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"It's The Only Way To Survive"

                        Americana Review



Richard Norton , Rochelle Ashana


        Copyright © 1989 Lamond Motion Picture Enterprises/MIA Video Entertainment 2001

Well i do like the Mystic of the Samurai,and here we have a film that focuses on the art of Bushido.

Richard Norton plays one Zac Connors a semi retired Navy man who is still in the reserves .The film focuses around the death of his grandfather who during the end of the 2nd World War acquired a Ancient Samurai Sword as a keepsake.

Now on return from the east his plane ran into trouble and crashed in Thailand ,he was captured by Japanese forces who did not believe the war was over ,they took Zac's Granddad and executed him by the Sword ,chopping his head clean off.

Now some forty years later ,Zac's Grand Mother has passed away and he decides to find out what happened to his Grandpa ,as his own wife never new what happened to him .

With the help of fellow navel officer Billie (played by Richards own Wife Judy) he discovers the plane his grandfather was on crashed in Thailand and no one was ever found.Tracing the crash to a remote place Zac decides he is going to try and find the wreckage and bring peace to his family's past.

With the help of a guide Zac travels to Thailand and actually finds the wreck still there some 45 years later .Discovering the bones of the co-pilot he searches for a clue of his Grandpa.When the guide finds more human bones Zac finds that the remains are that of his Granddad and that he had been executed .

Now Being Thailand there are many criminal elements and at this moment Zac and his guide are ambushed by thugs brandishing weapons ,with no regard for life they shoot dead his guide ,luckily for Zac he is rescued by a bunch of rebels led by a young girl called Suay.

Returning with Suay back to their village he is met with more despair as the village has been attacked by the same thugs and many are dead and the village is burned.One Lady is on her last legs just happens to be Suay's mother .

Now Zac explains to Suay his intention in being in Thailand and that his wish is to find the Sword that his Granddad had acquired.The Sword is believed  to be one of most value as it was made in the 16th century by a master swordsman and is a Japanese relic and National treasure that's been missing since before the 2nd World War.

In the village there is a man called Chai who see's himself as Suay's suitor or guardian.He has concern about Zac and the two end up fighting to settle their disputes (or at least his anyway).

Suay relays that there used to be a Japanese General who lived in the mountains many years ago ,and that a man called Jerry may be able to find the place.

Jerry is a ex- American GI who stayed on in Thailand after the wars of Vietnam.He's a bit of a wide boy but can be useful at times.

Jerry arrives at the village and once introduced to Zac they agree a price for him to help them get to the mountain. Both Suay and Chai agree to go along to help.

But on route Jerry hears Zac and Suay talking about the Sword and that the Japanese government have offered a reward of some Millions of Dollars for it's return.

Upon finding the remains of the old General they discover a letter he wrote about his dishonor after the war and that he executed a GI after the war(Zac's Granddad).

Chai finds a box and it contains the Sword ,at this point Jerry decides he's having the Sword to sell and holds a gun on them ,Chai tries to help but Jerry shoots him.

Jerry ends up trapping them in the caves by falling into traps set by the Old General,and getting killed. and it takes some fortitude  to get out ,but in the end they find a way out.Plus they have the Sword back.

Now planning to return the sword ,Zac and Suay are ambushed by thugs led by a Japanese Yakuza called Yamaguchi who studies the art of Bushido.He thinks get the sword by force and return it himself putting him self in good stead with the hierarchy.

They chase Zac and Suay and end up kidnapping Suay ,Zac makes haste and Chases on a Go-Kart (A stupendous action scene that I'm sure he had fun filming)

Holding Suay for ransom for the sword ,Zac agrees to return the sword to Yamaguchi,but of course he's gonna infiltrate Yamaguchi's place and rescue Suay who has been tied up and stripped to full view to entice Zac in.

What ensues is a game of stealth as Zac uses his training in both the Navy and the Art of Bushido to get through Yamaguchi's guards ,slicing his way through as he does.

His ultimate goal to free Suay and Take out Yamaguchi once and for all.

Then he can return the sword to it's rightful owners.


  OK it may not be the most action packed film out there but Sword of Bushido offers a interesting story and of course Richards ability with weapons shines through ,Rochelle Ashana is good as the hard yet feminine Suay (you know she was Mylee in Kickboxer don't you all?)

The end fight is a masterclass in Bushido with Richard and Toshiro Obata performing a fine duel .But then Toshiro is a Bushido expert and used in many films for his expertise. 

A classic No one should miss if they are a Richard Norton fan or a fan of the films of this genre made in the 80's and 90's.

Score out of Ten  = 8

Date of Review:15 -11-10

Sertes Nake

Stills Montage

Zac and Billie get intimate  (Richard with his wife Judy Green)



Rescued by Suay ,Chai and gang

Zac and Chai agree ti disagree (above and below)


Meeting Jerry and setting of. (Above and Below)


Chasing the kidnapped Suay through the city


Infiltration begins



Yamaguchi knows Zac Connors has arrived


Duel to Death 



In the end ,it will be OK


Alternative covers and Posters


Original UK VHS video cover art


Richard Norton ... Zac Connors

Rochelle Ashana ... Suay

Toshirô Obata ... Yamaguchi (as Toshishiro Obata)

Judy Green ... Billie

Mirren Lee ... Sarah Connors

Glenn Ruehland ... Lt. Bradley Connors / Yamaguchi Thug (as Glen Reuhland)

Somboon Phutaroth ... Suay's Mother (as Somboon Putaroj)




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