Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Karate Kill: Mitsutake Throws Down

Kenji’s sister Mayumi should have come to New York to study rather than Los Angeles. There’s more culture here and it’s still safer, despite de Blasio’s best efforts. Instead, she went to left coast, where she was abducted by a Manson-like snuff video-producing hippie death cult. Fortunately, Kenji has skills that will only get sharper in Kurando Mitsutake’s grungy retro Karate Kill (trailer here), which is now available on DVD and VOD.

After losing contact with Mayumi, Kenji borrows money from one of his part-time temp work bosses to fly out to LA. Thanks to his persuasiveness, he quickly follows her trail to a hostess club for Japanese expats. After several beatdowns, he learns the manager sold her to the Koreshy Capital Messiah cult in Nowheresville Texas for use in their sicko internet subscriber videos. Right, so he’s off to Texas, where he hooks up with Keiko, a previous abductee from the LA club, who managed to escape.

Keiko did not get away clean, as the hook will attest, but you should see the other woman. Call that one Patch. Regardless, Keiko is still a deadly shot. Thanks to her training, Kenji will refine his bullet dodging skills. Right, let’s start piling up the bodies.

If you have seen Mitsutake’s Gun Woman than you should know exactly what to expect. However, this time around, the violence is slightly less brutal and the low-rent Miami Vice knock-off eighties vibe is more pronounced. However, former Pink Eiga star Asami is back kicking butt and frequently topless as Keiko.

As long as you are reading this review, you will show Asami all due respect. Hayate (another one-name wonder) also has massive action chops, serious brooding technique, and virtually no body-fat as Kenji. Mitsutake regular Noriaki R. Kamata is spectacularly sleazy as the LA club owner, but bug-eyed Kirk Geiger maybe manages to go too far over the top as the cult leader Vendenski, if that is even possible in a film like this.

If you want to see a ticked-off brother beating the snot out of dozens of long-hair fetish freaks than its Christmas in July for you. Mitsutake is not kidding around when it comes to offering up bone-crunching karate and the old school exploitation vibe. It delivers what it promises many times over. Recommended on its own terms, Karate Kill is now available on DVD and VOD.