Friday, March 15, 2019

Yellow Fangs, Big Bear Eats Japan

Okay, the bear was a guy in a cheesy bear suit. I don't care, I liked it. As for the guy in the bear suit...I'll take that over CGI any day. A neat little film we have today, 1990's "Yellow Fangs." Sadly, this wasn't a little film, but a big budget box office flop. No one went to see this film which took its toll on Sonny Chiba who made the film and bankrolled it. He lost everything, even though his film was infinitely better than the caustic "Captain Marvel."
Hokkaido in 1915...the winter is a tough one. A lot of snow and a bear begins attacking villages. He kills the men and carries away the women. It loves the scent of menstruation and it will pick women clean to their bones. This riles the villages...and horrifies them. Prodigal daughter Yuki (Mika Muramatsu) returns to her village only to be rejected by her dad. Minutes later the bear strikes, murdering her dad and carrying off her mom. The beautiful Yuki then goes off into the wilderness to kill the bear.
Yuki and her dog will have competition. Trained bear hunters from her village form a posse and also head out. These guys know what they are doing. Uh oh, the bear is smart and is able to outsmart these guys. Eiji (Hiroyuki Sanada) is a handsome hunter who secretly loves Yuki. As more women are eaten, the village sends away all its women (I know, a lot of you guys are thinking "why can't we do that?" Stop it). Now Yuki, dressed as a guy, is the only woman left. She is a fierce huntress, and unwitting bait. With no women left to eat, our fierce furry friend smells Yuki. Armed to the hilt with a rifle and a spear, Eiji runs to her to protect her...but will she need protection?
This is a cool story based on real events. The bear may be corny, but many of you will agree it beats CGI. Will Yuki need more protection from the bear, or from Eiji? Is the women-eating bear a nice metaphor for Harvey Weinstein and his Hollywood cohorts? Is this film a statement on the abuses of Japanese patriarchal society pre- World War 2? Okay, probably not...just a neat bear eats woman story. Sonny Chiba's "Yellow Fangs" deserved better than the awful box-office it faced in the 1990s. To salute the great Sonny Chiba, see "Yellow Fangs."

1 comment:

  1. man it's in my island, need to explore more about that place, the bear has good taste, one way of toning down high emotions during period time -- eating the bleeders!! great stuff loved this one for many reasons