Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Super Ninja (1984)

It was a long time since the Ninjas had any respect in the western world, and that's probably because the asians themselves treated the Ninjas with so much disrespect that they've become more silly than cool during the years. The Super Ninja isn't any expection, but that's alright - because there's more fun with a silly Ninja-movie than with a serious one (in most cases anyway). Alexander Lou was a semi-famous star in Taiwan during the eighties, a former Tae Kwan-master and a man with zero self-distance. 

Here he plays John, a cool cop with a secret persona: The Super Ninja! His partner is a black guy dressed like Axel Foley, no other than Eugene Thomas. His name here is Spencer. As usual in buddy-movies they are in total conflict with the chief of police, and this time they go to far. John is set-up and accused of being a drug pusher! But behind everything is The Five Element Ninjas, who want to take control over the... world? I'm not sure. John now has to prove he's innocent and fight both the corrupt police and the multi-colored Ninjas!

Yes, this is one of those movies that has ninjas with different colors. There's a golden ninja, a black one, a white one, a camouflage-ninja and so one. One has burning hands, another one is an expert in traveling underground! The surprise is that this isn't a Godfrey Ho-movie. Except a few location-shots there's not stockfootage from other movies, and the same actors are interacting together the whole movie! Amazing! The director must suffer from being hyperactive, because the editing and action is so frantic that it's hard to relax while watching this movie. Crazy camera angles, weird noises, stolen music, blood and some good fighting is mixed with extremely bad dialogue and one of the oddest First Blood rip-off's I've see: first John escapes from a house, a fast cut and then it's day and he's dressed in a Rambo-outfit and trapped the whole forest with... slapstick-booby traps! Yes, it's true.

But when the bad guys don't do as he tells them, he start killing them for real!

The Super Ninja is a crazy, crazy movie with tons of action and silly special effects. The fighting isn't bad at all and there's some nice and painful stunts to. Alexander Lau probably took a chance here, and included a borderline softporn sex-scene with him and his love interest! It get's really weird with the climax comes and the soundtrack is filled with really trippy sound effects!

There's a lot to love with this movie and I recommend a purchase. The UK dvd is interesting. I don't know if it's cut or not, but it's pretty violent and bloody. The picture quality is good vhs, but is stretched out - which means if you change the settings on the TV or have a 16:9 TV, you will be able to see the movie in 1.85:1 widescreen! It's shot in 2.35:1 though, so it's a bit cropped on the sides. But it's close enough for a better viewing experience. 


Anonymous said...

Hello! I recentyl saw this movie online, and amdit to being slightly confused by the way the John-vs-gold/metal-ninja went down. The fights with the fire and water ninjas ended with John using something indicative of their elemetns against them, but I didn't catch it during the gold ninja fight -- they were lepaing at eahc other, the next the ninja's falling to the ground with a sword in his chest.

reeferjournal said...

I remember watching this movie when I was a kid and I've been looking for it ever since. The VHS I saw called it "White Ninja" and all i remembered about the story was the colour coded ninjas, the ninja who travels underground and the sex. Thank you so much for this review. Now all that's left is to track down an actual copy.