Tuesday, September 25, 2007

WELCOME TO GRINDHOUSE DOUBLE FEATURE: DRAGON PRINCESS / KARATE WARRIORS

Two classic Sonny Chiba (STREET FIGHTER, KILL BILL) martial arts exploitation films from the swingin’ Seventies are presented as a "grindhouse" double feature, complete with appropriate trailers, and other theater programming.

In DRAGON PRINCESS, Chiba is defeated in personal combat by a rival and blinded in one eye. He blows Tokyo and heads to New York City, where he trains his young daughter (Etsuko Shihomi, a/k/a Sue Shiomi, SISTER STREET FIGHTER) in the killing arts so that she may some day avenge his honor.

KARATE WARRIORS is a contemporary (1976), street gang remake of YOJIMBO, with Chiba playing two gangs against each other in order to wipe them both out. The story is familiar, of course, but Chiba is sufficiently badass, and the film moves briskly. Great stuff.

BCI has given both films very decent 2.35:1 anamorphic transfers that show some age and wear, but are far better than any previous U.S. home video release. The features are accompanied by a selection of exploitation trailers to simulate the 42nd Street "grindhouse" theater experience, minus the winos, drug addicts and prostitutes. You'll have to provide those yourself.

For fans of the great Sonny Chiba or 70's chop-socky cinema, this WELCOME TO GRINDHOUSE DOUBLE FEATURE is highly recommended. Viva Chiba!

BUY: Welcome to the Grindhouse: Dragon Princess/Karate Warriors