on 12 September 2009
If you're buying this product you should absolutely know for a fact that you're a lover of exploitation cinema, more specifically, low grade chop-socky. If you're not, don't even consider buying, if you are, There is a lot of fun to be had.
Of the three films the choice pick is The Killing Machine, which, seemingly has a fight scene every five minutes or so. The Yakuza Deka films are pretty much the same plot as each other, but are a fun example of 70's pop culture cinema.
Just a side note, but, being of the geekish nature that I am, I was overjoyed when I opened the box to find three postcards with the original Japanese poster designs for the films printed on them.
Yakuza Deka and its quickly knocked-off sequel Yakuza Deka: The Assassin are passable formulaic action movies about Sonny Chiba's undercover cop that both have their moments before running out of steam, but suffer from often laughably badly staged and edited action scenes - the car chase finale of the first film sees cars explode when they hit a dirt bank at 15mph and people fall out of a car on a dirt road only to magically fall to their death from a mountain road to increasingly surreal effect. Not that the surrealism ends there, with Chiba's police contact prone to increasingly inane disguises (a Gaucho on horseback in Japan?) not to mention some very obvious female impersonators, although even they are outshone by Chiba's outrageous pimp threads and hat with a brim the size of Milwaukee in the second movie.
The Killing Machine is more entertaining than any film this politically obnoxious has any right to be. A combination of bloody martial arts movie, inspirational slogans that bear no relation to the arm-severing mayhem on the screen, saccharine sentiment (widows and orphans ahoy) and unapologetic Japanese nationalism that attacks the Chinese and Koreans for not being nice enough to the defeated Japanese after they raped and murdered their way through Asia in WW2, it's not exactly good, but if you can stomach the comic book violence it's hard not to warm at least somewhat to a film where a rapist has his pecker cut off and then eaten by a passing dog.
All three films feature the same extras - theatrical trailer for these and Optimum's other Chiba titles, poster gallery and text biography.
on 5 June 2008
This SHOULD have been the Yakuza Deka collection. This box set offers the first two in a series of four. The films don't really link so that's not too bad but it would have made a difference. The KILLING MAChine is a bad movie, great action pieces in places but the flag waving; asking questions like "Why did we surrender to the Americans so unconditionally?" (Its set post war) is enough to put anyone off. I would recommend you but separate copies of the Deka movies.