Thursday, March 31, 2016

Enter the Ninja

Hiyas boys and girls. Welcome back to the week and pulling out a rarity for me. A Golan-Globus movie. Yes most folk attribute most Golan-Globus films as lesser action, horror and sci-fi movies and yet they brought us all Hospital Massacre, Death Wish II, 10 to Midnight, Revenge of the Ninja, Invasion U.S.A., King Solomon's Mines and Masters of the Universe. True they did also give us Death Wish 3 and 4: The Crackdown, Cyborg and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace but that is just splitting hairs. Clearly you need the faithful helping hand that is ninja.

This is Enter the Ninja.

I'm not sure if I can find that master of shadows.

Training hard in ninja school and yes that is apparently a thing, for war vet (some scrumming in Africa Congo and not Nam for a change) Cole (Franco Nero of Django, Force 10 from Navarone, The Shark Hunter, The Last Days of Pompeii, Django Strikes Again, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, The Dragon Ring and Django Unchained) achives the rank of ninja as his nifty scroll is his diploma...apparently that is also a thing that happened. After a slight wrinkle of words exchanged between Cole and Hasegawa (Sho Kosugi of Revenge of the Ninja, The Master, Ninja III: The Domination, Pray for Death, Rage of Honor, Blind Fury, Black Eagle and Ninja Assassin) at whether or not Cole is a legit ninja or not and he stomps off like a spoiled brat leaving Cole to reflect.

Cole leaves Japan (No real actual location) to the Phillipines to visit his friend Frank who looks like a hybrid of Andy Gibb and James Caan. Picture that for a moment. Upon arriving, he doesn't shout out, ring a bell or wait for someone to pass by this massive gate. Nope, best to use those vaulted ninja skills and scale over the wall but all the while he didn't even dirty his tight white pant suit. Did I mention this is 1981? Disco wear still available. Susan George meets Cole with a twelve gauge and hell I don't blame her given she had a difficult time with the Straw Dogs and Mandingo. Our gentleman hero tricks her, tosses her shotgun and puts her in a groping hold??
Frank greets his manhandling buddy and introduces his wife to Cole.

Dark Ninja attack!!

Frank has changed quite a bit since the war. His three loves is his wife, booze and apparently cockfights. Yeah can't get enough of roosters beating the crap out of each other. He is being squeezed by a land developer in Manila, hounded by packs of thugs constantly making his life miserable. Cole proceeds to beat the crap out of most of these men and we even get to see a man impaled with a bench. Ninja trick no doubt. Our inspiring land developer Mr. Venarius (Christopher George of El Dorado, The Rat Patrol, Chisum, The Train Robbers, Grizzly, City of the Living Dead, Graduation Day and Pieces) sends his best yes man to Japan to acquire a ninja of his own to do battle with Cole and shock of shocks or plenty of foreshadow it is Hasegawa that takes the contract. After defending Frank's plantation, watching him drink himself in a stupor, he does what any good friend does...plow Frank's wife. Well, that marriage was rocky at best.

Will Venarius get the land? Will Frank find out Cole porked his wife? Will battle with Hasegawa bring their feud to an end?

This is the right amount of action and over the top Ninja nonsense of the 80s and 90s. The craze that caused most of our parents to buy up a lot of plastic throwing stars and katana swords. Franco Nero was an unusual casting as the lead given the fact he had no martial arts background at all.

Writer/stuntman Mike Stone a martial arts expert was initially supposed to be Cole but his acting was painful that he was replaced by Franco Nero and yet, Franco didn't have a Texan accent or American at all thus needed to be dubbed. Just how crappy was Mike Stone's acting? The fight scenes are pretty good, the writing is fair and Will Hare of The Electric Horseman, Fire on the Mountain and of course Grandpa in Silent Night, Deadly Night. I just thought of his lines creeping out little Billy and started laughing.

Ninja and amateur mammogram specialist.