Fist of the North Star
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Fist of the North Star is a 1995 American direct-to-video science fiction martial arts film based on the Japanese manga of the same name by Buronson and Tetsuo Hara. The film was directed by Tony Randel, who also co-wrote the script with Peter Atkins, and stars Gary Daniels, Costas Mandylor, Chris Penn, Isako Washio and Malcolm McDowell. A Japanese dub of the film was produced by Toei Video which featured the cast of the 1980s anime television series reprising their roles.

The film, which loosely adapts the first story arc of the original manga, centers on Ken (Daniels), the lone master of the North Star martial art school, who wanders the post-apocalyptic Earth in search of his nemesis Lord Shin, the man who killed his master and kidnapped his fiancee. Meanwhile, Shin rules as dictator of the city of Southern Cross with his personal army known as the Crossmen, who are given orders to hunt down Kenshiro.


In the aftermath of World War III, the world has plunged into anarchy and chaos. Water is scarce and what is left of the human race scrounges for survival. Two opposing martial arts schools, North Star and Southern Cross, both devoted to bringing order to the world, were previously thrown into disarray after Southern Cross adept Shin turned against his masters and summarily executed North Star master Ryuken, leaving his son Kenshiro as the sole heir to the North Star. Shin then sought Kenshiro himself, defeated him and left him for dead after carving his chest with seven scars in the shape of the Big Dipper. Shin also abducted Kenshiro s fiancee and their shared love interest Julia, segregating her in his tower. Since then, Shin rules the land with an iron fist through a militia called the Crossmen, led by Jackal, a ruthless henchman whose bulging head is held in leather bandages after Kenshiro disfigured him in an earlier fight.

Back in the current time, Kenshiro, who survived Shin s aggression, wanders the wasteland aimlessly. After killing a gang led by bandit Zeed, who attacked the homestead that had given him shelter for the night, Kenshiro continues on towards the town of Paradise Valley, home to one of the few remaining sources of pure water. There, he meets orphan siblings Bat and Lynn. After using a pressure point technique to restore Lynn s sight, which she lost after watching her parents murdered by Crossmen, Kenshiro departs, ignoring Lynn s plea to remain and protect them. Bat follows Kenshiro to talk him into joining the organized resistance against the Crossmen s incursions, to no avail.

The Crossmen raid Paradise Valley and occupy it, commandeering the well. Jackal orders Lynn s execution for sedition, but halts it after she threateningly mentions Kenshiro, taking her prisoner instead to extort Kenshiro s whereabouts. As Lynn s screams from afar ring inside Kenshiro s head, Kenshiro turns back: he and Bat infiltrate the occupied town and free Lynn, but Bat is mortally wounded in a fight against Jackal. Kenshiro spares Jackal and sends him back to Shin to announce his arrival.

By Shin s order, Jackal takes Julia to the tower s basement to hide her from Kenshiro. There, he engages in a cat-and-mouse game in an attempt to rape and kill Julia. Kenshiro breaks into Shin s tower and confronts him in the throne room. As Kenshiro gains the upper hand in the ensuing showdown, Shin lies about Julia s fate and takes advantage of Kenshiro s shock to overpower him. However, after noticing a bud that has sprouted from a seed he had given Julia long before, Kenshiro regains hope and defeats Shin, killing him. After freeing herself from Jackal by removing his bandages and causing his head to swell and explode, Julia rejoins Kenshiro. The surviving Crossmen bow to Kenshiro and Julia in deference.


  • Gary Daniels as Kenshiro
  • Costas Mandylor as Lord Shin
  • Chris Penn as Jackal
  • Isako Washio as Julia
  • Melvin Van Peebles as Asher
  • Downtown Julie Brown as Charlotte Charlie
  • Dante Basco as Bat
  • Tracey Walter as Paul McCarthy
  • Clint Howard as Stalin
  • Big Van Vader as Goliath
  • Paulo Tocha as Stone
  • Malcolm McDowell as Ryuken
  • Nalona Herron as Lynn
  • Bill Nagel as Miner
  • Andre Rosey Brown as Sandman
  • Rowena Guinness as Jill McCarthy
  • Michael Charles Friedman as Neuter
  • Nils Allen Stewart as Zeed
  • Tony Halme as Kemp
  • David Shark Fralick as Man At Palace, Former North Star Martial Artist
  • George Kee Cheung as Neville
  • Michael Franco as AWOL Crossman 1
  • David Loo as AWOL Crossman 2
  • Susan French as Old Woman
  • Chris DeRose as Oswald
  • Darryl Chan as Novack
  • Marisa Coughlan as Jenny
  • Kate Geer as Mother


The film was not reviewed by many mainstream critics, and it got mixed reviews from fans and online critics. Dave Foster of DVD Times panned the movie as a poor adaptation and commented that Kenshiro s pressure point techniques look rather tame in comparison to the way depicted in the manga and anime series. A reviewer from eFilmCritic remarked that Kenshiro s defeat at the hands of Shin comes off as standard and unbelievably goofy compared to the 1986 animated movie version. Actor Gary Daniels s nickname on the set was “Condom Man” in reference to the prosthetic used to create the famous chest scars being made from unrolled condoms.

Year 1995
ReleaseDate 1995-04-22
RuntimeMins 103
RuntimeStr 1h 43min
Plot Based on a graphic novel, this apocalyptic adventure centers on a man who must reverse the cataclysmic conditions of his world.
Directors Tony Randel
Writers Buronson, Tetsuo Hara, Peter Atkins
Stars Gary Daniels, Malcolm McDowell, Costas Mandylor
Produced by Takashige Ichise,Aki Komine,Mitsuru Kurosawa,Zane W. Levitt,Roy McAree,Joel Soisson,Mark Yellen
Music by Christopher L. Stone
Cinematography by Jacques Haitkin
Film Editing by Sonny Baskin
Casting By Linda Francis
Production Design by Clark Hunter
Art Direction by Wendy Guidery
Set Decoration by Traci Kirshbaum
Costume Design by Merrie Lawson
Makeup Department Kenneth Michael Beck,Becky Cotton,Roy Knyrim,Jerry Macaluso,Wendy Robin,Mark Villalobos
Production Management Thomas Calabrese,James Frederick
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Maximillian D. Day,Gerard DiNardi,Richard Gonzales,Christoffer Salzgeber,Mark Yellen
Art Department Jacob Alsbrook,Joe Arnold,Max Biscoe,Amanda J. Flick,Scott Getzinger,Dwayne Grady,Matthew Richard Harris,Inga Helgesson,Bryce Holtshousen,Phillip A. Phillip,Sally Reed,Wade Robinson,David Rockello,Carlton Rude,Pete von Sholly,Charlotte Daryl Wells,Dennis Winters
Sound Department Flavia Amon,Glenn Auchinachie,Dickran Bezirgenian,Ed Carr,John Paul Delahoussaye,Erik Flockoi,Paul Holzborn,Edmund J. Lachmann,Anthony Marc Liali,Daniel D. Monahan,T.A. Moore Jr.,Bret Newman,John Post,Paul Ratajczak,Dennis Sager,Brian Slack,Daniel W. Victor Jr.,Tom Warren,Reid A. Woodbury Jr.
Special Effects by Tom Ceglia,Beverley Hartigan,John C. Hartigan,Paul Hickerson,Erich Martin Hicks,Paul Salamoff,Bob Tiller
Visual Effects by Mark Allan,Charles L. Finance,Sylvia Keulen,Roy Knyrim,Stephen Lebed,Jerry Macaluso
Stunts Tsuyoshi Abe,Laura Albert,Kevin Bailey,Dan Bell,Robin Lynn Bonaccorsi,Allen Brock,Rocky Capella,Darryl Chan,Wally Crowder,Laura Dash,Lisa Dempsey,Michael Franco,Al Goto,Brentano Haleen,Stephen R. Hudis,Dennis Keiffer,Trisha Lane,Kevin Larson,David Loo,Danny Lopez,Johnny Martin,Mike Martinez,Scott McElroy,Tim Meredith,Jeff Mosley,Mike Nixon,Winston Omega,J.J. Perry,Lee Poppie,Stuart Quan,Dennis Reese,David D. Renaud,Chad Stahelski,Keith Woulard,Danny Wynands,Roberta Brown,Joe Davis,Zak Lee,Erik Paulson
Camera and Electrical Department Michael Franco,Frank Gallardo,Dimitry Gelman,Ed Giovanni,Gerardo Gutierrez,James Hawkinson,Kassa,Jeff Keiser,Alan Koshiyama,Eric Kramer,Jason E. Lord,Cynthia Ludwig,Santos Lujano,Alvaro Martinez,Stephen B. Martinez,Jerry Massa,James McCalmont,Alex Shark Michel,Chris Milani,Ray Milazzo,Jeff Murray,Joe Nussbaum,Raymond M. Perosi,Andrew Rawson,Robert M. Rosales,Marc Salter,Gregory Shummon,Troy Smith,Taylor Evan Sparks,R. Michael Stringer,Andy Waldron,Holly Walker,Justin Webber,Mark W. Wilson
Casting Department Erik DeSando,Daniel Hurley,Abdul-Majeed Moulvi,George Tan,Debe Waisman
Costume and Wardrobe Department Wendy Benbrook,Sarit
Editorial Department Diana Arthur,Syd Cole,Tom Dailey,John J. De Santis Jr.,John Dobrich,Rubén García,Lenge Hong,Gregory A. Kautz,Brian Kibbie,Andrea Lazar,Grayr Madatyan,Ian Slater,Chuck Winston
Location Management Patrick McIntire
Music Department Zeljko Marasovich
Script and Continuity Department Lexxie Cariste
Transportation Department Stephen R. Hudis,Peter Sebring
Additional Crew Tsuyoshi Abe,Mark Allan,Lisa Lauren Becker,Brian Berkenfeld,Joan Kelley Bierman,Tara Buck,Anthony Carregal,Jo Cho,Silvia Cobelo,Judy Dickerson,Tom Eaton,Melissa Elliott,J.S. Foster,Ali Goldstone,Marque Gritta,Robin Hewitt,Christopher Hoffman,Johnny Kim,Noriko Kobayashi,Christine Lindgren,Esther Maluto,Kristen March,Ken Miller,Kenneth Miller,Jillana Neiman,Winston Omega,Julie-Marie Robar,Miki Sano,Christina Stefan,Matthew Stoic,Rocio Vargas,Adam Walderman,Richard J. Walker
Genres Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Companies First Look International, NEO Motion Pictures, Overseas FilmGroup
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 3.9
ImDbRatingVotes 3397
Keywords live action remake of anime,revolver,voice over narration,motorcycle,fire