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Not Rated
Copyright 1986 Toei Animation Company LTD
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Ken - Martial arts master known as the Fist of the North Star. Not only can he perform clothes bursting sequences reminiscent of the Incredible Hulk, anything he punches explodes, including people.
  • Ray - Powerful fighter whose style cuts enemies to ribbons. Searching for his kidnapped sister, after finding her he tries to take on Raoh. Ray is not with us at the end of the movie.
  • Julia - Ken's true love, taken prisoner by Shin then Raoh.
  • Bat and Lynn - Two kids, she has special powers enabling her to grow plants even though the world is an arid wasteland. Mostly I have been wondering about parents who would name their son "Bat."
  • Ryuukin - Father to Ken, Jagi, and Raoh. His ideals and knowledge might be among the most noble, but only one kid turned out to be anything except a dangerous megalomaniac. Killed by Raoh.
  • Shin - The Fist of the South Star. Betrays everything sacred in his desire to possess Julia, though first being pummeled by Raoh and then finished off by Ken is probably ample punishment.
  • A Limitless Supply of Fodder - Thugs, bandits, and giants. Despite their own strengths and weaknesses, like being large enough to make Richard Simmons cry or transforming their skin into metal, all are destined to meet gory ends. Zendah falls into this category.
  • Jagi - Ken's brother, a previous argument between the two led to the mutilation of his head. The second encounter proves to be a very messy affair.
  • Raoh - Ken's older brother and probably the most powerful warrior alive (by a smidgen). Wanders around doing evil stuff like raising armies and massacring people.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

I tend to wax nostalgic when thinking about this film, but what young lad wouldn't? First off - it is (decently drawn) Japanese Animation, secondly - people get punched then explode into fountains of guts and blood! Forget the Internet and television, how did our parents make it growing up without this movie?

All that and an acceptable plot too, which we will now go into more detail about (for some reason I imagine you all cowering under tarps like the audience at a Gallagher show). As so many other films here the movie begins with a nuclear war devastating mankind and the Earth in general. Even though many large buildings are destroyed (including one with a oil tanker through it) I would like you to ignore the large amount of unbroken windows in evidence. This is secondary to more important plot points, like the development of martial arts that cause massive trauma to anyone struck.

Yeah, what about that? I honestly don't know, though that fact does not tarnish my joy at watching Ken glow with power as he stomps a hole in someone the size of Goliath. Or squeeze some guy's skull in, can't forget that.

In his quest to rescue Julia from Shin our hero encounters Bat and Lynn, which proves fortunate since the little girl has a green thumb. Unfortunately the seeds which everyone hopes will save the world appear to be weeds and annuals to further the insult. Terrific, the last darn photosynthetic organism on Earth and it's a weed.

Besides this the movie has fighting, lots of it. Plenty of people getting punched, smashed, or cut into pieces. Whether it is Ken defending a town against marauding bandits or Raoh leading his armies across the dusty wastes, you're going to see some messy stuff. I recommend this film to people who like over the top splatter.

On a final note, try counting the number of times someone says "Fist of the North Star." I gave up around twenty.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Eyes are more resistant to damage than muscle and bone.
  • People are little more than pressurized sacks full of blood and intestines.
  • After a nuclear war the Aurora Borealis are really spectacular.
  • A dirt buggy is fully functional and the occupants unharmed after plummeting twenty stories.
  • If some guy makes things explode when he hits them then (for crying out loud) don't let him punch you in the forehead.
  • Fat guys are just like tar babies.
  • Trying to kill a woman's boyfriend is not the best start to a relationship.
  • Sometimes not having rhythm is fatal.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 4 mins - It is the middle of a nuclear war, why are you idiots walking around?
  • 25 mins - Want to know what I'd do after seeing some guy knocking down skyscrapers with punches? The phrase is "run like a little bitch."
  • 33 mins - Zendah seems to change size...
  • 48 mins - You have to admit, fatboy had a lot of guts. Okay, no more puns this review, I promise.
  • 60 mins - How did Lynn know Alei's name?
  • 70 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT! (Feel really funny saying that about ink.)
  • 86 mins - Flowers are against the law? What is this, California?
  • 102 mins - Where in the heck did this change of heart come from?
  • 104 mins - Obviously some bees survived and pollinated the first flower.


  • Julia: "This is madness, the fists of the north and south aren't ever supposed to fight! You know that!"
  • Raoh: "All right, if you're that eager to die I'll oblige you. Any time you're ready."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note fistnorthstar1.wav Ryuukin: "Power without perception is virtually useless, and therefore of no true value."
Green Music Note fistnorthstar2.wav Zendah: "Refuse me and the girl will be the first to die."
Villager: "If we give up you'll most likely kill us all anyway."
Zendah: "Maybe so, but if you don't I'll break this kid into pieces and stuff her down your throat."
Green Music Note fistnorthstar3.wav Evil Guy: "Hey I thought you was a girl! Either way, you die."
Ray: "Sorry, I don't agree, I believe you are the one who is about to die."
Green Music Note fistnorthstar4.wav Ray: "Quit stalling Raoh, come on!"
Raoh: "Death shouldn't be rushed, one should savor it like fine wine and enjoy it's aroma. But if, in consideration of your impatience, I must kill you now - so be it."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipfistnorthstar1.mpg - 2.5m

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 ... 6 7 [8]
Re: Fist of the North Star
Reply #57. Posted on June 25, 2008, 03:38:49 AM by Tsukasamacleod
Fist of the North Star is probably the greatest Anime series ever (It was a TV show first.) If you wanna review a REALLY bad movie Andrew.... There's a live action Fist of the North Star movie.
Re: Fist of the North Star
Reply #58. Posted on January 02, 2009, 01:16:11 PM by j.oiles.s
This movie is awful. As it turns out it's awful dubbed, it's awful in Japanese, and it's just awful to watch. I say many of the same things about Akira and people point and scream "HERETIC!" those times too. Bah. I hate the GIGANTIC SHOULDERS + 84 PACK STOMACH + TINY HEAD art style. Also, Ray's "fighting style" may be extremely deadly, but he still looks silly doing it. Consider for a moment what exactly it looked like - a very large, peculiar-looking muscle-bound man delicately flailing his hands about, occasionally doing what appears to be a leaping breast stroke, and oh-so-powerfully flicking his fingers (with bent wrists) at his opponents. Yeah. Just like that.
Re: Fist of the North Star
Reply #59. Posted on January 10, 2009, 08:07:06 PM by Intangible Skeleton
And if you've read the manga or seen the anime, you'll know that Rei's rival, Yuda, is an even more effeminate man, who looks like a cross between Boy George and a metric tonne of steroids.
Re: Fist of the North Star
Reply #60. Posted on August 30, 2009, 11:27:19 PM by Holy Emperor92
This is definitley one of my favourite movies ever. Sure I can see why most people dislike it, but it's just too awesome and I'd take it over any other anime film. The dub is pretty bad, in that it doesn't explain much but I pretty much knew what was going on already so it was good that the boring talks about trivial stuff was skipped.

Also the ending (the credits) gets me everytime.
Re: Fist of the North Star
Reply #61. Posted on September 26, 2013, 05:35:35 PM by zelmo73
Complaining about the quality of a film on a website devoted to bad movies is a self-defeating and therefore futile logic strain, so I'm a bit perturbed by some of the comments about this wonderfully bad movie. It is a movie that revels in being bad, makes fun of itself as a result (the guy complaining about his "splitting headache" after getting a saw blade through his forehead is a perfect example of this), and focuses on being fun instead.

The real debate ought to be: Are bad movies better when their creators and actors know that they are involved in making a bad movie, or are bad movies better when their creators and actors are seemingly unaware that they are partaking in crap?

Fist of the North Star is one of those movies that I love to refer to as "classic '80s cheese". All worthwhile '80s movies possess this quality that was unique to that decade. The joy is in pointing out the funny and very obvious flaws in these films. Like in this one, for example, when Ken fights the Fat One who is blocking the entrance to Lord Jagi's fortress, causing the oversized fellow to burst in a shower of blood and guts, then proceeds to walk through the doorway -- the scene changes to a frontal shot of Ken walking through the doorway and into the fortress, but where is the Fat One's mangled body parts in the doorway? Not a drop of blood remains. Classic!

This film is better enjoyed over a fifth of vodka or a few 40-ouncers of Olde English, depending on the delectable tastes of your palate!  Cheers
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