Wonderfully Horrible Netflix Instant Films: “Revenge of the Ninja”

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Michael Garcia - October 19, 2016


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I continue my search through the crapola on Netflix Instant for the turd jewels of awesomely bad films with Revenge of the Ninja. In the early 1980's, Westerners didn't know about the secretive ninja assassins of medieval Japan. Then came a series of films featuring the shadow warriors, mostly kickin' ass in modern day America. If there was one actor that was the Lawrence Olivier of 1980's ninja films it was Sho Kosugi. He was a gifted martial artist trained in various deadly arts including aikido, karate, and ninjitsu. Sho wasn't a great actor in the traditional sense. Hell, the guy could barely speak English, so his line delivery wasn't exactly great. Who cares? He was sooooo awesome in these films. Ninja 3: The Domination, Pray for Death, and Enter the Ninja were all masterpieces of martial arts awesomeness. But no film is greater than the 1983 classic Revenge of the Ninja.

The plot of the film is both simple and really complicated. Sho plays a man whose wife and children, save one, is killed by a rival ninja clan right before his immigration to America. He and his White American partner plan to sell overpriced Japanese dolls. After his family's death, Sho gives up the ninja way. Of course, the White partner is the bad ninja who is smuggling heroin in the dolls, like you do. The bad guy's trademark is that he wears a goofy silver mask under his black hood. It gets complex when the mob somehow becomes involved and some chick that's a double agent that the evil ninja has hypnotized or some crap spies on Sho. It doesn't matter. It all leads up to an amazing 10 minute ninja battle on a rooftop. The acting is horrrrible, particularly from the main actress and Sho's real life son Shane Kosugi. The effects are akin to when you and your buddies made movies where you used ketchup for blood. Don't go into it thinking you are going to get a better understanding of the history of the ninja or a Kurosawa-like auteur piece. It's crap, but awesome crap. Remember, only a ninja can kill a ninja.

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