The Many Movie Deaths of
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
THE GHOST (2000):
Women come into their own here as he is stabbed by the beautiful but deadly
CHUNG LAI.  Which causes him to topple over the edge of a tall building.  She tumbles after, they land in the water, she survives.  But the last we see of Cary is him being zipped up into a body bag *sniff*.   Unfortunately, this fight was somewhat clumsily choregraphed, or maybe it was bad editing (or maybe it's just me), but a fighter of his obvious skills would never have given his  opponent such a perfect opening to pull that knife in a fight from which they both knew that only one could walk away!  aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhhh squared ....
Everybody knows about this one, where cute young kid (ROBIN SHOU) gets the
better of seasoned (and deliciously evil) wizard.  Yeah, sure.  But it gets even worse:

Killed TWICE by DOLPH LUNDGREN fercryinoutloud!!! (Cary bad, Dolph good) ...
from the most hilarious spectacle (yes, HILARIOUS!!!) at the end of SHOWDOWN
(ok, so my guts hurt every time I watch that one, and while part of it is empathy,
much of it stems from the laughing, especially as his body stays so perfectly
spread out across that wheel of fortune instead of curling up over the sword
that has him impaled.  A little Physics 101, anyone?  Or was there Super-
glue(TM) involved?  Did the paint from the runny fake tattoo get all sticky?),
to the absolutely ridiculous in BRIDGE (remind me... just how long does it
take for petrol to go up in flames??).  I'm laughing as I'm trying to keep my
guts from spilling out onto the sofa (dang this vivid imagination :-).  And would
you believe... each time, there's a chick involved.  Yep, still wondering how the actresses manage to keep
.....................                                          a straight face as their characters walk off into the sunset with
                                                                  the twinkie instead of... aaaaaarrrrrrggghhhhh!
Yikes ... one line of dialogue, two minute of screen time (with about 60  seconds of "face time," and half of that obscured by ugly yellow safety goggles!!!) ... then another rather unpleasant way to die at the hands of
THOMAS IAN GRIFFITH playing one pissed-off vampire.  More overkill:  To keep him from coming back, he's then staked, beheaded, his body burned, his head buried in the desert, compliments of JAMES WOODS (never liked that weasel-face anyway).  This whole movie just about falls into the category of "why even bother" ... Cary happens at the beginning, and the rest just sucks.  Really Bad!  Fortunately, you can tune out after about the first 15 minutes ... UNLESS you're also a hard-core Daniel Baldwin fan.  But that's a whole 'nother story :-)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
To Be Added To (as I find the time to watch some more movies)

(Perpetrators, Movie/TV Show and Good Guy/Bad Guy tally only)

(these lists include only movies and TV shows that I've actually seen)
RISING SUN (1993):
You haven't lived until you've seen Cary doin' the Karaoke (or should that be "Cary-oke"??? <g>).  Alas, set up to take the fall for the murder of his girlfriend, he decides to turn the table but then gets done in by his own people (bunch of UN-NAMED THUGS doing STAN EGI's bidding).  But things turn out rather unpleasant for those who conspired against him (Yippeeeeee!!!!!!)

Good guy, bad guy -- depends on which side you're on in this movie (to the Chinese government surely he's the martyred hero).  Once more, blown away (point blank) by a woman, the delicately beautiful
JANE MARCH (memorable for her portrayal of the young nymph in THE LOVER).
"Eddie Sakamura"
THE ART OF WAR (2000):
Waaaaay not enough of Cary in this confusing movie, but he gets to showcase his talent for pretending to be evil ... deliciously, two-facededly evil.  Until he gets blown away by another bad guy, MICHAEL BIEHN.
Playing a good guy doing bad things for a good reason who, when his work is done, commits suicide by forcing another good guy,
ROBERT DAVI, into shooting him ... because it's the honourable thing to do.  If that all sounds a bit complicated and contrived, oh well, there's a lot of beautiful Cary footage in this movie (he gets to win his fights for a change) so it's worth the price of the tape and the hour and a half it takes to watch it!  And pass the hankie...

WALKER, TEXAS RANGER  (TV series, Season 8 episode "Black Dragon" 1993):
Finally got to tape another TV series episode guest-starring Cary.  This time round getting offed by
CHUCK NORRIS -- that hairy old fart whose biggest claim to fame is playing the guy who got his legs broken and just plain the sh*t beaten out of him in the Colosseum in Rome by that Patron Saint of martial arts movies, Bruce Lee (RETURN OF THE DRAGON, 1972).
No question here .. he's Baaaaaad!  Again he's absolutely totally deliciously Baaaad!
Looking drop-dead gorgeous in a bandana, he gets dropped dead (literally!) as the
helicopter he's flying is blown to bits, compliments of
TYRIN TURNER.  Under the
command of
MICHAEL DUDIKOFF.  About Michael Dudikoff ... this guy slays me:
Playing tough as nails yet with the innocent peaches 'n cream look of a Raphael
angel (seems he grew a bit of chin fuzz for this movie ... at least that's what it
looked like :-)

Gorgeous Cary at his evil best in this otherwise forgettable movie starring an
even more forgettable
GARY DANIELS as a DEA hotshot who gets to beat
psycho drug-dealer (Cary) to a pulp and then leave him to blow up with his
boat.  But Gary Daniels doesn't get the chick, either :-)

ALIEN NATION  (TV series, Season 1 episode "The First Cigar" 1989):
..................................... Just a few minutes of screentime as a drug dealer
..................................... (looking almost achingly beautiful) before being blown to
.................................... .Kingdom Come by DIANA BELAMY playing a Tenktonese
.................................... .overseer turned Earth criminal bent on eliminating her
.................................... .competition with a bang.
"Kon" (The Dangerous)
Fast-forward through the parts with GARY GRAHAM and the nun (a helluva lot less exciting than it sounds, believe me, this ain't no "Heaven Knows, Mr. Alison"!!!!), but what we're left with is a really amazing performance by Cary, talking mostly to himself (in Japanese, with subtitles), and showing the Yank how to
die with honour (like a warrior) ... stabbed, shot ... dry eyes?  Not here ....
DISCLAIMER:  Images on this page copyrighted to their original copyright holders.
No infringement intended, they are used here to pay homage to this wonderful actor.
Concept, page design and text copyright Valkyrie Grant.
The Last Warrior
This should really be "License to OVER-Kill" as not even James Bond can save our hero's hide.  Badly maimed by falling beams in an explosion, good guy Cary bites down on his cyanide capsule rather than be taken alive by the bad guys.  Who shoot him in the head for good measure.  Twice.  At the instigation of super-baddie drug lord,
Looks like everybody's double-crossing everybody else and bad-assed Cary almost gets away with it.  But in comes the cavalry, an army of rebels on horseback, somewhere in some forsaken, politically currupt little fiefdom in Africa.  Actually, this movie is quite fun to watch, and Cary gets to live all the way through.  Well, almost.  At the last minute, BILLY ZANE (yeah, him again) flings him onto a pile of explosives, flames already licking all over the place, and...KABOOM.  At least Cary got to do away
with a very pesky Robert Downey Jr. and that slimeball Ron Silver.

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986, uncredited):
Took me forever to spot Cary.  At least I think I did, in one of the endless hallways
in the evil Lo Pan's underground domain; he plays one of his minions trying to stop
our intrepid rescuers of green-eyed girls.  But
KURT RUSSELL ain't in any mood to
be stopped (something I have to re-watch, but I think it was a gunshot that does him
in this time round).

(made-for-TV miniseries, 1999):
Another entry into the "Blowing-Cary-to-bits-a-lympics," compliments of a bomb 
set by a couple of flunkies ordered to the dirty deed by
JUDGE REINHOLD, a power-crazed heir to the memory of Bill Gates who not only knows that whoever controls the flow of information controls the world, but who also figured out a way to get that control.  Until Cary threatens to help put the brakes on his ambitions.

(TV series, 1992):
Bested in a fight by a yucky-looking
LEE MAJORS, who'se physique had totally gone to pot by the time this was filmed--think Capt. Kirk without his girdle... Noooooooooo... it's all too too horrible... I can't go there...

Overall though, delicious fun ... especially when considering that Mr. Tagawa could take any one of his opponents, probably with one hand tied behind his back; he did,
as we all probably know, coach Robin Shou, his "killer" in MORTAL KOMBAT :-)

To be continued...
moments before the Big Bang
NEMESIS (1993) and NATURAL CAUSES (1994)
Gunned down TWICE now by TIM THOMERSON, aka "The King of B Movies," the baddie in both of these flicks.  Just goes to show that it doesn't pay for Mr. Tagawa to play  the good guy, either.  At least in "Natural Causes" he gets the girl, if only for a few hours ...  ahhhh ... Sex and Death ...

Double whammy:  Killed(?) in a fight with
JEFF SPEAKMAN (a bit of a babe in his own right :), he's then (presumably) blown to bits as Jeff causes an explosion to rid himself of his final opponent.  Out of neccessity, to be sure, even Jeff's (not inconsiderable) martial arts skills are no match for the mountain of humanity that is Toru Tanaka :-).  But is Cary's character really dead?

Even this goofy character played by Billy Zane is allowed to get the better of him (and of course get the girl.  Well, sort of).  Ok, so the Purple-Jumpsuited One doesn't get to do the deed himself--Cary becomes crunchy snack for a SHARK!!!  It ain't easy being yummy!!!  Sadly, Billy Zane's fighting skills seem sadly under-developed, or maybe is was bad choreography again, but The Great Kabai Sengh (man, he should have been called "The Magnificent"!!!) practically had to stand still and wait for "The Phantom" to push him into the water.  Oy Gevalt!
Showdown in Little Tokyo
A favourite:  The evil SHANG TSUNG from MORTAL KOMBAT

Poor guy ... what a career:  Very seldom does he get to live through the end of a movie.
But WOW ... Cary sure knows how to die!  I'm still making my way through the
Tagawa catalogue but can't for the life of me get my hands on some of the TV movies he's been in.
But let's see (in no particular chronological order, just as I get a chance to catch the shows).
Site Map Biographical Pictures They Killed Cary
They Killed Cary
(minimal spoilers)
He's Aliiiiive
He's Aliiiiive
(minimal spoilers)
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