The Street Fighter's Last Revenge (Gyakushű! Satsujin Ken) (1974)
Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Trailer-Inner Senses, Zatoichi At Large, Godzilla-Final Wars
|Year Of Production||1974|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Teruo Ishii|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The wealthy Owada hires Takuma Tsurugi (Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba) to rescue his brother and a black mah jong case from a siege in which the younger Owada is a hostage. Disguising himself as a policeman Tsurugi rescues the man but is soon double-crossed by the Owadas who take the case and the money that Tsurugi was to be paid. It turns out that the mah jong case conceals a tape that Owada is using to blackmail an even wealthier businessman for $1 billion yen. The tape records a conversation about how the businessman bribed public servants and politicians up to and including the Prime Minister.
Tsurugi retaliates by stealing the tape, but he then comes up against a mysterious and powerful karate expert who also wants the tape.
This is a silly finale to the Street Fighter series, which made Chiba internationally known in the mid-1970s. It has a weak and perfunctory plot which is dressed up with a few oddities. Not least of these oddities is Blackie, the Chicago hitman hired by the Owadas who has an Australian or Kiwi accent and whose weapon of choice is a laser beam. He also chooses to dress like The Cisco Kid, for reasons which remain mysterious.
In real life Chiba is a karate and judo expert and he gets several opportunities to display his skills. He also does a reasonable Bruce Lee impersonation (or rip-off if you prefer). His acting skills are perhaps not quite up there with Lee but he is a personable hero. Director Teruo Ishii is known for his often bizarre films about torture and violence, and he does not make a very good fist of the action sequences in this often very violent thriller. Some of the karate sequences are surprisingly perfunctory.
The original English dub of the film which has been available on VHS and DVD has the plot revolving around a recipe for cheap heroin which is on the tape. The movie makes more sense in the original version, and it is a credit to Eastern Eye for releasing this movie in such good condition in Australia, as part of a very cheap box set of Chiba films.
The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
This is a very good video transfer. Apart from some occasional aliasing, for example at 12:48, there is little wrong with the transfer. It is a progressive PAL transfer, not an NTSC to PAL conversion, and so does not display the problems of some of Eastern Eye's earlier releases. The transfer is clean and reasonably sharp. Colour is on par with films of the era. Shadow detail is not the best, with dark suits and dark hair lacking in detail.
There is some telecine wobble and the occasional fleck or faint scratch, but otherwise the source material looks to have been in immaculate condition.
The optional English subtitles are in the ubiquitous yellow, and apart from one or two spelling errors are very good, well-timed and easy to read. They are positioned above the bottom of the frame, so anyone with a projector masking their screen to 2.35:1 will not miss anything.
The disc is single-layered.
The original mono soundtrack is provided here in a Dolby Digital 2.0 format.
Dialogue is clear and the effects and music are presented without congestion or that hollow, lifeless sound that mono soundtracks occasionally get. However there is considerable sibilance in the dialogue, which I sometimes found distracting.
The music score is heavily influenced by blaxploitation movies of the 1970s, being quite funky and using those edgy guitar riffs, man.
|Surround Channel Use|
A short series introduction with graphics and footage.
The main theme of the movie can be heard with some brief Chiba action.
3 posters and 9 stills.
A 16x9 enhanced original trailer with white subtitles that are different to those in the feature. It contains plenty of spoilers, so watch this afterwards.
Trailers for other Eastern Eye releases.
3 pages of text about the star's career.
This appears to be a port of Optimum's UK Region 2 release. The Region 1 is not 16x9 enhanced and contains an English dub only.
The third and least of the Street Fighter series, with as good a transfer and set of extras as could be expected. At the low price for the box set in which it appears it is a bargain, though whether it is worth watching more than once is a consideration.
|DVD||Sony DVP-NS9100ES, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Sony TA-DA9000ES for surrounds, Elektra Reference power amp for mains|
|Speakers||Main: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: Richter Thor Mk IV|