Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 13th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: USA/Japan, 1976
Director: Simon Nuchtern
Writer: Ryuzo Nakanishi
Cast: Sonny Chiba, Jirô Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, Aaron Banks, Judy Lee, Bill Louie
|Approximate running time:||87m40s||88m10s|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.33:1 Full Frame||2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen|
|Sound:||Dolby Digital Mono English||Dolby Digital Mono English|
|DVD Release:||Brentwood||BCi Eclipse/Deimos|
|Region Coding:||Region 0 NTSC||Region 1 NTSC|
After an attempt of his life on an airplane Chiba publicly vows to stamp out the drug trade in Japan by offering his services as a bodyguard for anyone with information that might lead to the arrest of the remaining drug traffickers. When a witness (Judy Lee), takes Chiba up on his offer he takes her to a safe house to protect her from the mafia. Suspicious Chiba agrees to be her bodyguard in hope she will lead him to the source of the drugs. After escaping a few near fatal run-ins with various criminal organizations, Chiba discovers the woman he is protecting has a stash of cocaine that she is trying to sell. She seems to be legitimate, but is she really what she appears to be? Everyone wants her cocaine and they will kill to get it as Chiba goes along with her deception in hopes of snuffing out the criminals.
Video wise no contest it isn’t even close as BCI’s release blows away the Brentwood release which has color bleeding and cropped image. The BCI release presents the film in its original aspect ratio, colors and flesh tones look accurate and print damage is nonexistent.
The audio on the Brentwood release suffers from distortion, hiss and several other sound defects. The audio mix on the BCI release is free of any major audio defects and the mix sounds full during action sequences and when music is playing. Overall the BCI audio is vast improvement over the Brentwood audio mix.
The Bodyguard is part of Brentwood’s 10 Faces of Sonny Chiba set which includes nine other Sonny Chiba films and outside of a Sonny Chiba bio there are no real extra content. Extras for the BCI release include Trailers for Ninja Wars, Burnout, Kill Point and The Kidnapping of the President. The remaining extras consist of ads and Grindhouse related buffers.
After several sub par release The Bodyguard finally gets a first rate release as part of BCI’s Welcome to the Grindhouse Series.