My Samurai is a 1992 action film directed by Fred H. Dresch (No Justice & The Kudzu Christmas). Dresch was the assistant director on such films as House IV, Night Eyes II, Syngenor, Double Obsession, & Dogs of Hell. He also did sound for the slasher film Final Exam. It was written by Richard Strahle (Shock ‘Em Dead). It was produced by Peter Garrity (Destroyer, Edge of Honor, & Top of the World). Busy father James McCrea (played by: Terry O’Quinn from The Stepfather 1/2, Lost, Young Guns, & Millennium) leaves his son with his assistant Deborah Martin (played by: Lynne Hart from Perry Mason) when he leaves town for business. Young Peter McCrea (played by: John Kallo) witnesses a gang murder, he is thrust into a dangerous world where strength & power are the keys to survival. His only hope is Young Park (played by: Julian Lee from Assassin’s Code, Fatal Revenge, Tiger Street, & Dragon and the Hawk), a powerful martial arts master with a gift for destroying any opposition. These three run into various characters like Mr. Tszing (played by: Mako from Conan franchise, RoboCop 3, An Eye for an Eye, & The Killer Elite) & Reverend George (played by: Bubba Smith from Police Academy franchise, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Black Moon Rising, & Blue Thunder). Who can they really trust at this point? On the run from the gang & the police, Young Park must teach Peter the secrets of self defense – and inner strength. From one action-packed sequence to the next, Peter learns about courage, force, & himself – so that he may confront the ultimate challenge of his life.
I was kinda expecting My Samurai to be another Karate Kid when I first seen it but it’s nothing like it. It’s much darker & it’s more marketed to adults rather than teenagers. I am a big fan of the martial arts sub-genre & this one doesn’t disappoint at all when it comes to the fights. It’s loaded with action, Julian Lee is a bad ass in this. I will say that the three leads were nothing special when it came to acting. Luckily, Lynne Hart was eye candy & Julian Lee didn’t need to talk much because he was too busy kicking ass in My Samurai. The supporting cast that included Terry O’Quinn, Mako, & Bubba Smith actually elevated the production with their performances. The henchmen & cops were solid fighters so they made the material more interesting. The script had it’s issues & some plot holes but overall it was pretty fun. They knew what they were making when they put this together. My Samurai does have heart mixed in with all that action & chaos, I thought it wrapped up everything good with the finale. This was very entertaining. Once again, MVD Rewind resurrects a forgotten film from the rental days & it gives it the proper treatment it deserves. It delivers on almost everything when it comes to 90s action, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from MVD Rewind! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks solid, it’s definitely an upgrade compared to past releases. This low budget feature has never looked great on home video but MVD did the best they could with what they had to work with for it. The English: LPCM 2.0 track was okay. It’s about the same as I always remembered it, I am guessing they didn’t have many options when it came to the audio so they had to go with whatever was available. The dialogue is clean for the most part here. The music was the best part about the track, the score had a nice boost to it at times. It also has English subtitles. Don’t expect anything here to blow your mind on this release when it comes to picture & sound. I will say it’s still an improvement over any VHS or DVD release plus it’s nice to have this on blu ray with some great extras.
Let’s discuss the special features from MVD Rewind! “Alternate Original VHS Cut” is a different cut of the film & my personal favorite extra on the disc. As you noticed, it runs 3 minutes longer than this theatrical version but that’s because trailers play before it so it’s actually a little shorter. This will definitely make you appreciate the transfer a little more after viewing this old cut. “Interview with Stars Julian Lee and Mark Steven Grove” is a little over 45 minutes, Lee chats about his fighting background & how he got into the United States. He talks about when he first got involved with the movie industry after just being a martial artist & teacher before that. He says he had to learn how to act before this. Mark Steven Grove chats about his audition & trying out for the main villain at first. He talks about him impressing them enough to get a role after not landing the lead one. They go over the fight choreography for the production. They go their experiences & their fights together. They bring up the cast & some of the locations. They bring it’s premier & it’s home video release. “Watching My Scenes with Actor Jim Turner” is almost 24 minutes. He brings up that he has never seen any of these scenes before. He chats about some earlier movies he did with the same production company including Destroyer. He tries to recall the story & his character for the feature. His reactions to the scenes that he was involved in are priceless. It’s hilarious to see his natural reaction to everything. He talks about his friend Terry O’Quinn for a little bit. “A Conversation with Christophe Clark” is almost 29 minutes. He chats his intense training to win a championship. He talks about helping train the Denver Broncos. He goes into how he got into the film industry & My Samurai. He brings up the unique look his character had. He chats about his experience with the production & tells some stories about it. He talks about a few of the actors. He says it helped him get other roles. It has “Photo Gallery” & “Julian Lee Personal Photo Gallery”. It has “Trailer” for the film. It has a variety of MVD Rewind related “Trailers”. It also has a retro VHS style slipcover & mini collectible poster. Let’s be real, you are buying this release for the movie & the extras because it’s lacking when it comes to the A/V department. MVD Rewind has loaded this blu ray release with all kinds of bonus material plus it’s retro design to make it worth the purchase. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!