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Dragon Princess/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Dragon Princess
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There seems to be a lot of confusion on when, by who, and under which title Dragon Princess was made. Here are the facts. The film was made in 1976, not in 1981 as some sources claim. The original title is Onna hissatsu kenshi (notice the "connection" to Sister Streetfighter, which is Onna hissatsu ken). Sometimes you see this mixed with Kazuhiko Yamaguchi's Which is Stronger, Karate or the Tiger, but that's very much a different movie. The director of Dragon Princess is Yutaka Kohira, who later helmed the two New Female Prisoner Scorpion films. Simon Nuchtern is the man who was responsible for the US rape, in other words "directing" the international version. This US cut is missing some scenes, but also adds footage that doesn't even belong to this film.

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How about the movie itself. As you probably figured out already, Chiba is not the princess the english title is referring to, and therefore not the star of the film. The real star of the show is of course Etsuko Shihomi, the greatest female karate star of all time. Chiba plays her father, and appears only in the beginning of the film. This short visit is very much worth it, though. The opening fight in the old Church is among Chiba’s best.

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As soon as Chiba steps out, Yasuaki Kurata steps in. And as if that wasn’t enough we also have two excellent Toei villains, Bin Amatsu and Masashi Ishibashi. Always a pleasure to see those gentlemen in action. Etsuko herself is as great as ever and looks especially badass with the ’hat and robe’ clothing. Needless to say we’re in for some excellent karate matches. Excellent movie overall and one of my favourite karate flicks.

Reviewed by HungFist

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