For those who enjoy Santo's movies with a bit of character in them, there's little to love about The Fury of the Karate Experts, but it's certainly unique and entertaining. For the rest, you can skip right to the opening credits and have some fun with that -- they're about as interesting as the movie itself.
I've never been a huge fan of Santo's movies but, for a change, I was actually able to enjoy this one. I did enjoy the'movie' parts of the film, even if I felt they were pretty contrived and ridiculous, and I was especially a fan of the young Grace Renat, playing a woman who goes from innocent to sultry and then back again in seconds. The fight scenes are frenetic and entertaining, and the sets, costumes and locations are, for the most part, stunningly vivid. You can actually believe that you're watching a movie.Santo's last big project, it was definitely a nice way to end his career and I'm glad that even though The Fury of the Karate Experts is a complete mess, it's a complete mess in a good way -- which is more than you can say for the average Santo movie. I really think that, if Santo hadn't spent so much time in the US (where he hasn't made a movie since 1985's The Healer), he wouldn't have been treated so poorly by the Mexican film industry and he wouldn't have had to make such poor decisions (a 75% rating on IMDb is no mean achievement) -- I mean, you do have to admit that The Fury of the Karate Experts looks far better than most of the movies he's made here.
I've seen worse in the Santo canon, and I've seen better, but this is a truly horrendous effort for the man who was once hailed as the best actor in the world. It's not a fun movie, and, as the only one of its kind, it's not even particularly watchable, but I wasn't expecting to find anything in this film that could possibly make me feel any worse than I already did about the Santo legacy. I doubt there's any point in trying to convince a Santo fan to give this one a look, but it's a good example of why the title The Fury of the Karate Experts is pretty rubbish: when Santo had a reputation for being the best in the world, he gave us better movies than this. Now that he isn't, we're left with this dismal drek.
The Fury of the Karate Experts was originally titled Karate Invaders when it was made in 1973. The original release was in the US, so the title was changed to The Karate Experts for the English release, but the British version kept the original title. I imagine that, in the mind of someone who enjoys the movie, this title has stuck -- I've certainly never heard anyone refer to it as The Fury of the Karate Experts (or even The Karate Experts) when discussing it -- and it's the one I'm going to use here. However, the original title is more evocative, so you'll just have to make your own mind up about which one you like best. 827ec27edc