Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 15th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1981
Director: Simon Nuchtern
Cast: Sonny Chiba, Jirô Chiba, Etsuko Shihomi, Yasuaki Kurata
|Approximate running time:||79m17s||79m22s|
|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|
A young child (Etsuko Shihomi) witnesses her father Agaki (Sonny Chiba), as a quartet of karate thugs called the Big Four lead by Nikado nearly beat him to death. Nikado will do anything to take Agaki’s title as “the top Karate instructor” and instead of playing by the rules Nikado and his thugs beat Agaki until he agrees to leave Tokyo. Blinded in one eye by Nikado’s thugs Agaki flees to New York City with his daughter (Etsuko Shihomi), where Agaki rigorous training lasts for years taking away his daughters childhood and Shiomi goes to Tokyo in honor of her fathers last wish to settle score with Nikado and the Big Four. Once in Tokyo Shiomi goes to live with her grandfather where she plans her father’s enemy’s demise.
Dragon Princess like all the Brentwood Sonny Chiba releases is a really poor transfer that is most definitely sourced from a video and because of this even more of the source materials flaws are easy to see via the DVD format. BCI’s transfer for Dragon Princess looks really good as it presents the film in its original aspect ratio, colors and flesh tones look faithfully reproduced and print damage is virtually nonexistent.
Brentwood’s Dragon Princess, release has distorted audio and other sound defects like hiss. The overall tenor of the mix while more listenable then most of their Chiba releases it still pales in comparison to the new BCI releases audio mix which if free of any distracting noises and the majority of the sounds in this mix sound robust.
Dragon Princess 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 The Bodyguard, Legend of Eight Samurai, 9 Deaths of a Ninja and Sister Streetfighter. The remaining extras consist of ads and Grindhouse related buffers.
Dragon Princess gets a solid audio/video presentation from BCI via their Welcome to the Grindhouse series and now fans of Etsuko Shihomi can finally view this marital arts classic it in all of its glory.