Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Killing Machine

I have a deep, dark and for a martial artist, a terrible, terrible secret. It's ok though. I'm happy with myself. I can say it... I'm a martial artist and I don't like martial arts films.


I know.

I've even had some people say to me that the reason they started practicing martial arts was because of the Bruce Lee films they saw! Dutifully I've tried. I really have but the best I can say about them is that they're crap. None of the fancy choreography or fight sequences do anything for me.

Sadly the latest film I watched called 'Killing Machine' (1976) didn't really change my mind either. It's fairly rough and ready and quite badly put together and cliche is piled upon cliche so I hardly warmed to it. There is, however, quite an interesting story underpinning the whole film, that this is the (unofficial) biography of Shorinji Kempo. So for me to say the fight sequences are lame might put me on thin ice. There's plenty for kenshi to enjoy in the film but you'd think that the only technique in Shorinji Kempo was gyaku gote!

The actors are quite obviously trained kenshi and this raises the film somewhat but it can't mask the true nature of this film and that is as a corporate video. OK so it's the way they might do corporate videos in 1976! The film shows the development of Shorinji Kempo after the war and the hot-headed Doshin So's efforts to create a dojo for the betterment of the common people. These are fine fundamentals and they still remain at the heart of kempo. As such the film does have a certain inherent value but I'd say only for the die hard Kenshi or maybe martial arts film geek. Sonny Chiba is 'good' in the film.

Bit cheesy, good kempo moves from Chiba, interesting as a training/research 'aid' or insight.


Michele said...

I considered posting this comment anonymously. I do not like martial arts films either. There...I said it.

Perhaps we need to start a support group. :)

Littlefair said...

Praise be!

Every Tuesday at the community centre.

Bring nibbles.