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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 #9. Posted on November 05, 2003, 07:41:53 AM by TheFeen
Did you know that Lt. Iba is played by none other than martial arts master Sonny Chiba. Cool idea for a film, not half bad either.
GI Samurai
Reply #10. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by timsk
I watched this film sometime at the end of the seventies when I was a kid as well and for all its awfulness the time slip sequence on the beach has stayed with me. Not until I descovered mushrooms a few years later did I find visuals like it. Someone should clean it up and issue it on DVD. I'd buy it. Oh yea it was called Timeslip in the UK as well.
GI Samurai
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by marco
You idiot!! How could you have missed it!  Lt. Ilba is played by Sonny Chiba!  really, it's true!  I'm not making this s**t up!
GI Samurai
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by chowyunpat
Just so some of naysayers on this film know, GI Samurai is what happens when low rent video distributior gets a hold of what probably was a great film.  The film was originally called "Time Slip" all you do is cut out about half the film
(thus rendering any coherent story), poor dub it, and then do a lousy transfer in EP mode and you have GI Samurai.

    So why you all bash this film which okay, yeah you have to suspend some disbelief you have to admit the battle scenes and the stuntwork in this film are bloody and spectacular and really great esp considering that this film was made 6 years before John Woo's bloody eastern gun fu classic A Better Tomorrow.

     Why doesnt someone bothering seeking out the full length Japanese language print w/ English subtiles of TIME SLIP and then see what you think of the film.

     At least they actually did engage in battle with modern equipment with warrior from the past unlike in the Hollywood sci-fi letdown The Final Countdown which wimped out at the end of letting some modern jet fighters rip up the japanese squadrons getting to attack Pearl Harbor.


         
GI Samurai
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Patrick McKenna
Just a reminder, I had a bone to pick with the main review on this website and with most of the posts on here, because just about everyone was basing their review on the horrible Arena or Xenon VHS version which was cut by at least 40 minutes ans sure I had a problem with a third of the film missing, but the action scenes were still pretty damn cool and unlike the Final Countdown, this film delivers on its promise of showing you battle scenes with samurai, ninjas, machine guns, tanks, helicopters, rocket launchers, and high body counts, sprinkled with a bit of gore here and there.


I just bought Ventura's SUBTITLED AND UNCUT VERSION OF GI SAMURAI, and it is far superior to the version that most of the people posting on here saw, it's still no Oscar Winner by any means, but some interesting story threads were missing the VHS version of this like for instance: the deserter trying to find his present day gf, the relationship between Sonny Chiba's Character and a support character who is later revealed to be a real dirtbag, a raunchy sex scene in which 2 characters make aquaintance only to face each other in battle later on, and also some scenes that show the bonding between the Lieutenant (Sonny Chiba) and the warlord he helps.   Its a damn fine entertaining movie which leads to the payoff of a go for broke take no prisoners battle scene.  Again unlike the Final Countdown which teases you the whole movie that you are gonna see modern jet fighters rip through the first wave of Japanese Zeros headed toward Pearl Harbor and then has them return back to the carrier which just happens to get caught in the time warping typhoon right at the crucial moment, GI SAMURAI (aka Time Slip, Sengoku Jieitai) delivers on the promise of modern weaponry and soldiers clashing with samurais in spades.

Also something interesting to note, there was a remake of this film release in Japan 6/28/05 called Sengoku Jieitai 1549 and it looks pretty cool to me.

here is the official website which has 2 trailers
http://www.sengoku1549.com


GI Samurai
Reply #14. Posted on March 13, 2005, 01:50:00 PM by demoz
Timeslip is actually a one of my favorites undubbed subtitled version that is!
Re: GI Samurai
Reply #15. Posted on December 20, 2007, 11:21:27 PM by chris conley
This is not a bad movie it doesn't deserve that skull as a rating it deserves 3 stars the version you watch was the idiotic dub tape which cut the film down from 139 mins to 85 mins  It stars sonny chiba as Lt. Iba you can find a subbed dvd of this movie that makes the movie look better and is much better than the dub tape you are wrong about this movie Thumbdown
Re: GI Samurai
Reply #16. Posted on December 21, 2007, 10:23:30 PM by Andrew
This is not a bad movie it doesn't deserve that skull as a rating it deserves 3 stars the version you watch was the idiotic dub tape which cut the film down from 139 mins to 85 mins  It stars sonny chiba as Lt. Iba you can find a subbed dvd of this movie that makes the movie look better and is much better than the dub tape you are wrong about this movie Thumbdown

Are you saying that I should rate the movie based upon the version I did not see?
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