieces of their bodies. His fighting style is graceless but effective, and a lot easier for any of us who strove to match the grace of Bruce to appreciate. If you want to see ass-whuppin' administered with balletic grace and artistry, do not see this film. If you want to see a guy mercilessly whip truckloads of ass, then this is the movie for you!

In a nutshell: Terry tsurugi is a badass-for-hire who will take on any job if his price is met. Plotline #1 has Terry rescuing convicted karate murderer Junjo from his date with the hangman. When Terry relocates Junjo to Hong Kong so the Japanese police won't find him, Junjo's brother and sister show up and tell Terry that they can't afford to pay him the rest of the money they owe for their brother's escape. Tragedy results that will make Junjo Terry's bitterest enemy and will eventually see them in a final showdown where only one will survive.Plotline #2 sees Terry volunteering to bodyguard the heiress to an oil fortune who is being pressured by the Yakuza. Her uncle happens to be a Karate master who is the only man alive that Tsurugi respects, and by working for him, Terry makes an attempt at redeeming himself as a human being (well, sort of...). Terry tries to stay one step ahead of the Yakuza, and his efforts culminate in a literal bloodbath where he takes on about thirty goons and puts much foot to ass.

The two plotlines overlap wildly and the ass-whuppin' set-pieces are loads of violent fun. Chiba's intense performance is unlike any other character in the history of the genre. Mean, violent and downright reprehensible, THE STREETFIGHTER is a unique milestone in the martial arts movie genre. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.
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Blood Stained Action
eibon0926 May 2000
Gekitotsu Satsujin Ken/The Streetfighter(1974) is a movie that relies more on pure action and violence then on plot. The main character is an interesting one because he's a very complex person when it comes to understanding his reasons for his job. It doesn't have the grace and polish of a Bruce Lee film but then not many Kung Fu or Karate flicks are on the level of Bruce Lee's movies. Romeo Must Die(2000) must have been influenced by this especially with the scene where a man is killed while the film is using X-rays to display this sequence. The Streetfighter(1974) is to Martial Art films as the Lone Wolf & Cub films are to the samurai genre. The best way to watch this movie is in its uncut and letterbox version.
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8/10
Become a number one man!
bergma15@msu.edu2 November 2005
Streetfighter is a show case for the karate talents of Sonny Chiba. Chiba plays Terry Tsurugi, a man who was orphaned when his Japanese father was executed in China during World War II. Terry is now back in Japan and kicking ass for a living. He's the best of the best in Japan and is hired to help get a criminal on death row out of prison. He manages to do this using an ancient technique (yeah, I know, they all use some ancient technique). Sonny then ends up killing the guy's brother due to an argument over payment and getting his sister sold into prostitution.

After this Sonny is propositioned by the Yakuza to kidnap a girl who is an oil heiress. Sonny jumps sides and starts working for her protectors after a show down with her uncle, the leader of a karate school. This flick is packed with violence galore. Sonny does some pretty cool stuff, and amazingly, the whole plot manages to come together at the end. There are also a few one liners that are pretty cool.

This is the flick that made me a Sonny Chiba fan.
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Become a NUMBER ONE MAN!
konover12 March 2004
Sonny Chiba is one of the very few martial-arts stars that has escaped Bruce Lee's shadow and this film shows you why. Though he wears dark clothes and is shirtless, (just like Lee), during some of the fight scenes, he still comes across as an original.

He's got screen presence to spare and his deadpan approach to the exaggerated violence and fight scenes makes this funny and a totally awesome guy movie with lots of blood, gore and fighting. The one thing that I thought was strange was the throaty, phlegm-sounding war-cry that Chiba and other karate masters use throughout the film, but even that grows on you.

I was inspired to watch this film when I saw short clips in "True Romance". The fight scene looked original, so I gave it a shot. Loved it.

How can you go wrong when the star of the films utters lines like, "Maybe some day we can hold a death match." and, after punching a guy in the back, "You'll be unconscious through lack of oxygen; it's an ancient technique."

And I really dig the roly-poly karate master who goes on to teach Chiba's character a few new things about fighting. How many times do you get to see an obviously overweight character show that being overweight doesn't prevent you from kicking ass?

The character of Ratnose does get overbearing after a while, but it's a small price to pay to watch Chiba play one of the coolest anti-heroes of all time.

"Become...a number one man!" and rent this movie. Pure 70s martial-arts cheese and ass kicking.
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10/10
Isn't that mean and nasty!
mister_pig12 June 2003
Great movie! Sonny Chiba is the ultimate martial arts star. Everything about this movie is great... well, not everything. For instance... Ratnose? If you were the sidekick of a martial arts maniac like Terry, would you call yourself Ratnose? Oh well, as annoying as Ratnose is, you can live with it because The Street fighter is what it's all about. You will become tired of hearing Ratnose whine "Terry, Terry, Terrrrrryyyyy!" but at least it's good for a couple of laughs.

If you like this one, you just about have to see Return of The Street Fighter, which completes the story. However, The Street Fighters Last Revenge is the best of the series in my book.

All in all, this one will remain a classic for all time.

10 out of 10
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7/10
S10 Reviews: The Street Fighter (1974)
suspiria1028 August 2005
Synopsis: Terry Tsurugi (the great Sonny Chiba) is a martial arts master who uses his abundant talents as a mercenary gun-for-hire. Terry is brought in by the Yakuza to kidnap the daughter and sole heir of a recently deceased uber-rich oil tycoon. But when the mafia can't meet the monetary composition that Terry asks for they attempt to keep their plot secret by offing Terry. What a momentous mistake on their part.

Thoughts: Sonny Chiba's "The Street Fighter" is considered a classic in the martial arts genre. I certainly won't disagree with that since the film is a solid action flick with serious energy. The English dubbing is awful (as always) but does lend itself to the entertainment. The action scenes are shot and staged masterfully and Chiba kicks the baddies from one side of the screen to the next. There are a few tired clichés (the smart-alec sidekick who becomes more of a hindrance than anything) but the overall end result is very entertaining.
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10/10
"If you've got to fight, fight dirty!!!"
dee.reid6 February 2006
Sonny Chiba has been described by some as an anti-Bruce Lee and I agree, but to a certain extent. You see, it's not really fair considering that Lee is dead, they both hail from separate nationalities, represent different martial arts ideals (Lee founded Jeet Kune Do, Chiba was a mean karate machine), and Chiba has demonstrated he can more than hold his own against the disposable bad guys sent in his direction. Like Christian Slater's character described in "True Romance" (1993) regarding Chiba's "The Street Fighter" (1974), "he's just a bad motherf**ker, he gets paid by people to f**k guys up." Directed by Shigehiro Ozawa, Sonny Chiba's Terry Tsurugi is that lethal, that ruthless, that dirty a fighter. He's a one-man hit-squad, paid by gangsters to spring a condemned fighter from prison but when his price gets too high on his next assignment - a kidnapping - he's forced to make his hands and feet do the talking. The action in "The Street Fighter" is fairly gruesome, allowing it to become the first film to be rated "X" for violence in the United States. He pokes eyes, kicks feet, slaps around women, rips out tonsils (and other choice body parts), targets the solar plexus, and throws dudes out of top-floor windows. I loved it from start to finish, and it's easy to why it's so beloved to Quentin Tarantino.

10/10
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10/10
VIVA CHIBA
malcolm-is-mean23 January 2004
I have to say, Sonny Chiba is really amazing. He rises above the conventional status of actors in contemporary kung fu films. His characters always are very dark and he generates a deeper persona than is usually seen in the genre. I have been a fan of his for quite some time (I even was given a tshirt with a picture of him that says: Badazz Mofo). His films are unique because they play off as film noir pieces set to a kung fu sub genre rather than merely conform (or at least some of his movies). Now, in his cameo in Tarantino's "Kill Bill," he steals the show. He never really got the recognition he deserves. He is the Fred WIllimason or Clint Eastwood of his kind.
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9/10
ouch!
PIST-OFF4 July 1999
I first heard about this through Christian Slater's character in True Romance, so I bought it. It's a great martial arts film, Sonny Chiba does better then anyone else could in trying to fill Buce Lee's shoes. This is probably one of the best non Bruce Lee martial arts films ever. Sonny Chiba sets himself up as an eternal movie bad-ass. He is paid by people to go around kicking the hell out of other people. Good action sequence and good directing over shadow the not so great acting. This movie originally had an X rating in the United States because of a scene where Chiba castrates a man with his bare hand. It remains the only movie ever rated X not to have any sex in it. My favorite scene is the X-Ray vision skull cracker scene which later went on to be used in the ultra ultra violent Story Of Ricky.
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10/10
Moral of the Story: Don't do a flying kick at a guy standing in front of a window.
wierzbowskisteedman23 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Plot Summary: Sonny Chiba takes it upon himself to protect the heiress of an oil company, resulting in him beating up a load of guys and spilling much blood.

'Streetfighter', aka The One Christian Slater Is Watching In True Romance, is without a doubt one of the greatest, most enjoyable martial arts films ever made. Set in twentieth century Japan, the film quickly sets Sonny's character up as one of, if not the toughest, most brutal antihero in the history of cinema. After going to great lengths to rescue a guy from being executed, Sonny meets the brother and sister who hired him for the assignment, and then kills the guy and sells the girl into prostitution just because they didn't keep their word regarding his payment details! As the film deals with Sonny's moral - free monster of a character, there is no time in between the awesome fight sequences for emotion or fortune cookie wisdom spouting. Only once, when we learn about the fate of Sonny's father, is there any emotion directed towards his character. The rest of the time the film is reliant on Sonny's charisma to give it any depth past the fight scenes. Thankfully, Sonny has bucket loads of it but as this is a martial arts film it wouldn't really matter if he didn't. He is without a doubt one of the coolest Asian actors ever.

Overall this is essential for any fans of Japanese chop socky cinema or martial arts in general. It has everything; an impossibly cool and tough lead, huge body count, swords, axes, guns, OTT blood spewing, people falling to their deaths, cars being tipped of bridges, a revenge subplot, people spitting out their teeth, gorgeous Japanese women and a guy being hit in the stomach so hard his last meal comes out his mouth! Oh and one of the coolest theme tunes in history.

A ten out of ten film if there ever was one.
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6/10
Good, Bad, He's Sonny Chiba!!
mrbishop7719 February 2001
Playing the most morally ambiguous hero ever, Sonny Chiba is Terry Tsuguri the rough and dirty mercenary called 'The Street Fighter'. His fighting style resembles that of an injured ape with respiratory problems, he can crack peoples skulls with a single smack, and most of all there is no way in hell he wants you to like him. Too Bad his fight scenes are a joke. Every opponent he goes up against looks like Bruce Lee compared to him. This movie is for those that like a good laugh and cheap exploitation flicks. Not for serious kung fu fanatics. I would compare this more to Dolemite than anything you might see otherwise in the genre. Check out the Return of the Street Fighter for better action scenes and less of the BS story.
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time to get tough
lee_eisenberg4 October 2011
Sonny Chiba was mostly a cult star for years until he appeared in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" as a sword-maker (I'd never heard of him until then). Of course, fans of martial arts movies knew Chiba for movies like "Gekitotsu! Satsujin Ken" (called "The Streetfighter" in English).

Without a doubt, the 1970s were known for martial arts movies -- along with disco -- and this movie is a prime example. Chiba plays Takuma Tsurugi (called Terry in the English dubbing), a martial arts master who has to come to the rescue of a kidnapped heiress. That's the official plot, but there can be no doubt that the flick's main purpose is to show off every imaginable move, with some scenes slowed up just so that you can see the action. I wouldn't put the movie in the same class as "Enter the Dragon", but even so, it's some of the most fun that you can have watching a movie. I hope that Sonny Chiba gets to appear in more movies!
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9/10
Sonny Chiba Messes people up
darrenmurray8415 June 2016
This was the film that made Chiba an international star, and is also famous as being the first film in America to be given an X certificate due to its violent content and not for sex or swearing.

There is very little plot in the film. Luckily there is some excellent action along the way which makes up for any of the plots shortcomings. Chiba is excellent and proves once again that he is one of the best martial arts stars ever. Here he plays Takama Tsuguri, the Streetfighter of the title. He isn't you'r usual kind of hero, and in any other film he would be probably classed as a villain. The film begins with Tsuguri being hired to break out a convict from prison which he does with extremely violent results. Afterwards he is double crossed by the family. Most people would get their revenge by just beating them up, not Tsuguri. Instead he beats up the convicts brother and sells the sister into prostitution, and this is the hero of the movie.

What lies ahead of this are a number of increasingly violent action scenes culminating in an excellent fight on board a giant tanker fighting the main villains henchman until he comes face to face once again with the convict that he freed at the beginning of the film.

Direction in the movie is basic, other than a use of an x-ray shot that shows broken bones, which was utilised to better effect years later in the Jet Li movie "Romeo Must Die". Also there are no performances of note other than Chiba, and even then he is known more for his fighting skills than his thespian ones.

It is no surprise that this film made Chiba a star as he is definitely in a class of his own. His popularity in America was also due to the death of Bruce Lee and audience's wanted to fill the void left by him. Personally I prefer Chiba to Bruce Lee. He may not be as skilled as a Martial Artist, but just seems more deadly on screen than Lee was. Even in its dubbed and re-edited form, the Streetfighter is still a great Martial Arts movie.
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8/10
The Street Fighter Review
thescholar229 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This time I'll talk about a film in the public domain, at least I think it is, called The Street Fighter. It's not that movie based on the video game but a series of grindhouse action films by Sonny Chiba. Before being in Kill Bill he was doing action movies in the 1970's and is considered the Steven Segal of Japan at the time. In The Street Fighter Sonny Chiba plays a mercenary named "Terry" for the yakuza.

After doing a favor for the yakuza by saving a death row prisoner. When a rich guy dies and leaves all of his fortune to his daughter in Japan the yakuza order Terry to kidnap her. Terry refuses because he wanted more money and then the yakuza end up ordering to kill him. There's also a fight scene where Terry fights a martial arts master at a dojo and has a change of heart at the end of the fight. He ends up protecting her at his service free of charge. There's even a subplot where there's these people out to get him for being half Chinese.

This was also Quentin Tarantino's inspiration to do films when he saw this in theaters back in the 1970's.
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9/10
Recommended
simon_booth22 May 2012
I had believed that I had seen this film on a lousy cropped + dubbed DVD some years ago and found it not deserving of the affection/adoration with which it is usually discussed. However, the film seemed so wholly unfamiliar when I watched it tonight that I think I may simply not have seen it before at all - I can't believe that widescreen + original language/subtitles would make _that_ much difference. Then again, my memory is very poor! Regardless, it seems I've finally found my Sonny Chiba groove, and can completely see why this film is loved and revered. It's as ultra-violent, nasty, sleazy a piece of 70's karate-sploitation as you're ever going to see! Chiba plays Tsurugi, a merciless karate master whose moral stance is at best ambiguous - the baddest of asses, if ever an ass was bad! He is quite happy to kill for money, but his real wish seems simply to fight an opponent of equal skill and bloodthirstiness. He volunteers to protect a wealthy heiress, though whether his real motive is to steal her money is never quite resolved. Once the bad guys start sending their karate masters to kill him it's a moot point, though, as he's much more interested in maiming and mutilating them! The film was made only a year or so after Bruce Lee's death, and it's clear that Chiba was being offered as the Japanese replacement for him - but unlike many abortive attempts by the HK studios to produce a "new Bruce Lee", Toei realised from the start that imitation wasn't the right approach... Chiba is in many ways an "anti-Bruce"... rugged, mean, visceral and brutal. He's definitely not a "hero" in any traditional sense... he even warns the heiress' family that he may be worse than the people he's going to protect her from.

The film is action packed pretty much from the beginning to the end, with a small army of goons apparently willing to throw themselves on Chiba's lack of mercy - which he rewards with a whole lot of bone cracking, eye gouging and body part ripping violence. Chiba's style is distinctive, and the fights have a rawness that is quite different from the kung fu films of the day. Much of it seems to be full-contact, with Chiba hitting pretty hard. The film piles on the gore gleefully and gruesomely, though obviously the special effects look dated today.

The film delivers all that fans of trashy, violent exploitation might be looking for except perhaps for nudity - conspicuously absent given the trends of the times... perhaps they didn't want to distract people's attention. It's easy to see why Chiba became an international icon, and why the film is regarded as a classic of its genre.

Highly (but selectively) recommended!
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9/10
The Streetfighter (1974)
SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain31 December 2011
Superb action film that is superior to all recent efforts. The Street Fighter is everything you should love about the genre. In fact, it does so much right, it should be used as a template for any film wishing to achieve such levels of excitement and brutality. The first thing to grab my attention was the lead protagonist. He isn't exactly a nice guy. Far from it. He's a mercenary for hire, and not the lovable rogue like Han Solo. He is sadistic and cruel and self serving. However, Chiba manages to instill such charisma that I was drawn to the performance. As the film progressed, so did Chiba. His actions became more heroic, even if his methods could still make me cringe. The action scenes are those I long to return. This isn't some "exciting" frenetic exercise in editing. The action derives from the actors and the stunts. The camera is following what is going on, and heavy editing is not needed. There are some stylistic flourishes which add extra cool, but not so much as to detract from the emotions of the characters. Some parts are a little convoluted, but the balance between story, dialog, and action is beautifully thought out. It's all helped along by a very 70's and very sexy soundtrack.
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9/10
If it's sheer bad-assery you're after, then look no further.
BA_Harrison30 September 2011
Shame on me: I've been reviewing cult Japanese movies for years now but this is the first Sonny Chiba film I've tackled. And I call myself a martial arts fan...

Sonny is, of course, a legend of Japanese action cinema, and The Street Fighter is his undisputed masterpiece, an incredibly violent showcase for the star's remarkable Karate skills (and his reasonable impression of Bruce Lee). As seemingly indestructible mercenary anti-hero Terry Tsurugi, Sonny kicks, punches and tears through a veritable army of opponents, leaving them either dead, or writhing on the floor in agony, blood pouring from one or more orifices. The brutality reaches a climax in a stunning finale set aboard a rain-lashed oil tanker which must rank as one of the most intense fight scenes ever committed to film.

But it's not just about the violence: the stylish execution also makes this a cut above many martial arts movies of the day, with great cinematography, innovative direction from Shigehiro Ozawa (including the legendary 'X-Ray' punch shot mimicked in Jet Li's Romeo Must Die), great editing and a funky 70s soundtrack. Do yourself a favour... don't leave it as long as I did before watching this incredible piece of Asian excess.

8.5 out of 10, rounded up to 9 for IMDb.
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7/10
Big, stupid, and very gory fun
tomgillespie200221 August 2011
Takuma Tsurugi (Sonny Chiba) is a martial artist for hire, and at the start of the film, helps the soon-to-be-executed Taketi (Masashi Ishibashi) escape by giving him his 'oxygen coma punch' to the back of his head. He is rushed to hospital and is freed by some of Tsurugi's helpers. Later a group of gangsters try to hire him to kidnap the daughter of an oil tycoon, Sarai (Yutaka Nakajima), which he refuses due to them being Yakuza. Instead, he attacks the dojo where she is being held and is eventually beaten by the dojo master, who nevertheless hires Tsurugi to protect her. Soon he and Sarai are being hunted by the Yakuza, who have also hired Taketi to murder Tsurugi.

Recently this film and its two sequels were given a new lease of life by Tony Scott's True Romance, where the two leads are watching a Sonny Chiba marathon in the cinema (scriptwriter Tarantino being clearly a fan). But Chiba has been huge in Japan and amongst fans of the martial arts fans for decades, and it's not difficult to see why. Chiba is simply a force of nature on screen, with his monkey-like fighting movements and often terrifying facial expressions. His character here is a nasty piece of work. He isn't all inner peace and fighting for the greater good. He fights for money, and will quite happily rip your cock and balls off to stop a rape. Tsurugi's repulsiveness is refreshing, and Chiba is so fascinating to watch in the role that you can't help cheering for him, even when he's beating up a group of innocent karate apprentices.

The plot itself is as convoluted and confusing as a lot of the Japanse Yazuka/martial arts films are, and near to the end I'd forgotten who half the characters were and what their purpose was. But with action scenes this good, I couldn't have cared less. The first film in the US to receive an 'X' rating solely for its violence, The Streetfighter revels in its over-the-top blood letting, and is all the better for it. Mouthfuls of teeth are knocked out, a skull is shattered in X-ray vision, and the aforementioned castration scene has Chiba gleefully holding the prize possession in the air once it's been removed. Big, stupid, and very gory fun.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com
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9/10
Brutal, Bloody, Beastly, SONNY CHIBA! Warning: Spoilers
Seldom does a film define the term "bad-ass" as it is the case with Shigehiro Ozawa's Japanese Karate-Exploitation classic "Gekitotsu! Satsujin Ken" aka. "The Street Fighter" of 1974 starring the almighty Sonny Chiba in his arguably most career-defining role. This stylish and truly brutal flick is positively one of the most ultra-violent martial-arts films ever brought to screen, and it's easily one of the coolest, too.

Sonny Chiba shines as the ferocious antihero Tamuka Tsurugi, a hired assassin capable of taking out entire armies with his fists of death. Actually, Tamuka is a dirt-bag beyond the usual antihero-standards. Right in the beginning he rescues a convicted criminal from the gallows. After his client's siblings cannot pay him, he kills the brother and sells the sister into prostitution. Yet, Tamuka has his very own, unbreakable, moral code of honor. After his refusal to take part in the kidnapping a beautiful young heiress (Yutaka Nakajima), members of the mob make an unsuccessful attempt on Tamuka's life - an act which has earned them a mortal enemy...

In the US this was the first film ever to be rated X merely for violence. And this truly is an extremely brutal film, even for Japanese 70s exploitation standards - I do not want to spoil the best parts, but I can assure that fans of gory Grindhouse cinema will have the time of their lives. Sonny Chiba is truly outstanding. Ferocious, irascible and without mercy, Chiba is the the ultimate killing machine. When clenching his muscles in order to make a deadly move, he makes creepy noises that are almost capable of making the viewers afraid to be the next to get their asses kicked. I love Bruce Lee flicks, but compared to Chiba, even the most violent ones with Lee seem like harmless comedies. One could not claim that the storyline of "The Street Fighter" is the most elaborate thing ever written, but the incredibly stylish, ultra-violent action, the film's gritty and mean-spirited character and Chiba's overwhelming presence make this a true must-see for anyone even remotely interested in Exploitation and Japanese cinema.

The cast includes several familiar faces for Japanese Exploitation fans, such as Fumio Watanbe, who is probably best known for playing the sadistic Warden in the fantastic first two "Joshuu Sasori" ("Female Prisoner Scorpion") films starring Meiko Kaji in 1972, and also had a part in the first of the brilliant "Kozure Ôkami" ("Lone Wolf And Cub") films starring Tombisaburo Wakayama, "Lone Wolf and Cub - Sword of Justice" in the same year. Beautifully Yukuta Nakajima makes a nice female lead, Goichi Yamada is fun as Chiba's sidekick and Masahi Ishibashi is great as his nemesis Shikenbaru, an equally skilled karate-killer. Chiba himself, of course, outshines anybody else in the role of one of the most ferocious antiheroes in motion picture history, and the ultimate killing machine in any Karate-flick. "The Street Fighter" is an awesome, stylish and ultra-brutal viewing experience and nobody who likes Exploitation or Japanese cinema could possibly consider missing it. A true gem; All hail Sonny Chiba!
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7/10
Masterpiece of Martial Arts
whpratt112 November 2008
This picture held my interest from the very beginning to the end with a film that is full of blood and gore. Sonny Chiba, (Terry) is hired to protect a young gal who has inherited a very large fortune and the the Asian mafia gets involved with trying to kidnap this rich young gal. There is eye-balls torn out, rape and drugs injected into a girl's veins in order to turn her into a full time prostitute. The martial arts was outstanding throughout the entire picture and Sonny Chiba put his entire heart and soul into this great 1974 film. I have never seen such a great film and was very glad I was able to obtain this film which I can enjoy over and over. Enjoy
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7/10
Sonny Chiba plays Sonny Chiba in "Sonny Chi... I mean, "The Streetfighter"!
sc803118 July 2008
The Streetfighter remains one of the defining films of the Japanese martial arts, "grindhouse", "chop-socky" era from the 1970s. It's one of the titles that made Sonny Chiba famous and features really impressive high-level karate.

But the film isn't light-hearted, nor is it made humorous by its dub (as is the case with the contemporary Shaw Bros. films of the time). It is violent, gritty, misogynistic, and a bit racist. It explores gritty underworld elements: drug trafficking, sex slavery, contract killing, etc.

The plot revolves around Terry, an underground mercenary in modern Japan, who is forced into a life of crime (presumably) for being half-Chinese in a racist, conservative society. He is offered a job to rescue a wealthy oil baron's daughter-heiress after she is kidnapped by Yakuza. The way the events transpire and the plot develops is actually pretty solid for a "B" movie, and here Street Fighter stands far above its sequels or genre contemporaries.

Terry as a character is complex and depressing. He is angry and violent and completely unsympathetic to others, but he is the one we are supposed to connect with. Many people who cross his path are perhaps more upstanding people but are killed either because they are in the way of his contract jobs or because they are not as equally driven by hatred.

Sure, maybe it's a character study or a commentary on Japanese society in post-World War II. But that's only in hind-sight and even if so, it's just icing. The premise of the movie is to create a situation for Sonny Chiba to kill a bunch of violent criminals while on commission. But this is okay, because the acting is good, the martial arts are real good, the music is catchy funk-inspired rock and enka from the '70s, and the plot maintains your attention throughout.
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10/10
The Greatest Film of its Kind
mrcruns20 April 2005
People often think that I'm joking when I try to tell them what a masterpiece this film really is. Now I know it's badly dubbed and the script has probably been ripped apart from the original but it's still a thousand times better than 90% of the rubbish we get now. Lines like "Tell that **** who sent you how sorry I am I can no longer be her friend" heard while looking into the face of the most convincing hard man in film history.

Terry Tsurugi is the man, Sonny Chiba can say more with his contorted face than any one else I've seen in films. But it's not just the look on his face that makes him convincing, there's something very nasty and practical about the way he deals with his enemies and the long cuts make the whole thing more real.

There is also immense complexity in the character, a man who lives by the code taught to him by his farther moments before he was executed, a fine speech punctuated by the line "Become the Number One Man!" Not you're typical hero or your typical anti hero, a man who killed an innocent man before selling his grieving sister into slavery and yet somehow you're still routing for him all the way.

If you do have the chance to see this film, try not to dismiss it before you give Terry a chance.
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A number one man, a number one movie
Super_Fu_Manchu11 December 2003
God, this film is so cool. From the opening scene where Chiba tells his most recent adversary "You'll be unconscious soon through lack of oxygen- its an ancient technique", to the infamous final battle on a stormy night- this is a movie and a half. Classic 70s waow waow music, horribly wonderful dialogue and about 20 rewind moments, this deserves Tarantino's praise. A great time. Return Of The Street Fighter is less sucessful though, so only for the hardcore fans.
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10/10
The way it should be done.
EZWalk16 June 2002
This movie was exactly what it should have been. It's called the street fighter and thats what he does. The whole movie a series of gratitiously violent, but if you're watching a movie called the street fighter, what else would you expect. What I love about this particular film are the fights. That should be odvious given he title of the film. The choreography is some of my favorite. It's a very unique style I haven't seen in any other films. Not that i think its the best just very cool to watch. I've only seen one of the sequels and it wasn't in the same ball park as this film.

A must see for a fan of the genre.
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10/10
skull-bustin, ball-rippin', no-holds-barred!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
T-Dogg21 June 1999
This movie is a skull-bustin', ball-rippin', no-holds-barred martial arts movie starring one of the biggest and baddest s.o.b. you could ever run into. The movie is slightly humorous with the sound effects given by Sonny Chiba during his fights scenes. Very cool, very bloody martial arts masterpiece.
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