Diamond Ninja Force

April 8, 2012 at 3:30 am (7 Heads, Diamond Ninja Force) (, , , , , , , )

Diamond Ninja Force – 1988 – Hong Kong

Diamond Ninja Force (a.k.a. Ghost Ninja) is bewildering Z-grade schlock. Hong Kong director Godfrey Ho made a career of chopping apart Thai, Chinese, and Filipino flicks and adding Western actors. His 121 directorial credits include the likes of Ninja Terminator (1985), Project Ninja Daredevils (1986), Ninja Hunt (1986), Ninja Fantasy (1986), Ninja Dragon (1986), Ninja Destroyer (1986), Bionic Ninja (1986), Ninja Operation: Licensed to Terminate (1987), Ninja Death Squad (1987), Empire of the Spiritual Ninja (1987), Ninja Knights Brothers of Blood (1988), Rage of Ninja (1988), Ninja Demon’s Massacre (1988), and Ninja Extreme Weapons (1988). That’s just the tip of the iceberg too. This maniac released 21 flicks in 1987 alone.

Diamond Ninja Force’s opening credits roll over repeated shots of a cute ninja toy. Minutes later, a mustached blonde dude (the “Golden Ninja”) strolls with his lady. Thugs surround him and bark “Hey you! Somebody tells me you’re a ninja, right?” before attacking and getting their asses kicked. From here, the plot spirals out of control as at least two unrelated flicks are mashed together. There’s a haunted house, succubus, sorcerous ninja clan, and crazy folks like Firecracker the detective, Magic Chan the wizard, and Bobo the kid who wets the bed.

Diamond Ninja Force triumphantly doesn’t care. The characters are semi-retarded and things happen for the sake of craziness. For instance, Bobo rides his bike inside the house and his mom’s skirt catches on the faucet and rips clean off. In another scene, a ninja scares some fish out of their bowl and steps on them. Best of all, the Golden Ninja chats on a giant Garfield (the cat) telephone. Plus, there are plenty of horrific happenings and ninja battles. A woman hallucinates rats and snakes leaping from her fridge. Ninjas kill with shuriken, swords, nunchaku, guns, and slingshots. There is no shortage of backflips.

Of course, Diamond Ninja Force is an awful cobbled-together mess, but this enhances watchability. As characters interact, it’s often obvious they were shot at different times. Predictably, the dubbing is pathetic too. Lines frequently don’t have any correlation to what’s happening on screen. Someone might casually discuss some mundane happening while gesturing wildly and looking infuriated. Then there are the abundant repulsive lovemaking scenes. And don’t forget the bouncy soundtrack of 80s exercise video music.

Diamond Ninja Force may be dumb and cheap, but it’s not boring. Constant lunacy makes this flick better than the sum of its numerous and disparate parts. Godfrey Ho’s style is incredibly derivative yet indefinably unique. The plots, themes, and subject matter are so familiar, but collaged in a way touched by madness.

Rating: 7/10 Shrunken Heads. The most common DVD version is called Ghost Ninja and appears on Tales of Voodoo Vol. 2. Like all Tales of Voodoo DVDs, it’s a wretched VHS transfer, but this merely adds authenticity.

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