American Samurai Release Date: 1992 Genre: Action Director(s): Sam Firstenberg (Quicksand, Agent of Death) Writer(s): John Corcoran Starring: David Bradley, Marc Decascos Three hours later and I’m still laughing. In one of the film’s opening scenes, orphan American boy Drew Collins (Bradley) is given a sacred sword by the samurai who took it upon themselves […]

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American Samurai
Release Date: 1992
Genre: Action
Director(s): Sam Firstenberg (Quicksand, Agent of Death)
Writer(s): John Corcoran
Starring: David Bradley, Marc Decascos

Three hours later and I’m still laughing. In one of the film’s opening scenes, orphan American boy Drew Collins (Bradley) is given a sacred sword by the samurai who took it upon themselves to adopt him when his parents’ plane crashed when he was just a baby. The samurai’s real son, Kenjiro (Decascos), has always been jealous of his brother’s love. This has led him to learn the ways of the Yakuza. The scene where Kenjiro is angrily told how the Yakuza go against everything sacred requires the emotional depth that these actors, especially Bradley, do not have. In fact, everything from the actors’ teenage years is laughably acted.

Fast-forward ten years later or so to America where we meet Drew Collins in the present day; a simple journalist. Going off to Turkey with brash photographer Janet, David Bradley proceeds to act terribly like few have before him. After Collins comes off as a pure whiner for fifteen minutes, he and Janet are kidnapped for the purpose of forcing Drew to fight in a deadly tournament. Kenjiro, who has stolen the sword from his brother, is also competing in this tournament, and is still bloodthirsty.

As you’d expect this is essentially another direct-to-video ripoff of Kickboxer and Bloodsport, with the “forced to fight” angle from Bloodfist II thrown in for good measure.

This is a mixed bag, but it’s better than it is bad in terms of action enjoyment. It’s very cheesy, yes, but it’s also got some impressive fight scenes as well. The cheese, which essentially translated to cartoonish characters in slightly goofy fights, makes the film even better in my eyes. Plus, it’s got the craziest villain death ever.

As it is, the bad acting, incredibly lackluster first third, and weird padding hurt it. Who expects perfection from any direct-to-video action movie with American at the beginning of its title?

Decascos’ first role.
DVD: The DVD out by Warner Brothers is barebones. I’m fairly certain it is the same version that was edited for an R rating years ago.

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American Samurai, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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