228. Red Sun Rising (1994)

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*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a black leather jacket, ALIEN t-shirt, blue jeans, white sneakers and gargoyle shades. He’s holding a silver canteen of Pepsi*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair….welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*Warlock flicks his wrist and fire appears, he levitates before walking inside*

Warlock: Tonight its another solo IT CAME FROM YOUTUBE. Tonight we look at Red Sun Rising, the 1994 martial arts movie with an all-star cast. Will it be good? Let’s find out.

*Warlock takes his seat in the middle of the recliner*

Warlock: So let’s fire up Red Sun Rising.

 

Directed by Francis Megahy

 

Written by Robert Easter, Neva Friedenn, Paul Masiak

*Warlock reads the tag-line*

 

Warlock: “Japan’s toughest cop is in LA to track down the Yakuza’s deadliest killer”

Warlock: Should make for one hell of an end fight.

 

*Opening credits*

Warlock: This is actually a hell of a cast. Michael Ironside, Don Wilson, Mako, Soon-Tek Oh, Terry Farrell, James Lew….damn, now I’m interested.

 

*Oyabun (Toshishiro Obata) reads the news as his secretary (Mary Sum) brings him tea. His men (Ewart Chin, Joe Hanlin, Anthony Jaramilla, May May, Steve Moss, Joey Nguyen, Long Nguyen, Jody Sasaki and Ken Yasuda) play dominoes. The graphic reads Kyoto, Japan. Meanwhile outside Thomas Hoshino (Don “Dragon” Wilson is outside with his partner. His partner speaks in Japanese that Yamata (Soon-Tek Oh) isn’t going to show. Thomas answers in English that he’ll be there*

Warlock: I know he’s not really Japanese but you could at least teach him a few phrases to at least sound it.

 

*Thomas and his partner watches a car pull up. Yamata walks out along with some bodyguards. Yamata walks in the pagoda and immediately kills Oyabun in a sword fight*

Warlock: Wow, that didn’t take long.

 

*Thomas waits outside as bodyguards are tossed left and right. Thomas joins in and a brawl develops. Jaho (James Lew) starts wiping out guys left and right with a sword. Thomas and his partner wipe out Yakuza and Oyabun men left and right. Jaho snaps the neck of the secretary too*

Warlock: What a heel.

 

*Jaho drinks something out of a vial and Thomas enters with a sword*

Warlock: A little early for the one on one fight.

 

*Jaho beats the crap out of Thomas and goes to finish him off when Yamata walks in. His partner pulls a gun only for Jaho to stare at him and put the guy in a trance. Jaho turns to Thomas and says to watch what he can do. Jaho calls out what’s going to happen and then hits the partner in the chest with a CGI effect. Jaho and Yamata walk out*

Warlock: Why didn’t he kill Thomas right then and there?

 

*The partner was Yuji (Yuji Okumoto)

Warlock: Aww fuck, now I remember, that’s Chozen from Karate Kid 2.

 

*The Kyoto Police Captain (Joe Kuroda) says Thomas got Yuji killed and he should have expected it since he’s only half Japanese*

Warlock: Yeah they hate half breeds in Japan, even worse than the deep south in America.

 

*Four months later in California, Councilman Royce (Leonard O Turner) is asked about the death of Father Munoz (Pablo Velazques). Royce says the killer has made the top of his list and they will find him. Detective Karen Ryder (Terry Farrell) walks to the scene to investigate. Father was the peacemaker between a gang war between Iceman (Shashawnee Hall) and Malito (Art Camacho)

Warlock: Movie number seven thousand I’ve seen with Art Camacho as the fight director.

 

*Karen asks her partner where they got machine guns. Suddenly a fight breaks out between Ray (James Hatch) and some local latino. Ray manages to call the guy every racist name in the book along with sexually harrassing Karen. Karen responds by asking for him to pull his penis out only she left her magnifying glass at home. The crowd guffaws*

Warlock: Burn!

 

*Ray is escorted away as the latino is Hector (Peter Mark Vasquez) who says the Malito’s will pay. Rita (Jacqueline Obradors) says they can handle themselves. Karen pulls her aside and says what happened to Father Munoz could happen to her. Karen wants Rita to stall Hector so she can find out who’s behind it. The newswoman (Judy Lea) says a 19 year old was killed last week. Next frame has Gamal (Stoney Jackson) visiting the grave site. The other crying members of the family blow him off*

Warlock: Too much going on in one movie. Mexican gangbangers, Yakuza, Don Wilson….

 

*Jaho corners a black woman and kills her. Gamal and his boys walk back and find her body. Gamal pulls his gun and screams*

Warlock: Are we gonna get an explanation?

 

*Cab driver (Ken Davitian) charges Thomas 100 dollars from the airport to the police station. Cabbie “Next time take bus.” Thomas forks over Yen as he spots Yamata leaving the police station, Cabbie yells at him for real money and Thomas pulls his badge, telling him to follow the car. Cabbie says okay*

Warlock: Hahahaha

 

*Yamata is being transferred to a police station. Karen calls him Godzilla and he laughs it off. Thomas runs up and shows his ID to Karen. Karen says “You speak Engrish?” A miffed Thomas “Engrish is not one of my favorite languages but I speak it reasonably well”

Warlock: Damn you Karen.

 

*Thomas is there to bring Yamata extradited but Karen says he’s wanted for busting up a bar in LA. Thomas says he killed his partner and Karen leds him ride. Thomas speaks in dubbed Japanese that he’s there for him and Yamata says he’s sorry for the loss of his partner*

Warlock: Should have done that in the beginning of the movie.

 

*Karen asks why Japanese sounds like a worn out transmission. Thomas asks where Jaho is and he happens to be in disguise behind them*

Warlock: There he is.

 

*Yamata says he wouldn’t buy off Thomas because he’s nothing. Thomas offers jail perks and Yamata brushes him off.  Thomas threatens to tell everyone while Yamata is away that he’s an honorless rat, causing Yamata to attack and Jaho to use his hidden, CGI power on Yamata*

Warlock: Yeah, Japan is very big on honor. Saying you have  no honor in Japan is worse than calling someone gay or something.

 

*Thomas tells Yamata they have until they leave to cut a deal. Suddenly Yamata drops dead and Thomas calls him a son of a bitch. Karen asks what he said to him, Thomas said he’d dishonor him. Karen says “Yeah that would give anyone a heart attack*

Warlock: What did I say a minute ago?

 

*Karen pulls up in her car and initially Thomas wants nothing to do with her. She says her captain says she needs to keep an eye on him. Thomas says he has to go somewhere first, she’s driving. Thomas says her car is huge and she says its the way cars should be until the Japanese screwed it up. Thomas says low quality killed the American car industry, not them*

Warlock: Oh god, not this shit again. As if Gung Ho and Collision Course didn’t bring that shit up enough.

 

*Thomas brings Karen’s to Yjui’s uncle Buntoro Iga (Mako). He was Thomas’ master and teacher. He spent most of his life as a Shinto priest. Buntoro answers the door listening to 50’s rock and wearing American pajamas before embracing Thomas*

Warlock: Yeah, saw that coming.

 

*Karen introduces herself to Buntoro and he says she’s English and French. Karen is impressed that he’s correct and Buntoro offers booze to them. Thomas wants tea because he’s there on serious business and Buntoro says patience. Mariko (Charlene Paulo) and Katie (Leisa Sheridan) are Buntoro’s girlfriends, they’re introduced. Buntoro says he gave up priesthood over drinks. Buntoro says he decided to give instead of take. He became a shoe salesman. Buntoro has a parakeet named Rasputin*

Warlock: Neyz would like that.

 

*Thomas gets serious and says he will avenge Yuji. Buntoro drinks to that*

Warlock: Cheers.

 

*Thomas asks how Jaho became so powerful. He admits that Yamata was trying to take over the LA operation. Jaho takes out the coroner and Buntoro asks how Yamata died. Buntoro wants to see the body. Jaho pulls Yamata’s body out and starts doing chi. Suddenly Yamata comes to*

Warlock: Oh great, he can revive the dead now.

 

*Yamata wakes up as Kerry, Buntoro and Thomas walk in. Kerry and Buntoro investigate with Thomas close behind. Yamata is gone and the coroner is dead on the table. Kerry walks in and figure out the Iceman is behind it. Jaho loads Yamata in the car as Icemen attack. Thomas takes them out with hand to hand combat. They all run off when the cops arrive. Kerry wants to know what happened, Buntoro says the death was a charade and Jaho is a master of the death touch. Thomas says it was a myth, Buntoro says its no myth. Buntoro says Jaho is the mirror image of Thomas in that Jaho is the deadliest man alive*

Warlock: Yeah that makes sense…he didn’t kill Yamata…only faked his death to get the cops to get off his case.

 

*Captain Meisler (Michael Ironside) gives Karen and Thomas shit for letting Yamata get away. He calls Thomas the Japanese word for dog and says Thomas is on a plane back to Kyoto that night. All of a sudden Decklin (Edward Albert) walks in and says they want Yamata. Its classified but Thomas reveals Jaho isn’t a name but the word for magic. Decklin says stick to the 20th century. Thomas is asked to look over mugshots*

Warlock: Gonna delay that flight home.

 

*Meisler reveals Father Munoz’ body was taken last night and he wants to know what the feds are up to. He tells Karen to stay on Thomas and she says find someone else that can get along with Japs. Meisler scolds her for using racist language and says to stay with him, she’s off the gang related cases. He says take him to the movies*

Warlock: Yeah, go see Hellraiser 3.

 

*Councilman Royce walks in and tells Meisner that Malito and Icemen are meeting that month. Next frame Thomas gives his number to Decklin and takes his card. Decklin says someone in the department is on the take*

Warlock: Its probably him.

 

*Karen has orders to give Thomas the grand tour and he recluctantly goes along. Thomas and Karen admit they don’t like each other. Thomas says he’s going to find Jaho in Little Tokyo and Karen says no way. Karen says she’ll find reasons to lock him up but he says he won’t make it come to that. She says she worked twice as hard to make detective and she asks why he’s called a dog in Japanese. He says he was 12 years old when he moved to Japan, the only half breed in his school. To survive he had to become more Japanese than they were to save his ass in the school yard. Thomas then starts getting close to her*

Warlock: That was a quick turnaround.

 

*Karen says her father was a foreman in Flint for 29 years. One year before his retirement the plant closed, Japanese imports took over. He had to take a job at a liquor store and he was killed by a gang banger. That’s why she became a cop*

Warlock: That’s not Thomas’ fault.

 

*Karen says she’s gonna meet with one of her informants with information about the meeting. The hangout is an Iceman hang out. Jaho’s car is in the lot. Karen says to call for backup, Thomas says he’ll blend in with the crowd. Thomas enters the club and he’s the only white/Asian there. Gamal meets with Yamata and Jaho. Some gang bangers attack Thomas and he beats the shit out of all off them by himself. Someone goes Eddy Gordo on Thomas and Thomas wipes him out. Gamal then tries his luck but Thomas stops him. Jaho attacks and Thomas tries him instead. Jaho beats the shit out of Thomas as the crowd taunts him. Jaho applies the death touch as Karen fires a shot and says Yamata is wanted for being in tight with the KKK. Gamal believes her and says he shouldn’t have trusted Yamata. Gamal tells Jaho to shut the fuck up and says he’s gonna take care of them. Jaho uses ninja magic to escape with Yamnata as Gamal follows in his own car. Thomas collapses outside the club*

Warlock: Uh oh, movie’s over after 40 minutes.

 

*Gamal and his partner chase the car until they find out Yamata escaped. Yamata says Karen is becoming a pain in the ass and Jaho says he’ll take care of her. Yamata says to make a deal with the Malito’s to piss off the Icemen. Karen brings Thomas to Buntoro’s who calls for booze, acupuncture and incense. Next frame is Thomas in the bathrub with Karen walking in. She says don’t worry, she grew up with 3 brothers. Karen then makes fun of him for shrinkage. She then says Decklin knows Yamata is selling shit to the gangs to fund their war. Buntoro dumps more ice water on him and makes him drink hot stuff to piss him off further. Karen asks if he suffered any permanent damage, Buntoro says no. Buntoro says the next time they meet, one of them will die. He says they must train like they did when he was a child if he wants to defeat Jaho. Jaho takes a swig of his magic potion as we switch to night*

Warlock: This is getting too weird.

 

*Jaho follows Gamal’s partner, pulls out a rocket launcher and blows him away. He then talks to the corpse of Father Munoz and says to keep his mouth shut*

Warlock: He’s lost it folks.

 

*Buntoro whacks Thomas for training lousy*

Warlock: Just like Jackie Chan in The Big Brawl.

 

*Buntoro uses his own magic to knock Thomas in the pool. Buntoro says Thomas can unlock the healing power but has to tame the anger before he can control it. Next frame is Hector finding Father Munoz in his church and rounding up all his soldiers for a raid on the Icemen*

Warlock: Oh boy, a giant misunderstanding.

 

*Karen says she’ll calm the Malito’s down. Karen tries to talk Hector out of it. Karen says no one will be safe and they’re the ones that blew up Iceman’s top lieunntant. Hector says they had nothing to do with that and one of his goons grabs Karen. Thomas knocks the guy down and starts kicking ass*

Warlock: Art Camcaho makes his appearance.

 

*Thomas pulls a gun on Hector and he calls his boys off.  Karen says Councilman Royce organized a peace meeting in 8 days, wait before doing something stupid. Rita runs over and says in 4 days Hector called in reinforcements and plans to attack. Karen tells Thomas that Yamata is double dealing for maximum profits*

Warlock: Money money money.

 

*Ray racially insults blacks to Karen. She tells Steve (Forry Smith) they need to convince Gamal and Hector its a set up. Ray says to let the savages kill each other off and walks away laughing*

Warlock: Please let this asshole be the crooked cop just so Thomas can beat him stupid.

 

*Thomas trains blindfolded*

Warlock: We’re gonna need a montage.

 

*Montage of Thomas training. Eventually he gets the hang of fighting blind. Buntoro  says Thomas was his best student to Karen. He continues to train and Karen says she has a meeting with Royce. Thomas says he’s going to and he makes a phone call to Decklin. Thomas then hops in the car*

Warlock: Don’t trust anyone!

 

*Royce on the phone says he’ll handle it. He tells his secretary Dolores to get him stuff. Jaho walks up and seduces the secretary before we cut*

Warlock: Ruh roh.

 

*Thomas says Karen’s humor sucks. He then norices the van outside Royce’s office and immediately gets attacked. Thomas starts wiping out Icemen as Jaho walks into Royce’s office. He dispatches both of Royce’s guards and jump kicks a third guy. Jaho smaps Royce’s neck as Thomas fights his way up the stairs*

Warlock: Too late.

 

*Karen’s gun is kicked down the stairs as Thomas makes it to Royce’s office to wipe out more gang bangers. Royce is tossed out the window. Thomas and Karen jump out the window to escape the gang bangers as Gamal shows up. Gamal calls her a lying white bitch cop and pulls a gun on her and Thomas, thinking they killed Royce. Decklin shows up and arrests Gamal as Karen and Thomas point the finger at each other over who alerted Decklin*

Warlock: Please let the rat be Ray.

 

*Ray chuckles as Meisner suspends Karen for thirty days. Ray gives her shit and she calls her a pig*

Warlock: We still got 35 minutes left.

 

*Buntoro tells him he needs to dig deep in his two halves to make himself whole. The newscaster reports Royce was murdered by the Malito’s and Hector is the prime suspect. Thomas meets Karen at a bar who bitches about being suspended. Thomas says Decklin backed off as well. Ray shows up and gives Karen more shit before making racial taunts to Thomas*

Warlock: Please knock him out.

 

*Thomas calls Ray an amateur dart thrower. Thomas says he can throw 10 bullseye blindfolded and Karen bets 20 bucks he can do it. Thomas whispers something in Karen’s ear. Ray makes another racial taunt and Thomas makes him back up against the wall. Ray then throws 3 darts at Ray instead, one of them hitting his thigh. Karen gives him 20 dollars then 50 to Thomas because Thomas bet he’d make Ray piss himself, which he did*

Warlock: McMahon 3:16 says I just pissed my pants. Finally got his comeuppance.

 

*Ray runs off embarrassed as Thomas wants to take Karen’s car for a spin. Karen asks how he pulled off that trick and Thomas asks “What trick?”*

Warlock: Hahahaha

 

*Thomas and Karen share bonding moments and character development. His mother died when he was 12 so his Japanese father took him back to Japan. Buntoro taught him how to fight*

Warlock: Helps take off the run time.

 

*They share a kiss*

Warlock: About time.

 

*Jaho stalks the parakeet outside Buntoro’s*

Warlock: Ruh roh.

 

*Jaho walks in on Karen and Thomas while they sleep*

Warlock: Not exactly the Sandman….unless its the Metallica Sandman.

 

*Jaho steals Karen’s watch. Meanwhile Rita walks in and asks for Karen. Karen’s voice says she’s right there and Jaho walks in*

Warlock: Now he can disguise his voice too?

 

*Jaho stops Rita from stabbing him with a straight razor. All of a sudden Thomas wakes up with Karen kissing him. Thomas says to take the day off. Karen says men think they own women after sex, she says nobody owns her. Karen can’t find her watch and she’ll look for it, Thomas is to call Rita*

Warlock: I don’t think she’ll answer.

 

*Buntoro tells Thomas that Jaho was no dream and he holds up Rasputin’s cage, Rasputin is dead*

Warlock: Good thing Neyzor Blades didn’t see that.

 

*Thomas figures out Jaho has Karen’s watch. Karen searches Royce’s office and finds Rita dead on the couch. She covers her up as Ray walks in with a gun. Ray holds up the watch and Karen asks where he got it. Ray says it was in Rita’s hand where Karen left it. Steve walks in, puts black gloves on, picks up Karen’s gun and joins Ray. Steve says he’s sorry as Ray say they got a tip that Karen is the dirty cop behind it all. Thomas is on his way as two gunshots ring out. We cut back and Ray is dead, Steve killed him*

Warlock: Guess we know who the dirty cop is now.

 

*Steve says there are big money in guns and gangs kill each other off, everyone is happy. Jaho walk in and performs his magic on Karen as Thomas pulls up. Karen lays down and Jaho goes to for himself on her. They kiss as Thomas races up the stairs. Jaho has her hostage and Thomas says to let her go. Jaho taunts him and says there’s nothing he can do. Jaho applies the death touch to Karen and runs out with Steve. Jaho drives up as Meisner pulls up and Steve tells him Karen and Thomas are up there. Karen says the captain must be in on it too*

Warlock: Duh, why else would a chief or captain suspend someone for getting too close?

 

*Karen says they killed rita and Ray as Meisner makes it up the stairs as Karen and Thomas go dowstairs. Thomas brings her to Buntoro and he says he knows how but doesn’t have the gift, Thomas will have to save her. Buntoro shows Thomas how to heal Karen and he does*

Warlock: Great, now he’s got super powers too.

 

*Karen comes to 12 hours later and Karen says she has to stop the gang war. Hector walks in and asks if Karen is okay. Hector says the cops think she killed Rita and Ray, Hector knows better. Thomas says he’s sorry and Hector says he found the number Rita was given by Karen. Hector breaks down and says Rita was going to bear his son and he’s afraid of dying. Hector says the meeting is 3 hours from now. Hector says if Thomas can’t stop Yamata and Jaho from selling Gamal’s crew weapons, they’re going to have to get their own just to survive. Thomas calls Decklin and tells him to meet at the site*

Warlock: 13 minutes left, let’s finish this.

 

*Decklin and Thomas sneak around until Thomas is taken hostage by mercenaries. Decklin reveals he’s behind it, Steve was just a pawn. Decklin says his partners wanted Thomas personally. Jaho and Yamata walk in and stand side by side with Decklin. Jaho says he’s going to kill Thomas slowly and then Buntoro. Thomas then breaks free and starts kicking ass. Decklin caps one of the mercs by accident as Hector walks in and shoots another merc. The Malito’s run in and start attacking the mercs*

Warlock: A donnybrook, a melee, a pier sixer!

 

*Thomas and Jaho start dispatching guys left and right. Jaho goes to escape as Captain Meisner shows up and holds Decklin at gun point. Decklin ties to save face but Meisner reveals Karen’s suspension was a set up and they had Decklin and his crooked cronies under surveillance. All of the crooked cops have been arrested and Decklin is the only one left. Decklin tries to talk him out of it and Meisner drops him with the butt end of a shot gun. Meisner “I hate Feds”*

Warlock: Hahaha yes!

 

*Thomas Jaho into the street. He stops and goes to confront*

Warlock: The final battle.

 

*Thomas beats the living cap out of Jaho but Jaho tells hm to watch what he can do. Jaho uses cgi rapid fire kick to drop Thomas only for him to not sell it and smile at him. Jaho says he is apart of Thomas and Thomas says wrong and calls him a dead man. They trade heavy punches and kicks before Jaho uses his ninja power….but Thomas is ready for it. Thomas beats the crap out of Jaho as Yamata goes to shank him. Karen shoots Yamata dead just in time. Jaho is stunned to see Karen alive and Thomas says “He’s mine.” Thomas goes to strangle him but Karen talks him out of it*

Warlock: Idiot!

 

*Jaho goes to attack and Thomas hits him with the death touch. Thomas “There is nothing you can do.” Jaho bleeds out*

Warlock: If they wanted to make a sequel with Thomas turning heel, there ya go.

 

*Mesiner in luau clothes walks with two ladies and brags about himself. Karen says he’s looking good and walks away. Buntoro tells Thomas if he doesn’t dance with Karen, he will. Thomas says he’s never learned how to dance. Karen wants to teach him. Karen gives her father’s watch to Thomas and Thomas says he won’t forget her. Karen says they may bump into each other some day. They slow dance and we get the end credits to a sappy love song*

Warlock: Awwwww, isn’t that a sappy ending?

 

The Warlock’s Assessment: 6 out of 10: Cookie cutter yet has magic elements throwing it making it a fantasy martial arts movie rather than your normal action. If you can get past the hogwash elements you may be able to enjoy it. Great cast all around and recommended.

Final Grade: 6 out of 10 – Good

 

 

*Warlock rises from the recliner*

Warlock: As I rise from the chair, I give Red Sun Rising a thumb up. Its a good way to kill 95 minutes if there’s nothing else on. The cast makes it special so check it out when you can. That about wraps up another goodtastic adventure, have a pleasant evening.

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