Synopsis by Donald Guarisco
This slam-bang outing from Sonny Chiba is a good example of how Eastern genre fare was packaged and marketed for American release. The Bodyguard was originally known as Bodyguard Kiba (not Karate Kiba as some sources claim) and was based upon a comic book by Ikki Kajiwara. In the film version, Chiba plays a tough bodyguard named Kiba who vows to wipe out the drug trafficking in Japan and offers his services to anyone who can give him information on who runs the drug trade. His offer is taken by a young lady on the run from some criminals and soon discovers she has a secret agenda that will lead him right into his enemy's den. The film was released in the U.S. in 1976 and featured a new prologue sequence produced by American distributor Terry Levene that features a pair of martial artists discussing Sonny Chiba and his whereabouts while showing off their skills. It also changed Kiba's named to Chiba and added bible-quoting opening titles that would later inspire a famous scene in Pulp Fiction. The end result became a favorite at American grindhouses and stands alongside The Streetfighter as one of the best-known Chiba vehicles to Western fans.