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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Killing Machine/Shogun’s Ninja (Sonny Chiba Blu-ray Double Feature/BCI Eclipse)

Killing Machine/Shogun’s Ninja (Sonny Chiba Blu-ray Double Feature/BCI Eclipse)


Picture: C+/B-     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Films: C+



BCI Eclipse continues their Martial Arts Blu-ray double features coming with two films other than the Street Fighter franchise with Sonny Chiba.  Killing Machine (1975) is considered one of his best and Shogun’s Ninja (1981) comes at the end of the classical Martial Arts cycle from the 1970s that made him the successor to many after we lost Bruce Lee.  They may be formula films, but Chiba makes them interesting and you can always forward to the fights.


After Warner did such a nice job issuing Enter The Dragon in decent HD-DVD (reviewed elsewhere on this site) and Blu-ray versions, there is certainly a demand for this genre in high definition and Chiba would be the next logical choice for star released in 1080p.  The best thing I can say about this single disc set is that it was vivid enough to remind me of what is what like to see these films in 35mm on a big single-screen movie theater showing, flaws and all.  Except for the fact that they are set in the past (immediate post-WWII and an earlier century) taking it away from the 1970s milieu, it will remind older viewers of many a long-gone movie houses.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on both films is better than we have seen Chiba films on DVD, but both prints still have their flaws and limits.  This is the third double feature from BCI (in either HD format) where the second feature looks a bit better than the first.  Color is pretty good, but both offer some picture noise they might not offer if this were a 50GB Blu-ray versus the 25GB that it is.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is not bad, somewhat compressed, but not a disaster.  There are no extras.


To compare to BCI’s other Martial Arts Blu-ray double feature and to find out more about Chiba, try this link:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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