Kill or be killed – 1976 – Martial Arts cult classic!
The deadliest tournament!
For some reason, I have come back to the movies I liked and watched in my youth. We didn’t call them Martial Arts though. For us, it was just “karate movies”. I think that it makes more sense here than in many of the Asian flicks that have hit the surface during the years. I don’t know why but as long as it’s kung fu and oriental fighters it’s not really a karate film but a martial arts flick. Very strange. In any case. These films aren’t made in the same way anymore. Once upon a time, they were cheap and the action in them was choreographed with the skills of the actual fighters not hitting each other. Not to say that the actor hits each other nowadays of course. But the choreography was simpler back then, it wasn’t any unnecessary inventive strikes to be seen. It was close to earth!
The stories were simple too. They were simple on the edge to be plain dumb! I guess that neither the budget nor the actors could handle a more complex story. But that’s the beauty and charm of these movies.
I got this one cheap and I was a lucky man for a few moments until I realized that it was a movie called Kill and Kill Again that I was after. I thought it was this one but then I remembered that both of them used to be displayed in the VHS rental shop where I was frequently as a kid. I guess I just rented the other one (which contains an amazing false beard by the way).
However. I started to watch this and soon understood that I really would enjoy it. Not because of the splendid dialog och acting. Not ever because of the brilliant fight scenes but because of the cheap charm of it. I’m not entirely sure that I understand all parts of the very shallow storyline. I understand that this (crazy) nazi officer one was defeated in a karate tournament and that he couldn’t let it go. He gathers all the best fighters in the world and seeks out his old Nemesis. Nothing can stop him from winning this time. Or so he thinks. Of course, the opponent has gathered a top-of-the-line team as well.
It isn’t hard to understand which fighter this will come to at the end. It’s just not that kind of movie. What confused me a bit was why the nazi general (or whatever he is) organized a karate tournament in the Third Reich, to begin with? But never mind that. It’s a fun charming movie that won’t win any prizes. It’s a genuine trash movie but if you inhale a couple of times you can almost smell the testosterone. Very entertaining!