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DragonClaws

Karate From Shaolin Temple (1976)

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Karate From Shaolin Temple a.k.a Karate Connection.

Starring- Henry Yu, Kazuma Kenji, Igarashi Junko

Directed by- Nanbu Hideo

Tried doing a search for this title on the forums, but nothing came up. I'd be interested to hear peoples thoughts on this one. There's a lot of Japanese Karate flicks I've yet to see, and this looks like yet another title to put on my wants list. According to IMDB this was only movie Nanbu Hideo directed, not sure if this is a good or bad thing?. I've noticed fellow member @JAMAL up-loaded some widescreen clips online.

(WARNING MAY CONTIAN SPOILERS)

 

 

 

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A bit of general info and a few corrections...

This was one of the few fictional karate films produced by Shochiku (Karate Wars, 1978, was another one). They also released a bunch of martial arts documentaries (The Strongest Karate series). Director Hideo Nanbu also directed the final part in the Ai to Makoto (Love & Sincerity) series earlier the same year and Karate Wars two years later. He didn't do much else in the 70s and 80s but he was actively working as a director throughout the 90s until 2005, mainly on TV and in DTV films. Interestingly enough, he also wrote a whole bunch of karate themed anime OVAs in the early 90s.

Star Ken Kazama was a kick boxer who had appeared in small supporting roles in a bunch of Toei films like the Yakuza Deka series (1970-1971) and The Street Fighter (1974) where he plays one of the two bodyguards protecting Yutaka Nakajima. He also did action direction in films like Return of the Street Fighter and Girl Boss: Crazy Ball Game (1974) and the TV show Robot Detective. I'm not sure but I think Karate From Shaolin Temple was his only starring role.

It looks like they shot the film in Hong Kong (edit: the poster says so too) with lots of foreign martial artists (like Karate Wars).

I haven't seen the movie and it seems is a little hard to see in Japan these days. There was a rental video back in the days but no DVD or any other digital release, and knowing Shochiku's lack of interest in their own catalogue titles (they haven't even released their Teruo Ishii films) that might not change anytime soon.

Trivia: the film opened in Japan Nov. 27, 1976, as a double feature with Master of the Flying Guillotine.

shoka1.jpg

shoka2.jpg

Edited by Takuma

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7 hours ago, Takuma said:

This was one of the few fictional karate films produced by Shochiku (Karate Wars, 1978, was another one). They also released a bunch of martial arts documentaries (The Strongest Karate series). Director Hideo Nanbu also directed the final part in the Ai to Makoto (Love & Sincerity) series earlier the same year and Karate Wars two years later. He didn't do much else in the 70s and 80s but he was actively working as a director throughout the 90s until 2005, mainly on TV and in DTV films. Interestingly enough, he also wrote a whole bunch of karate themed anime OVAs in the early 90s.

Star Ken Kazama was a kick boxer who had appeared in small supporting roles in a bunch of Toei films like the Yakuza Deka series (1970-1971) and The Street Fighter (1974) where he plays one of the two bodyguards protecting Yutaka Nakajima. He also did action direction in films like Return of the Street Fighter and Girl Boss: Crazy Ball Game (1974) and the TV show Robot Detective. I'm not sure but I think Karate From Shaolin Temple was his only starring role.

It looks like they shot the film in Hong Kong (edit: the poster says so too) with lots of foreign martial artists (like Karate Wars).

I haven't seen the movie and it seems is a little hard to see in Japan these days. There was a rental video back in the days but no DVD or any other digital release, and knowing Shochiku's lack of interest in their own catalogue titles (they haven't even released their Teruo Ishii films) that might not change anytime soon.

Trivia: the film opened in Japan Nov. 27, 1976, as a double feature with Master of the Flying Guillotine.

Great post @Takuma and thanks for the additional information regarding the film and the cast and crew.

 

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Ken Kazama must have a few stories if he is still around. I have heard the following rumors:

He ran a dojo in the US

Sparred with Bruce Lee (likely myth)

Released a Bruce related music album in Japan... among other things

Generally capitalized on Bruce Lee after his death in ways that don't need mentioning. Whether right or wrong he was probably a good businessman.

 

At the very least he was a known quantity during the Bruce era and had loose connections to the man. I believe this is why the film has a small following despite never being released in the USA to the best of my knowledge. It did get an international release.

The movie itself has limited action and the finale against Tong Tin Hei is intense but extremely short. Has to be one of the shortest final fights in any film that bills itself as a martial arts picture. Karate Wars is a much better film.

Edited by odioustrident

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The movie title in itself is quite the odd cookie, to say the least. Before DragonClaws and Takuma posted more pics from the movie in the thread, I imagined it had something to do with Shorinji Kempo to a certain extent, which isn't far off considering that art is basically a fusion between Karate and Traditional Kung Fu, thereby rendering the title rather moot, I guess? I'm probably overthinking it, but it sounds silly for the producers to film it in Hong Kong and not have much action in it, if the posts in the thread are to be believed.

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