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GI SAMURAI - Skull
Not Rated
Copyright 1979 Toei.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Lt. Iba - Power hungry Defense Force officer who always wanted to conquer Japan. Shot by Kagatori.
  • Kagatori - Power hungry samurai who always wanted to conquer Japan.
  • Yanno - Malcontent member of the Defense Force, tries to desert after they travel back in time. Gunned down by Lt. Iba.
  • About Twenty Defense Force Personnel - In the end all are stabbed, sliced, stuck full of arrows, etc.
  • A Horde of Medieval Japanese Warriors - No longer part of the breeding population.


The Plot: 

Arrggghhh! What looked like a promising piece of Asian film ended up being a worse choice than the raw puffer fish (carved by a man with eyesight problems).

Okay, a Japanese military unit out on maneuvers is caught in a time slip and transported back to feudal Japan. There they encounter different warring factions. Soon the men set about conquering their ancient homeland with the help of a powerful samurai and his army. Overall this sounds pretty cool doesn't it? DOESN'T IT?

Problem one is the fact that the film quality is horrible. A recovering morphine addict armed with a camcorder could probably do better (I'm not talking about a dubbed tape, but a retail VHS).

Problem two is that several crude attempts at character development are tried. However, after watching this movie three times I can only identify maybe four people.

Problem three: half the movie is a single battle scene! Don't get me wrong, I like watching warriors hacking at a tank with katanas as much as the other guy, but thirty minutes? It's amazing, it's incredible, and it doesn't stop until Lieutenant Iba fights his way to the enemy samurai's camp (alone, with a rifle and sword mind you) and kills the leader. Ugh.

Soon as the battle is over Kagatori shows up, kills Iba and some Japanese guy starts singing a hauntingly bad song. It must be their equivalent of "Feelings" or maybe "Stand By Your Man." A fitting end to this movie regardless.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Time travel kills watch batteries, but leaves all other electrical equipment alone.
  • Never let a hyper samurai fire the machinegun.
  • Sticks and stones may break your bones, but an arrow through the neck sucks.
  • A man shouldn't tell another man, "I've changed my views of life ever since I've met you." or "I see a lot of myself in you." while wearing a thong.
  • Tanks get fantastic gas mileage.
  • Rocket launchers have zero back blast.
  • Ninjas even spring around looking all martial artsy when they die.
  • Modern Japanese officers are masters of horseback riding, archery, and sword fighting.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 4 mins - So this is how you do a time warp sequence with no budget...
  • 9 mins - Maybe you should stop urinating in front of the Samurai.
  • 15 mins - Fifty millimeter machinegun? No... ...more .50 caliber; fifty millimeter is a small cannon.
  • 32 mins - My thoughts exactly.
  • 35 mins - Stalked by bushes huh?
  • 50 mins - That was a smoke or marking round.
  • 59 mins - Tank vss several hundred footmen.
  • 68 mins - Why exactly did you all split up?

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note gisamurai1.wav (Siren, then chuckles) Kagatori: "Metal horse made a funny noise!"
Green Music Note gisamurai2.wav Soldier: "Lieutenant, we're in a time slip, transported back hundreds of years."
Green Music Note gisamurai3.wav Old Woman: "You're like my grandson, but he's dead."
Green Music Note gisamurai4.wav Samurai: "So you are the famous Yoshiaki Iba. I heard that you're invincible."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

ImageImage


ImageImage


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipgisamurai1.mpg - 1.9m
Ouch.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3
GI Samurai
Reply #1. Posted on September 12, 1999, 09:15:37 PM by Squishy
There's a scene where, after the "time slip," the movie's still photographer can be seen crouching and running around snapping pictures, assuming that he's out of camera range--then, when he realizes he's in the shot, he stands up and tries to act as though he belongs there. This isn't some look-quick-or-you'll-miss-it thing; he's in the foreground for a full minute! Wow! The entire film appears to have been edited by drunks. Other things to bear in mind if you ever get sent back in time: helicopters have an endless supply of fuel so you can keep airborne to entertain friends; choppers can sneak up on an entire castle without a peep (pre-Blue Thunder technology, mind you); don't keep your helicopter stationary five feet off the ground when enemy troops are swarming around you; a pilotless, out-of-control chopper will steady itself long enough for you to bail out safely.  
GI Samurai
Reply #2. Posted on March 19, 2000, 11:06:45 AM by dr.outtime
this is one of the worst films ive ever seen.
The only reason I watched this crap again, was that my friend (movie-fan too) wanted to see how bad it was. This is compared only with gargantua(1998)with its badness.
GI Samurai
Reply #3. Posted on August 01, 2000, 10:22:06 PM by
i watched this today and crapped in my pants. it deserved two skulls.
GI Samurai
Reply #4. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Creeps
Bought this on eBay a little while ago after reading this review, just so I could experience its bad-ness.  Didn't cost much, so why not, right?  Anyway...it's bad.  Oh yes.  Bad.  We're just sorta catapulted into the movie and..well..some stuff happens.  Not overly interesting stuff, mind you...but stuff.  I couldn't watch it all the way through the first time, though I was close.  I got to the ending sequence, just after Iba is shot, and the bad song came on.  I thought, "Okay..bad end theme.  Should be over in a few seconds."  A couple of minutes later, I was shouting "End, damn you!  Eeeeend!" and was forced to stop the tape.  Definitely worth the bad movie XP.  It'll put hair on your arse.
GI Samurai
Reply #5. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Hawatana
Eee-yah! All gods bear witness to this accursed waste of celluloid!
For years after reading about this film in the '80's I thought, "Hey, that sounds like a fun premise", and I wondered why I never heard any more about it.
Now I know why!
Oh, well... if I had a nickel for every cool premise that never got mde into a movie, or worse, got made into a movie that blows chunks... well, I'd have a s**tload of nickels!
Oh, and by the way... when you put bowstrings from that era in a river they are good for one, maybe two shots. After that, you would do better throwing the arrows and...
Oh what's the point? When that luckless bastard who took an arrow in the throat asked "Why me?", well golly, he was speaking for everyone who had the misfortune to suffer through this dog on either side of the camera.
MAN, that clip was frighteningly egregious!
Hawatana Donjae
GI Samurai
Reply #6. Posted on February 10, 2002, 08:26:27 PM by Banzai
You know what? I have been dying to see this great movie
GI Samurai
Reply #7. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Gizmo

Actually.. I saw this film when I was a kid back in the 70s hehehe.. It was that particular time when I tried to sneak out of my place and pretended I know how to watch a movie by my own. hahaha.. anyway.. during those days.. i found this movie quite interesting.. considering that Star Wars wasnt done yet.. and a couple of seconds of Time Warp sequence would be a feasible treat to watch. Another funny thing is that in the Philippines.. (my hometown), the film was titled "Time Slip" and since that day.. I have been trying to look for the film of this title.  Guys.. dont be too rough on the film. Despite of its poor quality as compared to the blockbusters we have today, It basically has a little bit of creativity considering the lack of resources they have during those days.
GI Samurai
Reply #8. Posted on August 22, 2002, 02:55:03 AM by gmh
Time Slip is ace - I remember watching it years ago, when I was around 12. For the next few weeks play fights with my mate and brother were no longer based on Monkey but on Time Slip. Love the scene when the samurai bring down the Chinook helicopter. Tops.
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