Enter the Ninja

September 9, 2015 at 1:19 am (6 Heads, Enter the Ninja) (, , , )

Enter the Ninja – 1981 – United States

After training as a ninja in Japan, a retired American mercenary named Cole visits a buddy in the Philippines. Cole discovers that evil corporate fat cats are harassing his buddy to sell his farm so they can drill for oil. With his ninja abilities, Cole beats up thuggish goons until the bad guys hire their own ninja to stop him. In the end, Cole kills the ninja, finds a good girlfriend and then leaves her, and winks into the camera as the credits roll.

Enter the Ninja has enough ninja action. During the opening credits, a ninja demonstrates various ninja weaponry, including the esoteric manriki (a weighted chain). Immediately following, a horde of red ninja stalk a white ninja through the woods. The ensuing fifteen minute battle is a showcase of ninja techniques. A ninja throws a smoke bomb and vanishes into thin air. Another ninja snatches flying arrows from the air. The film is never this exciting again.

Between street fights, Enter the Ninja focuses on Cole’s past with his buddy, Cole’s sexual relationship with his buddy’s wife, and his buddy’s descent into depression and alcoholism. Meanwhile, the corporate villains display cartoonish greed and disregard for human life. In one scene, their leader makes an art piece by arranging beautiful women into a living mobile. One of the cronies is a chubby limping fellow with a hook hand and a German accent. Predictably, he uses his hook to stab a man in the crotch.

To summarize this review, Enter the Ninja is a dumb ninja movie. However, it might be the first of its kind. It spawned two sequels: Revenge of the Ninja (1983) and Ninja 3: The Domination (1984).

Rating: 6/10 Shrunken Heads. Did ninjas really exist in the 80s? It is hard to tell sometimes.

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