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Actually, Yokohama Underworld: Machine Gun Dragon just came out on DVD as part of the, "Sonny Chiba 4 Film set" now available on Amazon, along with Soul of Chiba, Fighting Fist, and Doberman Deka(!). I'll provide a link, as there are several million, "Sonny Chiba Collections" on Amazon with which to confuse this one with.


Serious thanks for the heads up on this! I had no idea Machine Gun (which Chiba is in for like, 2 minutes) and Doberman were about to make their R1 debut! Any word on quality, etc?

Here's the dealio....

The set comes in a clamshell with an identical cardboard slip-cover.

It's a double-sided single disc, with two films per side. None of the films are anamorphic.

MACHINE GUN DRAGON- Picture quality is decent. Doesn't look like it came from a remastered print or anything. It's subtitled.

SOUL OF CHIBA- Same quality as the last few DVD releases -okay, but not great. It's English dubbed. (The last release also included a subtitled version.)

FIGHTING FIST- Same as the others- passable picture, but nothing special. It's English subtitled, but it has Japanese audio (despite being- I believe- a Hong Kong film), at least during the scenes that I saw as I checked it. Chin Kar Lok and Sibelle Hu were both dubbed speaking Japanese.

DOBERMAN COP- does NOT look like it's from the recently remastered Japanese DVD, but perhaps it is, and they just did a poor job making these DVDs. Videoasia... poor job? Imagine that! English subtitled.

The really strange thing is that all the films in the set were letterboxed at approximately 1:85:1. This is definitely the correct aspect ratio for FIGHTING FIST, but seems incorrect for the others. I've never seen SOUL OF CHIBA as a wider print, but based on it's framing I've always suspected that it should be. But MACHINE GUN DRAGON and DOBERMAN COP? Mid '70's films from Japan that weren't shot at 2:35:1? Seems unlikely. After close inspection (find the circles...) it appears that these two are each slightly cropped on the sides and a bit stretched vertically.

Hope that helps those that are interested.

Peace, Kung Fu Bob

Sounds like you're on top of it. Machine Gun Dragon is the catch here, as there's no official DVD release of it anywhere. The VHS and bootlegs of it are presented in 1:85:1, probably with some missing information on the sides. Toei cropped a lot of their '70s fare for home video. That blows that none of these transfers are anamorphic! Booooooo!

Yeah, but I recommend all hardcore fans get a DVD player with "infinite zoom" (in and out) so you can fill up your screen in these instances. Plus, most TVs automatically overscan which cuts off info on the sides. So this feature comes in handy for revealing the hidden edges too.

Plus, like lovin', any Chiba's good Chiba!

Peace, Kung Fu Bob

My Samsung HDTV has a "Just Scan" feature that eliminates overscan problems. Also got an Oppo DVD player with a pretty sweet Zoom x feature, so I should be good to go on this front. Were SOUL OF CHIBA and FIGHTING FIST anamorphic on the older DVD sets?

worth getting for YU:MGD and DC regardless of image quality, if you don't have them already. Then again, if you don't have them already, you should slap yourself like Moe would (3 stooges, not cute). just my 2 sheckles.

I'd forgotten about that set during the interview. In fact, I think I mentioned it on one of the earlier episodes, maybe episode two? In any case, the quality of the films, as you all have mentioned, is not ideal. They almost look like fansubbed VHS dubs to me. Pretty harsh but I'm sure they could do better if they sunk a little more money into it.

Thanks for listening to the episode. We're going to have the older, archived episodes up soon and we have one with an interview with Tokyo Vice author Jake Adelstein coming soon.

I can't even imagine listening to this without knowing what you guys are talking about. I imagine that my brain would probably tear and/or blister trying to keep up Patrick for the first fifteen or sixteen listens.

Also, TokyoScope 2 needs to happen.

Hey Patrick, to answer your question "Were SOUL OF CHIBA and FIGHTING FIST anamorphic on the older DVD sets? "- no, they weren't.

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