(2003)

Reviewed By-Paul Cooke

Director : Haraguchi Tomoo
Starring : Harada Ryuji & Ando Nozomi
Source-Cannibal King Productions NTSC Reg 0 (2 Discs)

Just like David Carradine’s Kwai Chang Caine , Kibakichi’s Kung Fu Werewolf continues his quest. The same star from the original walks the path of self discovery to the infectious tune that plays out in the background to welcome effect. This time his way is blocked by an enraged samurai who has already engaged and slaughtered dozens of village people , not the group from the early eighties dressed like disco dandies looking to swallow the sword rather than die by it , and is high on the scent of the kill. Kibakichi obliges him with a brief engagement but suffers a savagely inflicted incision to his side and has to retreat. He wanders dazed into a neighbouring town where the inhabitants are all stricken with fear , all that is aside from a young blind woman named Omatsu. Even though injured Kibakichi is quick to react when Omatsu is attacked by a wild dog. She returns his kindness by taking him into her home where she nurses him back to health.

The blind philanthropist tells Kibakichi about the insane swordsman he encountered. The barbaric samurai is known as Sakuramaru , an outcast from the village and the murderer of Omatsu’s father !. Kibakichi vows to avenge her loss and put an end to the reign of terror placed upon the village by the killer Sakuramaru. Kibakichi meets Sakuramaru in battle but the fight is interrupted by the appearance of Anju , seeking to engage Kibakichi herself in her relentless vendetta to kill him. Once again the velocity of her deadly boomerang blade whips around Kibakichi’s person to announce her arrival. Delivered with lethal intent and followed up with a toothy snarl from her inhibited Yokai werewolf persona.

As if fighting a samurai who doesn’t know when to quit , and an enraged boomerang babe isn’t enough for Kibakichi to have to handle , things get even tougher when another aggressor appears from nowhere. This new freak on the block has an all conquering agenda and all three have to contend with him and his creepy accompanying entourage.  Enter the evil Dogan-Sama , a pasty white painted faced freakazoid with a deep sounding , possessed by a devil type baritone voice that suggests he may have been nutured at a young age. Dogan has the ability to put all before him under a spell of hypnosis and take control of his victims very being , with Sakuramaru being a prime candidate for his purposes. For shear pantomime badness Dogan steals the show , coming across as a combo of Charles Manson and Billy Munster. His entourage is an enslaved collection of tortured souls brainwashed into carrying out despicable acts. When let loose upon Omatsu’s village tragedy strikes and Kibakichi is enraged at the level of extreme violence and murder they inflict. The beast within stirs !.

Faced with Dogan and his emotionless Zombie like goons Anju puts aside her battle against Kibakichi and aligned with Sakuramaru , who is smitten with her like a wild beast tamed by beauty , together they take a stand against true Evil. Dogan sets free the Yokai monster within his followers which leads to both Kibakichi and Anju turning primal themselves. Its werewolf transformation time , bring out the popcorn for all out monster mayhem enjoy ability. Imagine Rob Bottin old school werewolf turning ala ‘The Howling’ for a far more entertaining turn on the body hair sprouting , far surpassing the modern trend to rely upon poorly executed CGI.

There’s just as much arterial spray letting as before along with limb loping and sword impaling amongst the fight sequences.  The characterisation continues its well structured development along with the introduction of different bad guys to keep things fresh. This is a cracking carnival of killer Action with another all out fully fuelled and frenzied finale to cheer at. Colourfully created players both good and evil give the movie a real fantasy pantomime feel. The birth of the ‘Fantomine’ is delivered here.

Presentation : Wide Screen Ratio Approx 1:66:1
Sound : Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0
Language : Japanese
Extras : English Language Subtitles / Trailers / Behind The Scenes / Making of

Film: 4.0 High Fives
Picture: 4.5  High Fives
Sound: 4.0  High Fives
Extras: 3.0  High Fives
Overall: 4.0  High Fives

Discuss this film in our forum.

 

Back