Fists flurry and blood flows as legendary cult director Teruo Ishii (Shogun’s Joy of Torture, Horrors of Malformed Men) joins forces with martial arts legend Shin’ichi ‘Sonny’ Chiba in this bone-crunching double whammy of classic karate exploitation from Toei.
Ryuichi Koga (Chiba) is a descendent of the Koga Ninja school, now earning his living through more nefarious means as a gun for hire. When he is enlisted to take down a drug cartel alongside Hayabusa (Makoto Sato), a disgraced former narcotics detective now operating within the criminal underworld, and renegade Aikido master Sakura (Eiji Gō), tensions grow among this three-man team of ne’er-do-wells as each come to question each other’s motives. Koga returns in the even more gung-ho follow up, Karate Inferno, as the ringmaster of a gang of thieves plotting to steal a priceless jewel from a master criminal.
Making its High Definition home-video debut, The Executioner is presented in both its original Japanese-language version and with the English dub track from the 1970s North American release. Fans of the Street Fighter star will delight as Chiba pitches himself into a succession of freewheeling action and feisty fight scenes in this double dish of martial arts mayhem, all served up in director Ishii’s characteristically lurid style.
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SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
– Original uncompressed Japanese mono audio for both films
– Original uncompressed English mono audio track for The Executioner
– Optional English subtitles
– 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
– Original trailers
– Image galleries for The Executioner and The Executioner II: Karate Inferno
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Lucas Peverill
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by by Mark Schilling