Instant Finds: Revenge Of The Ninja
The 80s were a magical time, filled with synthesizers, amazing hair, and motherfucking ninjas.
And when you’re talking about 80s ninjas, you gotta talk about Sho Kasugi.
Sho came out of nowhere in the early-80s, appearing in a near-endless stream of ninja-themed action flicks including: Enter The Ninja, Ninja III: The Domination, 9 Deaths of the Ninja, Pray for Death, and Rage of Honor. While Enter The Ninja was his first film, Revenge Of The Ninja (not a sequel) was the first film in which he took a starring role. And the world was never the same.
Okay, it kind of was, but the world of 80s schlock action films was definitely never the same.
Sho stars as Cho Osaki, an art dealer who moves to the States after his entire family, save for his infant son and his grandmother, are brutally murdered by a clan of motherfucking ninjas. Why are they murdered by motherfucking ninjas? Good question. The movie never really explains that. The movie also never really explains how/why Cho himself is a motherfucking ninja, albeit a retired one (You can do that? Do you get a severance package? A golden shiruken?).
In the states, Cho is able to make a name for himself with his gallery, which deals in antique Japanese dolls. But unbeknownst to Cho, the gallery is actually a drug front orchestrated by his business partner/motherfucking ninja Braden (Arthur Roberts)! Braden, smuggles the drugs inside the dolls, and then deals them to Caifano, a local mob boss. But Caifano decides to stiff Braden when the time comes to make payment, so Braden dons his motherfucking ninja gear and sets out on a one-man killing spree, offing members of Caifano’s outfit one-by-one.
Cho remains oblivious to all of this, even when his son breaks one of the statues to reveal its delicious heroin center. It isn’t until Braden has his men empty out the gallery that Cho realizes that something is up, but it takes him far to long too realize that Braden is at the center of it all. Cho may be a motherfucking ninja, but he’s not that motherfucking smart.
From there, things get silly (er…I mean sillier) as Cho is forced to don his motherfucking ninja gear once more in order to save this son and his kinda sorta girlfriend Cathy (Ashley Ferrare), who are both kidnapped by Braden once Cho gets wise as to what’s up. In the end, Cho is forced to fight his former best friend in a rooftop duel: motherfucking ninja vs motherfucking ninja.
Oh, and at one point Braden shoots napalm out of his fucking hands.
Make no mistake about it; Enter The Ninja is not a good film, nor is it a particularly well made film. Any scene without motherfucking ninjas plods at a snail’s pace; the plot is meaningless; and all the acting is utterly atrocious.
Only two things elevate Revenge Of The Ninja out so-bad-it’s-bad territory and into a solid so-bad-it’s-kind-of-great territory. One is the fight scenes. In an era where most action choreography in the states consisted of little more than two big white dudes beating the crap out of each other, the action in Revenge Of The Ninja is top-notch. And this has largely to do with the second saving grace of the film, which is Sho Kasugi himself.
Simply put, Sho Kasugi is a bad ass. No one can pull off the “quiet rage” look quite like him. Remember that episode of The Simpons where the mafia and the yakuza are fighting there’s that one guy just standing there quietly, and Homer wants to wait and see what he’s going to do because he knows it’s going to be awesome? THAT is Sho Kasugi. Whenever shit is about to go down, he has a look on his face, a “I could kill you right now I just haven’t made up my mind as to how I’m gonna do it yet” look that is just so awesome, so intense, so great, that you just hang on through the rough spots in any of his movies in hopes that you’ll get to see it.
That, and like I said before, there’s a scene in this movie where a motherfucking ninja shoots napalm out of his hands.
Revenge Of The Ninja is currently available on Netflix Watch Instantly. But if you want to buy it, there’s an amazing deal at Amazon for a three movie set that includes Revenge Of The Nina, American Ninja (not a good movie) and Rage Of Honor (AN AMAZING MOVIE). Click the link below to check that out.