ARROW BLU RAY RELEASE: The Executioner Collection: The Executioner II: Karate Inferno (1974)

This sequel came out the same year as The Executioner and brings back Takeshi Hayato (Makoto Sato), Ichiro Sakura (Eiji Gō), Arashiyama (Ryô Ikebe), Emi (Yutaka Nakajima) and ninja bad guy working on the side of good Ryuichi Koga (Sonny Chiba) for another mission.

First, they have to find Koga, who is now a paratrooper — or the Rangers Unit of the Self Defence Forces — and then they’re off to retrieve the stolen Jewel of the Pharaohs and a rich heiress, but they discover that the jewel they’ve retrieved is a fake. And when Koga gets shorted on his pay, he decides to steal the jewel for himself.

This time around, the bickering between the three heroes — well, they’re not all that virtuous but are the heroes we have — is filled with comedy, like a scene where Koga is climbing up into a high rise and a well-endowed woman opens her window and her bosom falls directly onto his head and another where Sakura gets set on fire and Koga urinates the flames out. Then again, this is a Sonny Chiba movie, so he does get to rip a man’s heart right out of his chest and show it to him before he dies.

The Executioner II: Karate Inferno is also directed by Teruo Ishii, who wasn’t a fan of making action movies like this. To see what he liked making, track down Horrors of Malformed Men and Shogun’s Joy of Torture.

While not as well made as The Executioner, everyone seems to enjoy their roles and the silly near-Three Stooges antics between the heroes. I wish Toei had made even more of this series.

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

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