Rage of Honor (1987)
Company: Arrow Video
Starring: Sho Kosugi, Lewis Van Bergen, Robin Evans
My Review and Thoughts:
Rage of Honor is a Cult action flick of the glorious 80’s. Martial arts, gun play, explosions, damsels in distress, really bad dialogue and bad hairdos, oh and did I mention Ninja’s.
This is a classic Action B-movie that has all the trademarks of the 80’s action yarn. From fights to endless bullets, Rage of Honor is a total hoot of entertainment in the B-grade form of pure entertaining bliss.
Starring the one and only action man, specifically of the 80’s and 90’s Sho Kosugi. If it was a ninja movie then Sho was going to be in it. He graced the Ninja movie world with the likes of 81’s Enter the Ninja, 83’s Revenge of the Ninja, 84’s Ninja 3, 85’s Nine Deaths of a the Ninja, and so many others. You get my point when I say he was a movie Ninja guru of 80’s entertainment of the action reality. It was great seeing him again in this wonderful Blu-ray put out by Arrow Video. Arrow Video has also put out 1985’s ninja movie starring Sho, Pray for Death. Arrow Video has honored this 80’s classic star with wonderful, lovely Blu-ray’s to express all over again in the B-movie entertainment world. This Blu-ray is a high class way through amazing audio and video.
So add in two cops, drug dealers and a rat inside the police force, plus murder and yes Ninja’s. Then you have your golden 80’s plot ready for total entertainment of the lower budget form.
Now this was directed by one of the Drive-in, Late Night, B-grade masters of film, Gordon Hessler. Hessler is sadly no longer with us, but he has left the world of lower budget, B-grade entertainment with a slew of perfection. Mastered such Drive-In greats like 65’s The Woman Who Wouldn’t Die. A collection of Vincent Price films, The Oblong Box, Scream and Scream Again, Cry of the Banshee. Not only working on movies, he also did TV movies and TV series. He also directed 1973’s The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, with the master of visual effects Ray Harryhausen. Hessler was one of those directors that had his visual expertise in the B-grade of entertainment, and it worked so well.
Also starring Lewis Van Bergen who I have always felt never got the stardom he deserved. He had one of those memorable faces and attitudes that allowed you to fully express and understand a villain role. In Rage of Honor he played the perfect style of 80’s villain. Ruthless without a conscience in that 80’s vibe.
Rage of Honor is a total hoot of 80’s perfection, corny, cheesy, action packed and yes Ninja’s.
Another beautiful example of how to treat an older film and honor it on a new transfer. The imagery is not as crisp as other Arrow Video releases. Solid sound quality. Everything in the audio department fits perfectly. For it's age and also it's lower budget Drive-In Cult film style, it looks somewhat fantastic. I own Rage of Honor on VHS and a DVD, and now thankfully the company Arrow Video has honored this film on a Blu-ray so that new and old generations can experience over and over again. There is some grain at times, not a crystal clear image, but comparing it to VHS and DVD this Blu-ray is fantastic.
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation from a transfer of original elements by MGM
Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
A very nice collection of Special Features. Arrow Video is one of those companies that know the fans, and know what the fans want. They supply features that make the buy of the Blu-ray worth while.
Sho and Tell Part 2: The Domination. A brand new interview with star Sho Kosugi on Rage of Honor and the later stages of his film career. Part 1 was the special feature on the Arrow Video release of Pray for Death.
Honorable Mentions with Stelvio Cipriani- An interview with the Rage of Honor composer
American Ninjas writer Chris Poggiali on the rise in popularity of the Ninja film in the US in the 1980s
Sho Kosugi Trailer Gallery: Enter the Ninja (1981), Revenge of the Ninja (1983), Pray for Death (1985) and Rage of Honor (1987)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin.
The first pressing of this Blu-ray, included a collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film and an extract from Kosugi s upcoming book
Arrow Video always amazes me on how gifted and perfect they are in creating solid transfers and audio quality to important Special Edition Blu-ray's. Arrow Video gives the fan, the cult following style movies, expressing the importance of these forgotten gems of entertainment.
Yet again I highly recommend this Blu-ray. Another prime example of taking that trip back in the glory days of Drive-In style entertainment and VHS, Ma and Pa video stores. Rage of Honor is an 80's B-movie classic. What more could you want, endless bullets that seem to never hit anything, explosions out of no where, Ninjas, throwing stars, foot chases, and most of all the bad guys. Turn your brain off and enter this film to be popcorn entertained.