Sep 29, 2008

Karate Bear Fighter

Karate Bear Fighter is the second film in the Masutatsu Oyama trilogy preceded by the aforementioned Karate Bull Fighter. In this pulp martial arts biography, Sonny Chiba plays the legendary Oyama who has killed man & beast at separate points of his life. His fists are lightning fast and his apathy for human life knows no bounds. This is but a continuation of the first film. Intended for timeline viewers only.

Oyama continues his quest for personal enlightenment and ultimately becomes the most bad ass zen guy around. He trains under raging waterfalls to heighten his tolerance and to discover what a wise man said to him about a presence of a circle. Oyama is portrayed fluently by Shinichi Chiba. Sonny Chiba's height of 5'9 attacks Asian height standards in film allowing Chiba to stand tall over any fighter giving a visual menacing advantage.

The portions of these films are divided in a spirtual pie graph. Each film in this trilogy features amazing martial arts action and violence that is gratifying and flammable. As soon as the "one man against a mob" scenes are over, switch to a touching side story of how Oyama has deceived someone in someway and temporarily sets out to touch a humans life in some way. This film is deeply engrossing in more than one manner.


Hausu was another Japanese masterpiece and in no way is connected to this film, but the choice of bright settings links them together. Although Hausu had pastel horizons, Karate Bear Fighter gave a foreboding shallowness to the country of Japan. Kill or be killed; Chiba's universal tagline of revenge and brutality is no stranger to these pulp biographies.

Now for the role of exploitation and foreshadowing, One could guess that Chiba gets in a fight with a bear and this is true. In no way as remarkable or graphic as the makeshift matador scene in the prior film, this time around, the animal cruelty is limited to Chiba punching the creature into a cyclops. I preferred the bull battle to be honest.

Karate Bear Fighter is the middle man of a trilogy. With one more to go, I continually find more and more appreciation for the man that was named Oyama. I noticed his counterpart is heavily glamorized as Chiba was to play an overweight role. Nonetheless, If you've seen Karate Bull Fighter, watch this sequel for a direct continuation. If you haven't seen any of them, drop what you are doing and pick up copies now.


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