Karate Warriors starts off rather abruptly, showing gangs trashing a shop. We’re introduced to two Yakuza gangs, lead by two brothers who are trying to find a particular bag of heroin. This is where Sonny Chiba and a Samurai man start to work the gangs against each other, in a Yojimbo style plan to destroy the gangs bringing about some peace.
Both Sonny Chiba and the Samurai share a mutual respect but also understand that they will have to fight each other at some time. As the movie progresses Chiba meets a young boy, the son of the Samurai, and helps him out by giving him generous amounts of blood to save his life.
Inevitably the two men face off when the heroin is found and the situation gets more tense leading to lots of nicely choreographed violence!
Forget the Plot, it’s all about action!
There’s some basic setting up here and there to give the audience and idea of where the story is heading, but it is mostly a case of a bunch of guys jumping into a scene followed by some martial arts action.
Women are less than human and abused / used by anyone as they see fit, it’s a cult fest of violence abusive and behavior. It’s good old fashioned violence at it’s best – there’s nothing deep going on here!
I love the pace this movie kept, with something happening around every corner, and the action starts up quite often without warning. this constant pace makes the movie go by very quickly. It’s also a formula that makes the film very straight forward and easy to watch.
The Action & Martial Arts
As mentioned above this movie has no shortage of fights, be it hand to hand, sword work and many group fights usually with Chiba in the center of it all.
Unlike The Streetfighter, this movie doesn’t rely on gorey cult action but includes bits and piece of it amongst some more grounded action. You’ll see hands and limbs being chopped off with a decent amount of blood, but it is spread thinner and less ‘in your face’.
despite the lack of gore I did like this more than Streetfighter because the martial arts movements are much more authentic. Chiba uses a vast range of flashy kicks including some well timed use of slow motion to create some of the best action I’ve seen him present on screen.
This is definitely a movie that shows more of Chiba’s authentic martial arts skills, It stands as one of my favorite Sonny Chiba films. Check it out if you get the chance!
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Grindhouse: Dragon Princess/Karate Warriors Twin Pack