Return of the Street Fighter (1974)

I once read a review, comment or ad (I cannot remember which it was) which very aptly described Shigehiro Ozawa’s original “”Gekitotsu! Satsujin Ken” aka. “The Streetfighter” of 1974 as “the most mother****** film ever made”. This sequel, “Satsujin Ken 2” aka. “Return of the Streetfighter” which brings back Sonny Chiba in his most career-defining role of the body-part-ripping karate-killing-machine Tukuma Tsurugi, is maybe just not quite as ‘mother…’ as its predecessor, but its still pretty far out there, and another proof that Sonny Chiba is the most bad-ass of bad-asses.

This time, the hired Karate-Assassin Tsrurugi is assigned by the mafia to execute a victim by ripping out his vocal cords. When he later refuses to kill the respected karate-master Kendo Masaoka (Masafumi Suzuki) for the mafia, Tsurugi is put on a hit-list himself. As anybody who has seen the first part knows, however, Tsurugi is not the guy the mafia, or anybody else, would want to mess with…

Sonny Chiba is (as always) fantastic, both in his unequaled martial arts skills, and in his role as one of the most supremely bad-ass characters in the history of motion pictures. Tsurugi is slightly more humane (and therefore slightly less bad-ass) than in the preceding film, but he still is a mercy-less one-man-army killing machine whose strange sounds when flexing his muscles before another deadly stroke (understandably) evoke mortal fear in his enemies. Instead of the silly sidekick he had in the first part, he has a somewhat silly, but also cute female sidekick played by (YĆ“ko Ichiji) in this one. Tsurugi’s mortal enemy, Tateki Shikenbaru (played by Masashi Ishibashi) is also back, having somehow survived the ending of the first film. Strangely, the film poster depicted here on IMDb shows the beautiful Yutaka Nakajima, who played the female lead in the first part, even though she does not appear in this film.

Overall, this one may have some inconsistencies in its storyline, but it is just the gory, action-packed and supremely bad-ass sequel that fans of the first “Streetfighter” film should enjoy. Highly recommended to any Martial Arts/Cult-cinema fan, and a must-see for my fellow Chiba-fans.