Showdown In Little Tokyo (1991)

Mark Lester knows exactly what you want and gives it to you. Let me set a scene in this film for you: Brandon Lee, dressed in a natty suit, joins Dolph Lungren — who is dressed as if he walked straight off the set of a Data East beat ’em up —  to walk into a bar where old men are eating sushi off of nude models while two slightly less nude women fight sumo style atop tables. Meanwhile, on a stage that looks like the Fortress of Solitude, Tia Carrere sings “Slow Hand.”

To top that off, there’s a scene where evil Iron Claw Yakuza boss Funekei Yoshida (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) kills Angel by cutting her head off while engaging in foreplay as his underlings watch. And when they find her headless body? Yep. That’s the church from Prince of Darkness.

No movie has had meaner bad guys more worthy of being killed by two cooler cops. You have Chris Kenner (Dolph Lundgren), an American raised in Japan, teaming with Japanese/America Johnny Murata (Brandon Lee). While they hate one another at first, they soon become great partners and murder everyone who gets in their way to solve the case.

There’s also a bonkers scene where Kenner rescues Tia’s character from committing seppuku by tackling her through a plate glass window. There is no subtlety here.

Somehow, the Iron Claw has united the Crips, the Mexican gangs and the Hell’s Angels. And if you wondered, where is Professor Toru Tanaka? He’s right here.

This is a movie self-aware enough to have Brandon Lee’s character say, “You have the biggest dick I’ve ever seen on a man,” while also having the most over the top action sequences to ever be released straight to the shelves of your local video store and a body count of 58.

After being disappointed by Warner Brothers taking over this film and cutting eleven minutes, Lester started to finance and sell his movies himself to keep control over them. Good for him.

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