Crazy Thunder Road (1980) Poster

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7/10
Japan's one and only crazy biker flick!
Coventry18 April 2007
"Crazy Thunder Road" is quite a rarity for avid cult-cinema purchasers to come across! Sogo Ishii directed it (easily one of the influential Asian directors of the previous century) and, if I'm not mistaken, it's the ONLY Japanese film revolving on crazy bikers and violent gang wars. The basic premise of this film is extremely reminiscent to Walter Hill's classic "The Warriors", but the elaboration is in Ishii's very own personalized style, meaning an overload of hectic camera-work and editing, loads of boisterous punk music and demented characters that could have come straight out of a comic book franchise. When the leader of the once-notorious biker gang of Tokyo falls in love with a barmaid and quickly loses his rebellious ideals, the rest of the gang feels betrayed. Especially the reputedly troubled kid Ken revolts against his former friend and encourages the other members to join him in forming an entirely new and much "meaner" gang. The hostile attitude of the new gang causes the other gangs to declare war, and since Ken nearly isn't powerful enough to defend himself against the others, he needs to revert to the old leader for help. "Crazy Thunder Road" is a bizarrely compelling film with a lot of action and a unique atmosphere. Even more than his leather jacket-wearing biker characters, Sogo Ishii shamelessly revolts against society by depicting the big city suburbs as manic & ominous places where only scum lives. The film is incredibly fast-paced and chaotic; so don't be surprised when sometimes the continuity isn't perfect or major plot holes appear in the storyline. At one point, an executed gang member even comes back to life and joins his pals again. Especially bearing in mind "Crazy Thunder Road" was the graduation film-school project of 20-year-old student, it's an impressive effort to say the least.
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