The Bushido Blade (1979) 1 hour 30 minutes
Set in 19th century Japan, at the time of American Commodore Matthew Perry's (Richard Boone) opening of the ancient nation, Bushido Blade involves Perry's efforts to locate a sacred sword. The film co-stars the legendary Toshiro Mifune as the "Shogun Commander" and James Earl Jones as a whale harpooner who spouts philosophy.
This movie is so bad that it's good. It's so horrible that it is a supreme comedy. This movie is one of the cheesiest, crappiest movies I have ever seen but it had me laughing many times at the complete absurdity. The movie starts out on the USS Powhatan where the captain (Boone) is entertaining several of the shogun's samurai. I knew immediately what kind of movie this would be when the nights entertainment consisted of a bunch of dancing sailors in blackface. My jaw was on the floor when I saw that. Richard Boone had quite a performance in this film, appearing to be drunk throughout the entire movie.
As the shogun was prepared to present a sacred samurai sword to the visiting Americans, it was unfortunately stolen by a renegade daimyo lord opposed to any contact with the barbarian foreigners. The shogun's representatives state inexplicably that no treaty can be signed without the sacred sword. OK? Anyways, although the shogun's samurai state they will get the sword back, of course the American's think they can do the job better. So the captain sends three of his best sailors into Japan to get the sword back themselves because of course no one can get the job done as good as the Americans. And that's where the real hilarity begins. The sailors get separated, each encountering various adventures, including running into Darth Vader, I mean James Earl Jones, a whaler who is being held in captivity. One of the funniest scenes occurs when Vader initiates a bathing room brawl against their Japanese captors allowing one of the sailors, a big goofy redhead, to escape out the window. There are just too many damn funny scenes to mention and I don't want to give them all away. Although this is truly a horrible, horrible movie, I still recommend this just for the sheer hilarity.