Most American audiences were introduced to Sonny Chiba thanks to Tarantino. Clarence Worley and Alabama Whiteman met at a screening of The Street Fighter in True Romance. And Chiba himself cameoed in Kill Bill. Martial arts fans get hyped because Shout Factory is bringing The Street Fighter Trilogy to Blu ray. Check out the press release and artwork below:
‘”BRUTAL AND BRILLIANT … Fans owe it to themselves to go buy this. ****’ – Empire
Meet the meanest and most lethal karate master ever to rule the streets. He’s Sonny Chiba, one of the greatest martial arts actors to ignite the screen. In The Street Fighter, Chiba stars as Terry Tsurugi, a mercenary who has been hired by both the yakuza and the mafia to kidnap a wealthy heiress, but when he isn’t paid, a violent clash will ensue. Chiba is back in Return Of The Street Fighter. This time Tsurugi is hired by the mob to kill two informants, but when he realizes one is an old friend, he refuses, and now he is the one being hunted. When Tsurugi is double-crossed by the Ôwada clan, he takes off with something they want in The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge. Soon he is being chased by a group of deadly assassins.”
The series has been in public domain with garbage transfers on DVD. Most are plagued with awful pan-and-scan widescreen to the point to where you can barely see what’s going on. It’s incredibly exciting the Shout Factory is finally giving these classic Japanese exploitation films the restorations they deserve. Time will tell if it will include the original Japanese language audio, but at this point, the fact they’re coming to hi-definition is reason enough to pre-order. If you pre-order through Shout Factory, you’ll get that nifty artwork as a poster.
The Street Fighter Trilogy is released on March 26, 2019.