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The Executioner Collection Blu-ray

The Executioner (Chokugeki! Jigoku-ken) 1974


The Executioner II: Karate Inferno (Chokugeki jigoku-ken: Dai-gyakuten) 1974
 

 

Fists flurry and blood flows as legendary cult director Teruo Ishii (Shogun’s Joy of Torture, Horrors of Malformed Men) joins forces with martial arts legend Shin’ichi ‘Sonny’ Chiba in this bone-crunching double whammy of classic karate exploitation from Toei.

Ryuichi Koga (Chiba) is a descendent of the Koga Ninja school, now earning his living through more nefarious means as a gun for hire. When he is enlisted to take down a drug cartel alongside Hayabusa (Makoto Sato), a disgraced former narcotics detective now operating within the criminal underworld, and renegade Aikido master Sakura (Eiji Go), tensions grow among this three-man team of ne'er-do-wells as each come to question each other’s motives. Koga returns in the even more gung-ho follow up, Karate Inferno, as the ringmaster of a gang of thieves plotting to steal a priceless jewel from a master criminal.

Making its High Definition home-video debut, The Executioner is presented in both its original Japanese-language version and with the English dub track from the 1970s North American release. Fans of the Street Fighter star will delight as Chiba pitches himself into a succession of freewheeling action and feisty fight scenes in this double dish of martial arts mayhem, all served up in director Ishii’s characteristically lurid style.

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 10th, 1974 - December 28th, 1974

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Review: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime

The Executioner: 1:26:38.860

The Executioner II: 1:25:51.563  

Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,823,852,727 bytes

The Executioner: 23,833,396,608 bytes

The Executioner II: 20,416,017,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate The Executioner Blu-ray:

Bitrate The Executioner II Blu-ray:

Audio

The Executioner:

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
DUB:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

The Executioner II:

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English, None (+ English for DUB on The Executioner)
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,823,852,727 bytes

The Executioner: 23,833,396,608 bytes

The Executioner II: 20,416,017,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Brand new audio commentary by Chris Poggiali and Marc Walkow (on The Executioner)
• Sonny Chiba, Karate King, a 30-minute featurette on the legendary Sonny Chiba, featuring Grady Hendrix, Tom Mes, Chris Poggiali, Marco Joachim and Seiji Anno, from the band Guitar Wolf (29:52)
• Original trailers(Japanese - 2:25, English - 1:53, II - 2:25)
• Image galleries for The Executioner and The Executioner II: Karate Inferno
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Lucas Peverill
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the films by by Mark Schilling


Blu-ray Release Date: January 9th, 2023

Custom Blu-ray Case (see below)

Chapters 12 / 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray (January 2023): Arrow have transferred Sonny Chiba's The Executioner Collection to Blu-ray. It consists of two films, The Executioner and The Executioner II: Karate Inferno, sharing one dual-layered Blu-ray disc. Both films were released in 1974 and directed by Teruo Ishii (Yakuza Law, Orgies of Edo, Blind Woman's Curse, Shogun’s Joy of Torture, Horrors of Malformed Men). The 1080P image is thick with a film-like richness. They looked very representative of the era and genre on my system.

NOTE: We have added 74 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Arrow use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original Japanese language for both films. The Executioner has an optional English DUB. Both films have plenty of fight sequences with exaggerated 'snaps and cracks' of karate blows and bones. The audio is flat supporting the higher-end but still carries modest depth via the uncompressed transfer. The score, for both films, was by Hajime Kaburagi's (Horrors of Malformed Men, The Sleeping Beast With, Retaliation, Blind Woman's Curse, Fairy in a Cage, Tokyo Drifter) adding drama and a funky flavor to the onscreen action. Audio is consistent and clean in both renderings. Arrow offer optional English translated subtitles (and an optional DUB titles on The Executioner) on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Arrow Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Chris Poggiali (co-author of These Fists Break Bricks: How Kung Fu Movies Swept America and Changed the World) and Marc Walkow on The Executioner. These guys are super-experts on the genre and have a lot to export about Chiba - his characteristic breathing and screaming during physical conflict. Plenty on Toei studios, director Teruo Ishii and tangential Japanese martial arts films from the era and beyond, the cast and much more. It's very professional and worth the indulgence. There is a 1/2 hour featurette entitled Sonny Chiba, Karate King, on the legendary Sonny Chiba, featuring Grady Hendrix, Tom Mes, Chris Poggiali, Marco Joachim and Seiji Anno, from the band Guitar Wolf. There are also original trailers in Japanese for The Executioner and English for both films. Included are image galleries for The Executioner and The Executioner II: Karate Inferno and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Lucas Peverill and for the first pressing there is an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the films by by Mark Schilling.

The Executioner Collection celebrates Shin’ichi ‘Sonny’ Chiba who we lost in 2021 at 82-years of age. He was one of the first actors to achieve stardom and acclaim because of his martial arts skills. His reputation evolved from Japan to the rest of the world. As many know, the Quentin Tarantino written True Romance had Christian Slater's character of Clarence Worley go to the theatre to see a Sonny Chiba triple feature; "The Streetfighter," "Return of the Streetfighter," and "Sister Streetfighter." Chiba had bit parts in Kill Bill: Volume 1, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Late last year (2022), Shout! Factory released The Sonny Chiba Collection on Blu-ray with Yakuza Wolf, Yakuza Wolf 2, The Bodyguard (1973), Karate Killer (1973), Shogun's Shadow, Samurai Reincarnation, Swords of Vengeance (1978) but it had neither of these two Executioner films. I enjoyed the first entry but the second has less martial arts fighting and more humor. Both films show full frontal nudity and odd eroticism usually surrounding voyeurism and looking up girl's skirts. Viewing these leaves no doubt as to Chiba's appeal. We can always count on Arrow - one of THE most consistent Blu-ray companies to produce another desirable set. Genre fans will be pleased with this package's transfers, commentary, booklet and more. Yes, recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle samples - Japanese translation and English DUB

 

(CLICK to ENLARGE)

 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Examples of NSFW (Not Safe For Work) CAPTURES  (Mouse Over to see- CLICK to Enlarge)

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

The Executioner

 

The Executioner II: Karate Inferno

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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