Takashi Miike’s earliest works suffered from two things for the most part: Hisao Maki’s script and the almost complete lack of budget, which had Miike shooting directly to video and with very few resources. “A Human Murder Weapon” is no exception.

The story is based on Ikki Kajiwara’s manga and revolves around a young fighter named Karate Kid (for God’s sake), who spends most of his time facing extremely muscled opponents in the ring, in a rather shady, underground club, in order to entertain the mostly foreign audience (including Mr Porsche). Through a flashback, however, we learn about his tragic story, that had him abandon the mother of his child, another martial artist and the school her father left the two of them, after Karate Kid beat him in combat, and before committing suicide. Actually, the protagonist is forced to fight in those matches since another female friend of his, a singer,  is kidnapped and forced to fight in the ring against professional female fighters, despite the fact that she has no fighting experience at all, not to mention that the rules include the loser being stripped and violated in any way possible. Eventually, the mother of his child, who is an experienced fighter, also enters the fights, with the ending including a tag team match among almost anyone involved.

Evidently, the script is full of holes, to the point that there is no point in examining it more, as it functions mostly as an excuse for the fights. These fights are split into two very distinct categories. The ones between the singer and the wrestlers are genuinely exploitative, since they are almost completely one-sided and feature much nudity and torture, with the thumb in the bottom scene being the most distinct sample. On the other hand, the ones between Karate Kid and the rest of his opponents (most of which also have ridiculously rip off names like Michael Tyson) and the ones between the mother of his child and her female opponents are quite well choreographed (considering) and impressively brutal.

The rest of the film’s aspects, from the acting to the cinematography, the editing, and the truly bad sound suffer much from the lack of budget, to the points that some parts border on being ridiculous, like the lack of people in the audience and the SFX. On the other hand, the whole tournament part seems to work somehow, in unintended slapstick fashion, and in the end, “A Human Murder Weapon” manages to offer some entertainment, at least to those who do not mind low budgets and incoherence. Personally, I did not mind it, which cannot be said for a number of Miike-Maki collaborations.

My name is Panos Kotzathanasis and I am Greek. Being a fan of Asian cinema and especially of Chinese kung fu and Japanese samurai movies since I was a little kid, I cultivated that love during my adolescence, to extend to the whole of SE Asia. Starting from my own blog in Greek, I then moved on to write for some of the major publications in Greece, and in a number of websites dealing with (Asian) cinema, such as Taste of Cinema, Hancinema, EasternKicks, Chinese Policy Institute, and of course, Asian Movie Pulse. in which I still continue to contribute. In the beginning of 2017, I launched my own website, Asian Film Vault, which I merged in 2018 with Asian Movie Pulse, creating the most complete website about the Asian movie industry, as it deals with almost every country from East and South Asia, and definitely all genres. You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.