Funky Friday Meets The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu- # One issue- Warner BROS ARCHIVE- The Yakuza -Bluray Warner Archive
Above : the cover for the bluray release — with Tagline A man never forgets. A man pays his debts. An appropriate statement considering that this theme is weaved throughout the story. Honor and Obligation. And this combined with a crime organization that has been compared to the Syndicate makes for a very compelling thriller.
Above: Japanese release poster highlighting more action- Ken Takakura ready to strike
The Yakuza 1975- was covered in this issue of Deadliest Heroes of Kung FuHands of Kung Fu around the time of it’s initial release. Including a piece on Crime in the martial arts films in the cinema with emphasis on Yakuza films.
This was a one shot summer special from Marvel Comics and Curtis Publishing featuring the benefits of no ads and no comics just wall to wall live action entertainment news and in depth articles…
This is the first 1st time on Bluray- from Warner Archive, Released within the last year and fitting to cover here based on several facts. One it was a different kind of film featuring swordplay as the martial art, it was produced and distributed by Warner Bros (Enter The Dragon/Black Belt Jones) and still one of handful of films up to that point that was being offered by an American film company. Boasting a major cast and director, Sydney Pollack. Pollack having just completed the successful drama The Way We Were.
Above-the title track for The Yakuza by the very and multi-talented Dave Grusin . This is a favorite piece of music for me .**Also I had the opportunity to see this upon it’s initial release. Again with my Judo club. A beautiful slice of Asian themed cinema.
- more of Dave Grusin -below link
Above -the part 2 Goonies R Enough music video featuring Roddy Rowdy Piper and Andre The Giant…
Dave Grusin, The Goonies & Varese…
Also its subject matter- the Yakuza. A group -an organization- a way of life traced back more than 300 years ago. It’s origins in Japan. Not so vastly different from mafia, triads or the tongs. Crime at its root base. Yet sharing similarities of the samurai. Honor/code. Extremely important. Respect. Gangsters who took the name based on a word meaning “not good enough”.
The main plot involves the kidnapping of one of Harry Kilmer’s( Robert Mitchum) friends-George Tanner(Brian Keith-Disney’s Parent Trap). Harry is a private eye. George asks Harry to contact a friend who Harry has a strained relationship with. This brings an element of heightened intensity. This favor George asks forces him to call upon Ken(Ken Takakura) brother to an old flame of Harry’s-Eiko(Keiko Kishi). Ken has ties to the Yakuza. Since Georges daughter was kidnapped by Tono who is yakuza boss. The hope is that Ken can help in the release of George’s daughter. This action drama delicately balanced between the backstory between Harry, Ken and Eiko & the blazing, swift action of rescue attempts involving some beautiful sword and gun play.
Robert Mitchum(Midway & Farewell My Lovely), *Ken Takakura. Both share the screen with their intense acting and screen presence. They play well of each other showing a mutual respect for each other. Stylish and highly polished. Film Noir and Japanese visually mixed on screen.Top notch acting with strong supporting performances from Herb Edelman and Richard Jordan. Amazing cinematography-Ken Okazaki & Duke Callaghan and killer soundtrack composed by Academy and Grammy Award winning Dave Grusin*.
One of my favorites from the mid 70’s. So seek it out available now on Amazon and Warner Archive Shop- a shout out to my friend Matt and all the “guys” at the Archive- thanks for keeping all those great Warner titles alive. We appreciate — at least this one fan does…
Next issue Wonder Women vs Leon Issac Kennedy…two exploitation flicks from the jungles to the big house action is never far away…
Link to WB Shop-Warner Archive
WB Shop | Officially Licensed Store of Warner Bros. Studios
WB Shop offers apparel, collectibles, accessories from Harry Potter, Batman, The Lord of the Rings, movies and TV shows…
Trivia 1975- what else was happening-
Bear Family Records opens it ‘s doors and launches a family business that has spanned over 45 years of providing LP’s and CDs all packaged with liner notes and mini books filled with trivia, vintage ads and disc information including a track list along background stories regarding the music itself.
Compilations of oldies but goodies all with a particular theme or a retrospect of a particular artist..ie- Elvis Presley, Swingin Christmas, The Shadow Knows(novelty horror tracks with Sheb Wooly,, radio ads for movies) or it’s sequel The Shadow Knows More with Dean Martin belting out Ghost Riders in the Sky and other rarities.
Bear Family Records
Bear Family Records, one of the world's most renowned, multiple award-winning record companies. Specialised in CD and…
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The Ramones and Blondie were around and just a few years before making really big on the charts -
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor was the place to be on Wednesdays…
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Nashville was a sneak preview and became a sleeper hit as well…
The Killer Elite are about to strike-
And there was another Billy Jack film-
The Trial of Billy Jack…