Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Comedy > Science Fiction > Fantasy > Legend Of Eight Samurai

Legend of Eight Samurai


Picture: C-     Sound: C-     Extras: D     Film: C



Just when you thought a karate film could not get any wackier, Legend of Eight Samurai (1983) tries to combine the fantasy of Star Wars films, karate of 1970s such pictures, fake-looking monsters, a historical costume epic set in Feudal Japan and other inexplicably strange things in a really bad film that is sometimes watchable.


There is the warrior, the princess, the evil lead spider-woman, and even supernatural magic mixed in with martial arts.  Sonny Chiba is the “wet behind the ears” samurai, but how many times at this point of his career were we supposed to buy that?  Either way, this film can ever be thought of as one that will ever make sense, so explaining a plot is impossible.  However, it sure throws everything it believes an early 1980s audience might want to see into it.  Chiba reunites with co-star Sue Shihomi.


The film was made in 1.85 X 1, but this print is a pan and scan copy, a bad one at that.  The opening is letterboxed, but that’s it.  Even from this bad print, color in some of the fantasy sections is interesting, but it is too bad we cannot see it as clearly as intended.  Only big fans will tolerate this transfer.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono has horribly dubbed English and is the usual wreck you’d expect from such a soundtrack.  There is a bad theme song that is either trying to be Loverboy or some other 1980s act, but its just plain lame.


A biography of Chiba is included, but the DVD is of extras otherwise.  Legend of Eight Samurai proves how dead the martial arts cycle was, but that didn’t stop them from trying to revive it.  The result is a bizarre film, but only the biggest fans need apply.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com