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The Octagon (1980)

A martial artist must defeat a plan by ninjas to create a worldwide training camp for terrorists.


Eric Karson


Leigh Chapman (screenplay by), Paul Aaron (story by) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Chuck Norris ... Scott James
Karen Carlson ... Justine
Lee Van Cleef ... McCarn
Art Hindle ... A. J.
Carol Bagdasarian Carol Bagdasarian ... Aura
Tadashi Yamashita ... Seikura
Kim Lankford ... Nancy
Larry D. Mann ... Tibor
Kurt Grayson Kurt Grayson ... Doggo
Richard Norton ... Kyo - Seikura's Enforcer / Longlegs
Yuki Shimoda ... Katsumo - Seikura's Aide
Redmond Gleeson ... Duffy
Alan Chappuis Alan Chappuis ... Pierre
Brian Libby ... Deadwyler
Ken Gibbel Ken Gibbel ... Meat


Scott's life is plagued by two kinds of flashbacks. First are the childhood memories of the rigorous training he and a friend endured under a martial arts master. The second is of a mission Scott went on that ended with him watching his friend get murdered. Scott later becomes drawn closer to a vicious crime ring known as The Octagon. As he gets closer to the truth, Scott learns that these may be the men that murdered his friend so long ago. Written by Spaz <junebug2@texas.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Only one man can stop them. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


After enjoying a string of box-office hits, American Cinema Productions, the financiers of this film, and Chuck Norris's other two hits Good Guys Wear Black (1978) and A Force of One (1979), eventually fell into bankruptcy when their bigger productions all failed to perform in the US market. See more »


After the terrorist trainee falls through the trapdoor, a crew person's hand is visible as it closes back up. See more »


Doggo: You want the final say? You got the final say.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was uncut. Video releases however were cut by 32 secs by the BBFC to remove footage of nunchakus and throwing stars. The cuts were waived for the 2012 Anchor Bay DVD. See more »


Referenced in That '70s Show: Sleepover (1999) See more »


Supper by Candlelight
Music by Bill McGuffie
KPM Music
See more »

User Reviews

Chuck Norris show with a lot of noisy action , thrills , intrigue and violent combats
20 November 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

In a world of choices, for one man there is no choice , a hero named Scott James/Chuck Norris must face The Octagon . A martial artist expert (Chuck Norris who sports a bushy mustache in this fourth starring role in a cinema movie of action) must defeat a plan by ninjas to create a worldwide training camp for terrorists . Scott later becomes drawn closer to a vicious crime ring known as The Octagon ruled by Seikira (Yamashita) . Along the way Scott James is helped by Justine (Karen Carlson) , McCarn (Lee Van Cleef) and A. J. (Art Hindle) . At the end takes place a breathtaking combat in arena , an "octagonal training compound of the Ninja cult, a school for terrorists of all types" (the set had a 12' foot perimeter wall and was built north of Los Angeles at a location known as Indian Dunes and spanned the size of an American football field) .

Action star Chuck Norris in this exciting picture filled with thrills , tension , suspense and violent as well as spectacular fights with high Body Count : 40 . The movie displays a plethora of martial arts fights , as Norris cleans up the nasty fighters by means of punches , kicks , bounds and leaps with struggles certainly slick . It's violent, frenetic and hectic and not particularly literary but worthy entry in Kung-Fu genre , although runs out energy surprisingly early . Average Norris-thriller , moving and tense at times with fine fight-work from Norris , Yamashita and Richard Norton . Impressive and fierce combats , as Chuck Norris kills eleven bad guys and beats up another twenty-one of them . The film belongs Norris's early period , during the 80s such as : ¨Code of silence¨ ,¨Delta Force¨ ,¨Silent rage¨ , ¨Forced vengeance¨, ¨Delta Force¨ I,II , ¨An eye for an eye¨ , among others with successful box office at cinemas and video-rentals . In the 90s and 2000s with exception of ¨Walker Texas Ranger¨, the Norris star has gone down .

Fighting Stars Magazine ranked the climactic fight between Chuck Norris and Tadashi Yamashita as #13 on their list of the 25 greatest fight scenes of all time . A few years after this film was made and released, the word 'Octagon' later became in 1983 the name of a caged enclosure used by mixed martial arts matches and the Ultimate Fighting Championship . Nice production design , cost approximately US $200,000 to blow-up "The Octagon" major arena and fortress set. This was cheaper and more cost efficient than dismantling and disassembling the gigantic construction and taking it away to the dump . First major Ninja picture of the 1980s popular ninja movie cycle which was first released in the 1980 year before Enter the Ninja in 1981 , the 1967 You Only Live Twice and Sam Peckinpah's 1977 film The Killer elite had both previously featured ninja characters . Thrilling screenplay by Paul Aaron , in fact the movie's finale was re-written to make the climax of the film a much bigger pay-off .

The movie featured three members of the Norris family in acting roles. These were Chuck Norris , Aaron Norris, and Chuck Norris' character of Scott James at eighteen years of age was portrayed by his real life son Mike Norris . Actor Richard Norton played dual roles in this movie , though he is completely mute and never speaks for the entire picture ; Norton portrayed both the characters of Longlegs and Seikura's enforcer Kyo . The motion picture was regularly directed by Erik Karson . This was debut theatrical feature film directed by Karson , an expert on thrillers and action movies . Action addicts will give this one a passing grade ,all others need not apply . If you're a previous Norris fans ,you'll appeal it but contains enough action and violence for enthusiastic of the Karate genre .

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Release Date:

15 August 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Octagon See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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