Kill or Be Killed (1980)

Martial arts movies make little to no sense most of the time. Then, there’s this movie.

Steve Chase is a martial artist who goes to the desert for what he thinks is an Olympic style meet. Nope. An ex-Nazi general was defeated at the 1936 Olympics by a Japanese martial artist named Miyagi, so he’s out for revenge.  Luckily, Steve and his girl Olga escape.

To fix up his team, von Rudloff’s miniature henchman Chico goes around the world to recruit a new team. And Steve ends up meeting Miyagi and joining his team, which leads to the madcap fight between he and his girl when she is kidnapped and forced to join his team.

Finally, Steve must fight and defeat Luke, the ultimate fighter, leading the Nazi to killing himself rather than face defeat.

I’ve given you a straight reading of the film. To see it is to know how different it is, as it’s either filmed by someone who wants to be an artist or someone who has been in the sun too long. This is often the same thing.

This movie was a success for four years in its native South Africa, where many Japanese martial arts forms were done to perfection. Yes, that makes no sense to me either. Neither does the sequel, but trust me, I’ll be covering that one soon enough, too!

You can watch this for free on Amazon Video.

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