Five Elements Ninjas

November 29, 2016 at 4:03 am (7 Heads, Five Element Ninja) (, , , , , )

Five Elements Ninjas – 1982 – Hong Kong

A Chinese martial arts school is destroyed by Japanese ninjas. The lone survivor of the massacre learns ninjutsu and abandons his honor to get revenge. That is the whole plot.

Five Elements Ninjas features nonstop ninja action with ridiculous ninja weaponry. The film’s introduction explains that all weapons in the film actually existed. God, I hope so! There are flaming swords, clawed shoes, golden shields that blind people and launch daggers, a blowgun hidden in a flute, a sword hidden in a flower bouquet, and a bow and arrow hidden in a hat. Plus, there are cool gadgets galore: fireworks, camouflaged suits, and the “spider ladder”. This network of ropes enables ninja to drop from the sky en masse on their unsuspecting victims. It is all pretty crazy. In one scene, burrowing ninja move underground and stab their victims’ feet from below. The hero kills the ninja using stilts with blades on them. In another scene, a person is drawn and quartered by four ninja wielding chain-sickles.

Five Elements Ninjas was directed by Chang Cheh for Shaw Brothers Studio. At one time, Shaw Brothers was the largest film production company in Hong Kong. Chang Cheh directed some of their best martial arts films (my favorite is Crippled Avengers).

I like that the evil ninja clan has a beautiful female ninja spy. I also like that she ties up the handsome hero using shibari (the Japanese art of rope bondage). There is a suggested romance between the two until the hero kills her in cold blood.

Rating: 7/10 Shrunken Heads. In case you wondered, the five elements are earth, fire, water, wood, and gold.


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