ARROW BLU RAY RELEASE: The Executioner Collection: The Executioner (1974)

Three men have come together to destroy a drug cartel: Hayabusa (Makoto Sato), Aikido master and pervert Sakura (Eiji Gō) and Koga Ninja school descendent Ryuichi Koga (Sonny Chiba), the master of the Hell Fist. Guided by disgraced cop Arashiyama (Ryo Ikebe) and Emi (Yutaka Nakajima), they have to stay together long enough to stop druglord Mario Mizuhara (Masahiko Tsugawa).

By destroy them, I mean the last thirty minutes of this movie is one big fistfight, broken up by a car chase, then more kicking and punching. Chiba may not be the flashiest or most acrobatic martial artist, but he’s the roughest. I mean, why else would they call him the meanest man alive? Also, he’s Lucio Fulci’s favorite fighter, obviously, because he can smack someone in the head so hard their eyeball flies out of their head. He goes that one better by punching a man in the chest and pulling out one of his ribs.

This movie is absolutely hilarious, a sleazy mix of violence, nudity, wild costumes, sex and a double mannequin suicide plunge at the end that outdoes anything in Italian cinema, the world’s biggest importer of wooden dummies for the end of giallo films.

Teruo Ishii supposedly hated making kung fu and action movies — I mean, the guy did make Shogun’s Joy Of Torture so I think there’s where his heart lies — that he made this parody so that Toei would ask him to make another. No matter. This movie is a total blast.

The Arrow Video release of The Executioner Collection has high definition blu ray presentations of both movies, along with brand new audio commentary by Chris Poggiali and Marc Walkow; Sonny Chiba, Karate King, a 30-minute featurette on the legendary Sonny Chiba, featuring Grady Hendrix, Tom Mes, Chris Poggiali, Marco Joachim and Seiji Anno from the band Guitar Wolf; trailers; image galleries; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Lucas Peverill and an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by Mark Schilling. You can get it from MVD.

You can also stream this movie on the Arrow player. Visit ARROW to start your 30-day free trial. Subscriptions are available for $4.99 monthly or $49.99 yearly. ARROW is available in the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland on the following Apps/devices: Roku (all Roku sticks, boxes, devices, etc), Apple TV & iOS devices, Android TV and mobile devices, Fire TV (all Amazon Fire TV Sticks, boxes, etc), and on all web browsers at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.