Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Shadow Warriors

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Shadow Warriors: The Complete First Season

    Click image for larger version

Name:	cover.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	6.5 KB
ID:	383717

    Released by: BCI Eclipse/Ronin Entertainment
    Released on: 4/17/2007

    Director: Various
    Cast: Sonny Chiba, Junichi Haruta, Naomi Hase, Shohei Hino, Renji Ishibashi
    Year: 1980
    Purchase From Amazon
    The Series:


    The first of the four Shadow Warriors television series finally sees a home video release on DVD thanks to BCI Eclipse and Ronin Entertainment. Why do you care? Ninjas. And lots of them.

    The series is set after the death of the third Tokugawa Shogun and we soon learn that the person in line to replace him is only five years old. A clan of ninja warriors named the Igo Clan, lead by a man named Hattori Hanzo (Sonny Chiba) were more or less forced into hiding by the late Shogun. With the political climate more or less beginning anew, it might seem like an opportune time for Hanzo and his crew to get back into the swing of things but Hanzo is conent for the time being with running his bath house and keeping his ninja related activities out of the public eye. He's been soured by the way his clan was treated in the past and is really none too keen on putting himself back into that type of position any time soon.

    Unfortunately, the Kouga clan of ninjas are not so peaceful. Their leader, the sinister Minaguchi Kisabuto, is intent on usurping as much power as he can for his clan and to completely take advantage of the current political disarray. At the behest of a poltician friend named Hoshina, Hanzo and his clan are pulled back into action to stop corrupt politicians and to keep the Kouga's at bay.

    With each of the twenty-seven episodes in this set clocking in at 45-50 minutes each, there's a lot of material to go through here. That said, once you start with the series odds are pretty good that you're not going to want to stop. Shadow Warriors is an insanely addictive series and every episode is an adrenaline rush of sorts. Those accustomed to American television of the early eighties may be taken aback by the amount of onscreen carnage and abundance of female nudity contained in the show. There's blood and boobs galore and the series was definitely aimed at an adult audience. The plots contain all manner of twists and Chiba carries the show with poise and style. Look for a cameo from the Sue Shimi (of Sister Streetfighter fame) and a few other bit part players who will look familiar to those well versed in the Chiba/Japan Action Club movies of the time.

    The series is full of fantastic action scenes, crazy ninja highjinks and plenty of top notch tough guy dialogue. The stunts and fight choreography are the highlights of the series but underneath the flash and chaos are some cleverly written and interesting characters. Politics obviously play a large roll in the series and as such it leaves plenty of room for backstabbing, underhanded dealings and general mischief. The writers take advantage of this and as such we see Hanzo having to deal with more cerebral difficulties in addition to having to bust out a few cans of whup-ass on those who get in his way. Hanzo, in turn, is given ample room to grow as the series develops. Unlike his film work, where Chiba is undoubtably tough and macho as macho can be but ultimately limited by time restraints, Hanzo's persona builds with a little more care. We learn about his background, his friendships and his life and because of this he's a as strong a character as any Chiba has ever played. Things get a little repetitive in spots but even in episodes where we feel like we've 'seen this before' Shadow Warriors is completely awesome.

    The twenty-seven episodes that make up the complete first series contained in this set are:

    Disc 1, Side 1:
    Tigers Sharpen Their Claws In A Storm
    A Female Leopard Hiding In The Dark


    Disc 1, Side 2:
    A Devil Called Ousha Highway
    The Spring of Kyoto: The Trick Of The Black Teeth

    Disc 2, Side 1:
    Soft Skin Sunk Into A Whirlpool
    The Woman Disappeared Into The Port On A Foggy Night

    Disc 2, Side 2:
    The Target Is A Mystery Woman
    Infiltration! The Ladies' Chambers Night And Day

    Disc 3, Side 1:
    The Female Ninja's May In Shadows
    The Black Hair Burned With The Grudge

    Disc 3, Side 2:
    A Bridge And A Murderous Fiend
    Kill Night Spiders Even if They Are Parents

    Disc 4, Side 1:
    Midnight Beauty
    The Shogun Disappeared! The Plot Of The Female Foxes

    Disc 4, Side 2:
    Mysterious Priest, Inviting Hell
    Don't Get Involved With Dangerous Women

    Disc 5, Side 1:
    The Living Shadow Shogun
    The Killer In The Eyes

    Disc 5, Side 2:
    Palace Of The Bloodsucking Woman!
    I'm Going To Be Killed

    Disc 6, Side 1:
    Hiding! The Hole Of Snakes
    The Dreadful Instigator

    Disc 6, Side 2:
    The Red Eyes Of A Snake Are A Death Sentence
    Shudder! Sacrifice Of The Virgin

    Disc 7, Side 1:
    The Trick Ceiling Of The Tragic Love
    The Ominous Place: The Cursed Flute

    Disc 7, Side 2:
    Intrusion! 24 Hours In The Woman's Bath


    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Presented in its original fullframe aspect ratio, Shadow Warriors looks pretty good even if it is far from perfect. There's a bit of grain and some very minimal print damage but the image stays pretty clean for the most part. There aren't any issues with mpeg compression or heavy edge enhancement and while a few scenes are a bit on the soft side, there's not much to complain about here - more often than not the picture is very good.
    The episodes are all presented in Dolby Digital mono in their original Japanese language with optional English subtitles that are clean, clear, easy to read and free of any obvious typographical errors. Audio quality isn't perfect but for an older television series it doesn't sound bad. Dialogue remains clear and the effects and music are properly balanced. There are a few spots that sound a little flat but that's likely got more to do with the source material rather than the DVDs.
    The main extra feature in this set is a sixteen-minute video interview with the bad man from Japan himself, Sonny Chiba. The very jovial Chiba talks about his work on the series, the involvement of his own Japan Action Club, his appearance in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill and more. He makes for a very pleasant interviewee and his responses are both interesting and entertaining.

    Aside from that, there's a handsome eight-page booklet inside the package that contains some informative liner notes courtesy of Patrick Macias which detail the history of the series and its star.

    The Final Word:

    Shadow Warriors kicks all kinds of ass. Go get it now.
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • Lux Aeterna (Yellow Veil) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Yellow Veil
      Released on: July 28th, 2022.
      Director: Gaspar Noé
      Cast: Béatrice Dalle, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Félix Maritaud, Clara Deshayes
      Year: 2019
      Purchase From Amazon

      Lux Aeterna – Movie Review:

      Meant as an expression of his thoughts on filmmaking and a tribute to both his two leading ladies and the filmmakers that inspired him, Gaspar Noé’s 2019 picture, Lux Aeterna, opens with clips opens with some clips from
      ...
      08-04-2022, 02:17 PM
    • L.A. Aids Jabber (Visual Vengeance) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Visual Vengeance
      Released on: August 9th, 2022.
      Director: Drew Godderis
      Cast: Jason Majik, Justin Godderis, Marcy Lynn
      Year: 1994
      Purchase From Amazon

      L.A. Aids Jabber – Movie Review:

      Drew Godderis acted in low budget movies like Blood Diner, Evil Spawn, Cannibal Hookers and Deep Space before he set out, in 1994, to direct his own independent feature. When shooting on 16mm didn’t work out, Godderis did the next
      ...
      08-04-2022, 02:14 PM
    • Shriek Of The Mutilated (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: January 26th, 2022.
      Director: Michael Findlay
      Cast: Alan Brock, Jennifer Stock, Tawm Ellis, Ed Adlum
      Year: 1974
      Purchase From Amazon

      Shriek Of The Mutilated – Movie Review:

      Directed by Michael Findlay (who has a quick cameo in the opening scene) from a screenplay co-written by Ed Adlum and Ed Kelleher (the duo that brought Invasion Of The Blood Farmers), 1974’s Shriek Of The Mutilated
      ...
      08-01-2022, 04:29 PM
    • Raw Nerve (Culture Shock Releasing) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Culture Shock Releasing
      Released on: January 26th, 2022.
      Director: David A. Prior
      Cast: Ted Prior, Sandahl Bergman, Traci Lords, Glenn Ford, Jan-Michael Vincent, Tex Cobb
      Year: 1991
      Purchase From Amazon

      Raw Nerve – Movie Review:

      The legendary David A. Prior’s 1991 film, Raw Nerve, is placed in Mobile, Alabama, a town being terrorized by a serial killer with a shotgun whose evidently got an axe to grind against beautiful
      ...
      08-01-2022, 03:40 PM
    • Righting Wrongs (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: July 26th, 2022.
      Director: Cory Yuen
      Cast: Yuen Biao, Cynthia Rothrock, Melvin Wong, Karen Sheperd, Peter Cunningham, Corey Yuen
      Year: 1986
      Purchase From Vinegar Syndrome

      Righting Wrongs – Movie Review:

      Righting Wrongs, which was released by the Weinstein Corporation on DVD in 2007 as Above The Law (not to be confused with the Steven Seagal movie of the same name), was directed by Cory
      ...
      08-01-2022, 03:37 PM
    • Naked Over The Fence (Cult Epics) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Cult Epics
      Released on: August 23rd, 2022.
      Director: Frans Weisz
      Cast: Rijk de Gooyer, Sylvia Kristel, Jon Bluming, Jennifer Willems
      Year: 1973
      Purchase From Amazon

      Naked Over The Fence – Movie Review:

      Known in its native Holland as Naakt over de Schutting, Frans Weisz’s 1973 film Naked Over The Fence tells the story of a man named Rick Lemming (Rijk de Gooyer) who leads a pretty decent life and does very well for
      ...
      07-31-2022, 05:56 PM
    Working...
    X