Pray for Death

1985

Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

10
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 52%
IMDb Rating 5.8 10 1342

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Michael Constantine as Mr. Newman
Shô Kosugi as Akira Saito
Robert Ito as Kaga
Parley Baer as Sam Green
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
729.92 MB
1280*544
English
23.976 fps
1hr 32 min
P/S 0 / 8
1.5 GB
1920*816
English
23.976 fps
1hr 32 min
P/S 2 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jellopuke 8 / 10

Underrated

She Kosugi was awesome, with an intensity and believability that was light years beyond most of his contemporaries. The only problem was he couldn't speak English worth a lick. As long as he's kicking butt, he's great, but the second he opens his mouth, he sounds like a stereotype. But who cares when the action is so great. Here he wears a Shredder style helmet and takes out mobsters with ninja skills. Don't let the awful acting of his kids or the odd overdubbing of noises during the fight scenes distract you, this is top notch ninja schlock!

Reviewed by gavin6942 6 / 10

Gordon Hessler Presents a 1980s Ninja Special

After a peace loving Japanese immigrant (Sho Kosugi) and his family become victims of a crime syndicate, a master ninja emerges.

Director Gordon Hessler had a great run going into the 1970s, working with Vincent Price, AIP and all those talented folks. Look at this three film run: "The Oblong Box" (1969), "Scream and Scream Again" (1970) and "Cry of the Banshee" (1970). Unfortunately, it seems to have been downhill after that, or at the very least, he was behind films that did not quite get the attention of these three.

Then comes 1985, where we have this unusual gem. A Japanese ninja film, set in America and directed by a Brit. It is quite an unusual blend, something you might expect from Cannon. Or perhaps Transworld, which would be correct.

This sort of over-the-top movie is despised by most critics (with good reason), but embraced by those in the horror and cult community. Joe Bob Briggs praised star Sho Kosugi as "the best kung fu man since Bruce Lee" and ranked the film high on his 10-best list for 1986. Briggs is my kind of reviewer, who knows good cheese when he smells it. Kosugi really was the defining ninja of the 1980s (with all due respect to a certain group of turtles).

Arrow Films has released the film on blu-ray, and have done a very fine job of it. We have a 1080p presentation from a transfer of original elements by MGM of the unrated version. yes, the unrated version, which means more of that wonderful scene with the burning elderly man! We have a brand new interview with Sho Kosugi, as well as an archive interview and Ninjitsu demonstration with Kosugi from the film's New York premiere.

I would love to have seen a an audio commentary from Kosugi, or perhaps something from Hessler, but he likely passed before Arrow got the rights. All in all, this is a great release and anyone who loves the days of renting action films based on their cover is going to appreciate what this gem has to offer.

Reviewed by Troy Schulz 8 / 10

The Quintessential Eighties Ninja Movie

Ridiculous fight scenes? Check. Katanas? Check. Shuriken? Check. Cheesy Pop Ballad? Check. A fundamental misunderstanding of what a ninja actually is? Check. And of course, Sho Kosugi? Check. Ladies and gentlemen, we have the ultimate eighties ninja movie. Made while the ninja craze was coming to a close, Pray for Death is arguably one of, if not the best entry in actor Sho Kosugi's long and illustrious filmography, one that contains, you guessed it, a lot of ninjas. When mild-mannered Yokohama salaryman Akira Saito (Kosugi) moves to Houston with his wife (The lovely Donna Kei Benz) and sons (Lead Kosugi's real-life sons Kane and Shane) in order to run a restaurant, he ends up in a one-man war against an army of ruthless mobsters searching for a priceless necklace. The sheer ridiculousness of the plot should tell you all you need to know about this movie. Veteran director Gordon Hessler shoots the elaborate and brutal fight scenes with style, and Kosugi's martial arts skills are on full display. The acting is pretty hit or miss, but James Boothe, also the writer, is decently menacing as the mob boss Willie. The recent Blu-Ray release restores the movie to its original length, making the action all the more visceral and exciting. Viewers expecting to find a fun, over-the-top, and undeniably eighties martial arts film need look no further.

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