Great Scenes – FIST OF THE NORTH STAR
Fist of the North Star (1995) director Tony Randel is an interesting figure – a Roger Corman disciple who specializes in delivering intriguing special effects on the cheap, he somehow found his way into directing Hellraiser II (1988) – a guilty pleasure packed with high-value/low-cost spectacle – and somehow also found his way into directing this low-budget adaptation of the popular manga. And while it’s by no means a good movie, FOTNS is an interesting relic from a year when Japanese film company TOEI was promoting itself with a rash of B-movies aimed at American home video – films which include 1995’s No Way Back (starring a young Russell Crowe) and 1995’s Crying Freeman (directed by Brotherhood of the Wolf director Christophe Gans). It’s an otherwise awful flick which pairs an anti-charismatic unknown (Gary Daniels) with an overabundance of hammy actors (Malcolm McDowell, Chris Penn and Clint Howard), but this is a fun scene, enhanced by clever prosthetics and laughable kung-fu. And of course it fits snugly into our exploding head series. Enjoy – and please resist seeking out the full feature – unless you’re a ciné-masochist.