Auburn Gresham | Features

79th Street Shogun

Inside Russ Pine’s video rental dojo

LUKE WHITE

LUKE WHITE

At 79th Street Video, a video rental store purported to be the home of Chicago’s largest selection of martial arts movies, founder and owner Russ Pine pulls the movie “Shogun Assassin” out from the shelves. He slams it onto the counter and beams. He says that the film, which features a child in a bulletproof baby carriage, is “the best martial arts movie you’ll ever see.” The cover, which he analyses meticulously, is proudly garish. The title is painted in blood. The shogun assassin himself is painted with a grimacing double chin. His son peeks out from a bloody carriage reminiscent of Ben-Hur’s scythed chariot. Together they frown, their backs facing a sweeping cloud of fire. Continue reading