Reviewed By-Paul Cooke
Director : Sadao Nakajima
Scripted : Fumio Konami & Koji Takada
Starring : Hiroki Matsukata , Shizumi Shindo , Sonny Chiba ,
Tsunehiko Watase & Isao Odo
With Sonny Chiba movies you don’t anticipate hard hitting dialogue to be delivered , what you do expect from this ‘one mean Bastard’ is hard hitting retribution. Whether good or bad he corners the market with a take no crap attitude as the antithesis to both , as Japanese Cinema’s ultimate anti hero. With ‘ Okinawa Yakuza War ’ he literally rips open the aluminium movie spoil cover with his own teeth , igniting the film with the burning glare in his eye and dowses the audience with an explosively unleashed performance.
With a blistering opening montage of gun totting gangsters spewing out a ballistic barrage of bullets , blazing an ink of blood red across the front pages of Japan’s tabloids , an indelible image of comic book violence fixates a retinal bond impossible to tear away from. Sonny Chiba bleeds his own unique style of cool , replete with dark aviator glasses that take off every preceding Yakuza hood gone before , but here it is with a uniqueness patented as only it could be to this particular brand of super star.
There’s never been such an uncompromising Yakuza right hand man as this , attired in military fatigues like Wolverine in a vest. With a taste for ice lollies and his hypothetically rescinded talons of Adamantanium the metaphorical identity for Titanium tipped knuckles , packing the punch behind the hit that this movie most definitely is !. It’s all out street war for the Okinawa gangs and Chiba is a Major player. A fast and violent anime framework Yakuza patch , with more down and dirty grit in it than Rooster Cogburn’s good eye !.
Chiba’s character is out of control on a nihilistic rampage , conjugated with a vicious compunction to inflict pain upon other unfortunates. Cross the boss and he comes looking for you like a padre of pain , serving up last rites only touched upon within Revelations. It’s no cock and bull when penis plucking punishment goes beyond the censors cut , with the application of a big set of pliers to the reproductive organs of a non conformist lackey. In it’s time at this moment the whole male audience members must have leant forward , tightened legs together and let out a self gratifying sigh of relief , along with a mentally notarised rendering of but for the grace of God go I. The excruciatingly uncomfortable scene plays out to added effect under the low lighting of a motorcycle’s front head lamp , reflecting the tortured image of the victims face within its beam. Truly an archetypal infringement upon cinematic humanitarianism , and one thereafter leaving its victim with a zip code ex directory !.
There is a multitude of violent imagery on display throughout dished out and received by both protagonists and antagonists. Even the big Yakuza bosses themselves become embroiled within the wheels of carnage as one is suddenly run down by a speeding car , to then be driven back over forwards and reverse repeatedly. Gripping stuff indeed !.
This unyielding rhinoceros of a film charges along with an edge of the seat authority that seems as dogged and downright dirty today as it was upon release back in 1976. The culminating feature erupts into an aggressive battle as a renegade band of mercenaries take on the established gangs , heavily armed and charging through the Okinawa streets in a jeep. The Yakuza backed shops are targeted with an assault of bullets and hand grenades , all leading to a final showdown rampage at sea aboard speed boats as two opposing factions collide head on. This is off the scale heavy weight Action , deftly infused with an eclectic cast of Japanese stars including the astounding appearance of Sonny Chiba , who rather bizarrely spends most of the time bare footed in this Big Toei Production.
Presentation : Widescreen Ratio Aprox 2:20:1
Release : Toei Video
Coding : NTSC Region 2 Japan
Sound : Hi Fi
Extras : Japanese Language Version Only / No English Subtitles /
Film Trailer For Another Japanese Titled Film