Yellow Fangs

Based on a true story. In 1915, a mountain village in Hokkaido, Japan, was attacked by a giant bear who terrorized the villagers for days, murdering the men and carrying off the women to save for a late night meal.

Based on a true story. In 1915, a mountain village in Hokkaido, Japan, was attacked by a giant bear who terrorized the villagers for days, murdering the men and carrying off the women to save for a late night meal.

Movie Details

BIGSTAR Review

"My late granddad often said, "Bear hunting is a deadly game. When you do it all by yourself, you can call yourself a full-fledged man." I want to be a full-fledged man." ~SABU, addressing the five-member hunting team, when their leader, Kasuke, finally recommends they separate and widen their net in a risky, last-ditch effort to slay the killer bear known as "Red Spots."

Winner of *Newcomer of the Year* (for Mika Muramatsu's portrayal of the vengeance-seeking Yuki) at the 1991 Awards of the Japanese Academy, this directorial debut of 70's martial arts film legend Sonny Chiba is based off the December Sankebetsu/Tomamae brown bear incident; the worst bear attack in Japanese history, killing seven settlers within the region of the Rokusensawa, Sankebetsu, Tomamae, Rumoi and Hokkaido villages in 1915 Japan (NOTE: This coming Tuesday marks the 99th Anniversary of the start of the killings.) Also known as REMAINS: BEAUTIFUL HEROES, this is a very good (and little known) revenge-hunt suspense/action flick that can easily find a seat on the shelf next to films like David Mamet's THE EDGE, Christophe Gans's BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF, THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS, Joseph Pevney's THE NIGHT OF THE GRIZZLY... and I'm gonna just say it- ALIENS. Mika Muramatsu is easily the Japanese Ellen Ripley come the film's climax (except for this one "swing-from-a-rope" scene where she sacks a prefectural assemblyman... and then comes across like Shia LaBeouf in the infamous monkey debacle from INDIANA JONES & THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL). The name slapped onto this film for international release, however, is horrendous. "Yellow fangs" are not an attribute given to the bear at any point in the movie. "Red Spots" is the bear's name, due to the blood-splattering he leaves in his wake, so you'd think they'd go with that! It's times like these I wish I could leave my complaint through an email or 1-800 number, but alas, I preach to a brick wall when griping about Asian cinema's poor title translation via U.S. distribution.

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-Steve

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Ratings

  • Cinematography & Editing
  • Musical Score & Sound
  • Stories & Script
  • Acting
  • Directing
88
Overall BIGSTAR Score.
Scores range from 10-100
BIGSTAR Approved!

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