My Samurai



IMDb Rating 3.8 10 121

Plot summary

October 10, 2022 at 09:05 AM


Fred H. Dresch

Top cast

Terry O'Quinn as James McCrea
Mako as Mr. Tszing
Bubba Smith as Reverend George
720p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
815.22 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S ...
813.15 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S ...
1.47 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S 7 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tarbosh22000 3 / 10

What My Samurai lacks in quality is made up for by the archaeological value.

Peter McCrea (Kallo) is a terminally depressed youngster whose dad, James (O'Quinn) forces him to take Tae Kwon Do. However, his instructor Young Park (Lee) believes in him. Mr. Tszing (Mako) is a gangland boss who commands an army of funny-looking thugs. After getting involved in some police corruption, Tszing's gang shoots some people. The only problem is that the dour Peter child witnesses this. Now on the run from the baddies, Peter, Park, and James's secretary, Deborah (Hart) have to run from place to place, avoiding death at every turn. Along the way, not only does Park get into a bunch of Martial Arts battles, he also attempts to teach Peter about life, Tae Kwon Do, believing in yourself, and all that jazz. During all this, they run into a man named Reverend George (Smith). This wouldn't be relevant but for the fact that it happens to be Bubba Smith. Will Peter get out of the doldrums? Will Park connect his punches and kicks? Will our heroes escape the baddies? Perhaps we shall see...

A low-budget independent production starring a lot of strange-looking non-actors. Broken-English dialogue on top of a muffled, unhearable sound recording. Amateurish writing, directing, acting, and other technical qualities. Flat line readings. Squealing guitar on the soundtrack. Warehouse fights. Middle-Aged Punks. We're home. Clearly a movie in our wheelhouse, as any regular reader of our site knows, My Samurai would fit nicely on the shelf next to other product released on Imperial Video. It's close in spirit to the output of Ron Marchini, which Imperial trafficked in. It would also fit nicely on the shelf next to items like Hawkeye (1988) or Kindergarten "Ninja" (1994), though those movies are a lot more fun and entertaining than this one is.

The whole movie screams "dumb/awesome regional production made to sit on video store shelves in 1992". Though it is quite stupid, childish, and repetitive, My Samurai will, if nothing else, remind you of those precious video store memories. It seems unlikely that very many people took this off their local video store shelves and actually paid money to rent it, but it's easy to picture it being there amongst all the other choices. We don't know how much penetration into stores across our great country My Samurai actually had, but maybe - just maybe - if all the Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Seagal, Van Damme, Jeff Speakman, Richard Norton, and Jay Roberts, Jr. movies are all rented out on a Friday or Saturday night, and My Samurai sits lonely on the shelf, a 12-year-old boy somewhere picked it up and took it home.

Which leads to the fact that, supposedly, this movie is rated R, but it feels more like PG. When you get to the scene with the "Birds of Paradise" gang - the aforementioned Middle-Aged Punks all wearing different colored Spirit Halloween wigs - you'll know what we mean. These guys are so non-intimidating, they make the cast of Cocoon (1985)seem like the Latin Kings. Is THIS what Young Park is protecting Peter from? seeing as Peter seems suicidal throughout the movie, you'd think he'd welcome death (?) at the hands of the Birds of Paradise.

Now, it seems rather obvious that this is meant to be a DTV version of The Karate Kid (1984) and/or My Bodyguard (1980). However, Young Park is a Tae Kwon Do instructor - not a Samurai. Did the writers think all Asians are the same? Not only is the title of the movie inaccurate, it's also totally racist. I think I need to run to my safe space. In the cast department, you get plenty of Mako, which is always a good thing, and a bare minimum amount of Terry O'Quinn, but you have to wait over an hour for Bubba Smith, and what Bubba you get is minimal Bubba. We've seen better Bubba. Much better Bubba. It made us long for the magic of The Wild Pair (1987).

So, My Samurai might not be for everybody - or anybody, come to think of it - but those with childhood memories of video stores might appreciate the nostalgia factor. It's not what you'd call good, in most senses of what we all understand that word to mean, but if you're a certain kind of movie watcher, that might not matter to you. It's certainly never stopped any of us before, has it? In the end, what My Samurai lacks in quality is made up for by the archaeological value. Whether that's a bargain you're willing to make is up to you.

Reviewed by The_Phantom_Projectionist 6 / 10

"You fight well, little man. You have good spirit."

Taekwondo champ Julian Lee has been appearing in action movies since 1990, but his earliest work readily available in North America is 1992's MY SAMURAI. This one fell into my lap by accident (my boyfriend happened to have an unopened copy on his shelf), and overall, I'm glad I saw it. What threatens to be a boring indie exercise turns into an engaging adventure with a lot of fight scenes. It doesn't fully realize its potential, but the raw fun makes for a feature worth digging your VCR out for.

The story: When a young boy (John Kallo) witnesses an underworld crime, his babysitter (Lynne Hart) and he are targeted for assassination and must rely on the protection of a martial arts instructor (Lee).

The movie starts off umpromisingly. It's really hurting for good actors, with lead villain Mako and absentee father Terry O'Quinn having relatively few scenes despite their important roles. I totally buy Julian Lee as the martial arts teacher he is, but drama seems alien to him; he makes Philip Rhee look like an Oscar nominee. Young John Kallo is, somehow, in even greater trouble. They stumble through the movie's opening third, gumming their lines and failing to impress. Then, to my surprise and delight, the screenplay wakes up. At first it's just little things that you notice – realistic touches about what three people on the run have to contend with, like how to find new clothes and needing to sleep in a cramped space – but eventually, it's like the film remembers that it can do whatever it pleases and has its three stars fighting a glam-inspired martial arts gang and buddying up with a minister played by friggin' Bubba Smith. The final 15 minutes or so lose some of that gusto when the filmmakers try to shoehorn in a whole scenario about Kallo and his dad, but overall, this is a pretty energized movie that's unlikely to bore its target audience.

There are some disappointing missteps throughout, beyond the aforementioned pacing issues. Lynne Hart – one of only two prominent female performers in here – shows a lot of promise but is somewhat wasted by playing a character whose sole arc in this otherwise bombastic film is about her love life. There seems to be some untold backstory regarding the villain, with the filmmakers trying to draw a parallel between two sets of fathers and sons, but this is left until the film's final minutes and is thus rendered confusing and pointless. Julian Lee has an embarrassing philosophical scene wherein he claims he never got rich teaching the martial arts because he didn't -want- to be rich; if all martial arts instructors who've struggled and sacrificed in pursuit of their passion watched this scene at once, their combined laughter might cause earthquakes. Lastly, take note of the movie's inappropriate title. Didn't the studio realize that neither Julian Lee nor the character he plays are Japanese?

There's no shortage of fight scenes, here – about a dozen individual brawls – and I'm happy to say that they balance out some of the film's flaws. The action doesn't start out promisingly, with some strikes clearly not making contact and a combatant dying by falling out of a five-foot window, but it picks up dutifully. Julian Lee provides his choreographers all the physical talent they need, and they exploit it by keeping the matches grounded and intimate – lots of close-quarters street fighting. There's some flashiness (the glam gang contains several acrobatic tricksters), and this makes for a satisfying adrenaline package. Disappointingly, Lee's on screen nemesis – fellow martial arts master Christoph Clark – is portrayed as so powerful as to negate any potentially cool matches between them. Clark beats the heck out of Lee, forcing the final showdown to conclude anticlimactically.

MY SAMURAI has the right attitude to be a kickboxing flick of the NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER (1986) variety, but not quite the concentration to maintain its enthusiasm. Nevertheless, the mixture of unusual touches and inspired moments make it worth owning for mildly patient fight fans.

Reviewed by Darlene-3 8 / 10

Good Martial Arts Indie

If you are looking for good solid martial arts fights without CGI, quick cutaways or crazy wire effects, My Samurai is for you. The plot is simple and the acting good but it is the fight scenes that are the best, especially the fights between Young Park (Julian Jung Lee) and Crest (Mark Steven Grove).

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1 Comment

DirBATMAN profile
DirBATMAN October 06, 2021 at 04:47 am

Reality...kid gets killed by the gang. Cops cannot protect you and you family is dead as well. But hey how is that Martial Arts working out for you? NOT