Watched this again last night. What a great flick. And I use the word "great" with the understanding that you, like I, consider any film featuring Sonny Chiba yanking a rib out of an attacker's chest, or Makoto Sato punching a guy so hard his eyeballs pop out of his head, to be great. Rounding out the trio is Eiji Go (who starred the same year as a psychotic thrill-killer in Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs), here playing a horny goofball decked out in a powder blue denim ensemble with matching puffy cap that positively screams 1974. Also along for the ride is sweet hottie Yutaka Nakajima, providing some eye candy for us and ensuring Go's painful priapism.
The literal translation of the Japanese title is Direct Hit! Hell Fist which is so much better than The Executioner, but what are ya gonna do? Directed by legendary Toei nutcase Teruo Ishii, it's more cheesy and outrageous than most Sonny Chiba outings, which is saying something. Nevermind the plot (some silliness concerning international drug-smugglers) -- just watch The Executioner for the insane brutality (or brutal insanity?) such as when, at a decadent party at the smuggler's mansion, the guests compete to see how far they can kick a semi-conscious Sonny. No really. They have measuring tape and everything. Or how about when Sonny is dangling off the side of a cliff from a rope whose ninja claw is embedded in the thigh of one of the bad guys? Do you love it? I love it.
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