Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 19 - Ninja USA!

the cover of my VHS of Ninja USA

Ninja USA (1985)

Director: Kuo Ren-Wu
Format: VHS (Pace)

I'll be the first to admit I generally missed out on the ninja movie craze of the 1980s. And if Ninja USA (also known as Ninja in the USA) is a good indication of this type of movie... I've been deprived all this time!

1978 Taiwan taekwondo champion Alexander Lou (THE SUPER NINJA and umpteen other ninja movies) plays Jerry Wong, who along with his brother Ronnie (Alex Yip) was saved as a child during the Vietnam War by GI Tyger McPherson (George Nicholas, SAKURA KILLERS). Now grown up. Jerry must choose between his loyalty to Tyger, a major drug dealer who has trained an army of evil ninjas, and his brother, a cop.

When Jerry's girl is kidnapped by Tyger's men, it's up to him to rescue her, while kicking butt on several dozen ninjas in the process, of course. But only after getting the required training in the art of Ninja 2 (don't ask) by a sensei in white (no albino eyebrows and beard sadly), which includes learning how to cause "spontaneous explosions" as he leaps through the air. There's not much more to the plot than that, but then who needs plot to get in the way of action and laughs?

The action: Multiple fight scenes involving ninjas, dirt bikes, speed boats, gymnastics apparatuses, a swing bridge all sped up. And a final fight scene that has to be seen to be believed for its magically appearing and disappearing ninja costumes smoke explosions and other cheesy goodness.

The laughs: The sped-up fight scenes, the dodgy sound effects, the bad music and the hilarious dubbing. The voice-over work had me in stitches, especially that of African-American bad guy Eugene Thomas (who did 7 movies with Lou in the 80s). His dubbed lines are like a cross between any blaxploitation pimp and cartoon character Wally Gator.

The Trailer on my VHS is for Ninja American Warrior, which looks just as fun as Ninja USA. I gotta find more of this stuff!

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