The Octagon (1980)




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Karate champ Chuck Norris returns for another chop-socky vigilante flick in The Octagon, one of a handful of undistinguished Ninja pictures released during the early '80s. Norris appropriately plays a retired karate champ hired as a bodyguard for a wealthy woman (Karen Carlson) plagued by a gang of vicious ninjas. Reluctant at first to take the job, he reconsiders when he learns the gang is headed by his longtime arch rival Tadashi Yamashita (Lee Van Cleef). The script -- as is the case in nearly every Ninja film -- has holes bigger than Okinawa, and the acting is downright atrocious, particularly that of Norris, who, thankfully, improved with time. However, the production values are fair, as is the direction, and the action sequences are often exciting and comparatively realistic. Recommended for genre fans only.
R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Media Home Entertainment


Chuck Norris
as Scott James
Karen Carlson
as Justine
Lee Van Cleef
as McCarn
Richard Norton
as Longlegs
Art Hindle
as A. J.
Kim Lankford
as Nancy, Dancer
Yuki Shimoda
as Katsumoto
Jack Carter
as Sharkey
John Barrett
as Justine's Killer
Aaron Norris
as Hatband
Brian Tochi
as Seikura at Eighteen
Gerald Okamura
as Ninja Instructor
Don Pike
as Chauffer (sic)
Elizabeth Carder
as Desk Clerk
Ken Gibbel
as Meat
Ted Duncan
as Truckdriver
Kevin Brando
as Scott at Eight
Jo McDonnell
as Amy Lee
Enrique Lucero
as One Armed Man
Alan Marcus
as Truckdriver
Ernie Hudson
as Quinine
Brian Libby
as Deadwyler
Crane Jackson
as House Detective
Richard Norton
as Longlegs
John Gilbert Barrett
as Justine's Killer
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Critic Reviews for The Octagon

All Critics (6)

It's ambitious work but not always successful, with director Eric Karson biting off a little more than he can chew when it comes time to build momentum with such a top-heavy film.

Full Review… | December 19, 2013

Quote not available.

September 27, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Quote not available.

September 25, 2005
International Press Academy

Quote not available.

July 23, 2005

Quote not available.

May 14, 2004
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Quote not available.

May 13, 2004
Eclipse Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Octagon

Having Lee Van Cleef in the film already makes it better than any of the previous Chuck Norris films. And Chuck Norris gets to fight ninjas this time.

Noah McClintock
Noah McClintock

68% "They wern't terrorists, they were ninja."-Scott James (Chuck Norris) Ninjas are cool, I some day wish to become a master ninja, but I dislike ninjas who can be taken down it two moves or be shot.

FilmGrinder Stone
FilmGrinder Stone

My first Chuck Norris flick (save Sidekicks) and I gotta say, I didn't miss much. I mean this film is basically worth watching for yucks only. There are some incredible unintentional laughs (ie Chucks inner monologue (that appears an absurd amount) posseses an echoey whisper to it that just kills me). I never realised how gentle souled Chuck seems either. Plus, in 2008, the presence of ninjas in a film is just ridiculous. This sucker was a hoot, but I know I didn't miss much with the lack of Norris in my childhood. P.S. The joke that Chuck has no chin, that under his beard is just another fist, is sadly debunked in this film as he only has a creepy mustache.

Patrick Dolan
Patrick Dolan

Super Reviewer

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