Karate Killer (1973)

Directed by
More stylish grime
Reviewed by Simon on 2023-12-16

It's something of a tradition that Sonny Chiba sequels depart wildly from the originals, but whilst the second Bodyguard Kiba film takes the narrative in a different direction (initially) it at least keeps things tonally and thematically pretty consistent.

The film starts with Kiba taking on a rival karate school in a beautifully filmed duel in the rain that leaves a pile of wet corpses and puts Kiba in prison, promptly ending his bodyguard business and his ties with his sensei. Upon getting out of prison a mysterious benefactor asks for protection from a business partner who is showing worrying ambitions, and he once more gets sucked into a world of sleaze and crime.

The film offers more of that hyper-stylised grime that Japan did so well in this period, and improves on its predecessor in the clarity of the action - the cameraman seems content to let us see what's going on this time, and the choreography is quite clear and cohesive. As if on a counterbalance, the gruesomeness of the end results of the violence is somewhat reduced.

The second film perhaps delivers a stronger, more focussed story than the first, but it is a touch more generic and played straighter so it's not quite as entertaining a package. Still a very solid film though, and as a pair the Kiba films are right up there with The Streetfighter and The Executioner for Chiba satisfaction.


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Art Director
  • Bodyguard Kiba 2 025
  • Bodyguard Kiba 2 048
  • Bodyguard Kiba 2 032

Also known as

  • Bodyguard Kiba 2
  • Karate Kiba 2