|Star:||Franco Nero, Susan George, Shô Kosugi, Alex Courtney, Christopher George|
|Cert / Year:||18 - R / 1981|
Cole, (Franco Nero) a loner and mercenary looking for a fight graduates from a ninja school (can be found in all good 'Yellow pages'), much to the displeasure of traditionalist ninja called Hasegawa ((Sho Kosugi) who doesn't believe a Westerner should be given the honour of being a ninja. Leaving his school behind him, Cole heads off to the Philippines to see his old war buddy Frank Landers (Alex Courtney) and young and dishy wife (Susan George). Frank has been having trouble from an unscrupulous property developer Mr Venarius (Christopher George) trying to pressure him into selling his land, which he doesn't want to do as it is his livelihood. But when Venarius and his men start getting heavy handed, Cole steps in and protects Frank and his wife but with the gang members start dropping like flies, Mr Venarius decides the only way to stop a ninja is to hire one of his own....
Enter the Ninja is another of those old 80's Ninja B movies which we were subjected to in our teenage video store rental innocence. The production team of Golan Globus produced a batch of the ninja and martial art flicks during the eighties notably Nine Deaths of the Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja (which also starred Sho Kosugi) although American Ninja was another of the same ilk although we can't blame them for that one. These were never going to be anything more than straight to video fare but you tend to remember them being much better than they actually are. Like most of it's ninja movie bretheren, Enter the Ninja has a lame story, is formulaic in a predictable 80's ninja movie way. But, you shouldn't expect much from the same director who later brought us Deadly Heroes.
Better known for Django, Franco Nero and his porn-star moustache engage in some cheesy, hairy chested, cliché ridden heroics. The wasted martial arts talent of Sho Kosugi is given little opportunity to shine despite being the best thing in the film (which isn't saying much). Susan George is also sorely wasted here and is subjected to a degrading mindless bint role and even gets blatantly groped by Nero at one point to add insult to injury. Susan George obviously brought in to bring a little female allure and sex appeal to the film but it doesn't work as she doesn't get her chance here am afraid. The remaining cast are your usual rent a bad guy and henchmen set and not particularly impressive, especially when compared to the other assembled wooden cast. Most of the fight scenes are poorly choreographed and badly edited together, appearing very choppy and disjointed. As if that wasn't bad enough the fight scenes are accompanied by some comedy sound effects, which are so bad, they are unfortunate and amusing. For the most part, Enter the Ninja is unintentionally funny and features some clumsy martial arts and oafish action not to mention some pretty dodgy dubbing which is rife throughout.
A ropey Golan Globus eighties straight to video offerings, cliché ridden and fumbling along with a wafer thin plot. You have an obligatory Ninja of Western origin who is of course a 'white ninja' (dressed all in white too which is a little impractical for a start!) and an angry Asian ninja who is obviously a bad guy so is a more typically clad all in black. This gives you your unimaginative and pretty standard black versus white ninja plot. I should point out that it is lucky that the ninja wear full face masks as otherwise it would be REALLY obvious that Franco Nero wasn't doing his own action. This is a beer and pizza, 80's class mates reunion type of movie watched purely for nostalgia factor as it couldn't ever be considered a martial arts movie and is not going to be as good as you may have remembered it. If this film weren't so darned corny it would be quite easily forgettable.
Ninjitsu, the darkest and deadliest of all the Martial Arts.
|1.85:1 Anamorphic||Not a great transfer, grainy in places and some darks bleed|
|Dolby 1.0 Mono||Terrible sound, unimpressive and the cheesy effects don't help|
|What a poor disc. Not even a trailer or a widescreen transfer!. Cheap and cheerful is an understatement|