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DragonClaws

Back To The Shadows: The Ninja Movie Appreciation Thread

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That is actually a recreation of an original assassination attempt by a famous ninja, whose name escapes me at the moment.

 

For me "Castle of Owls" was the first real ninja film with Hatsumi Sensei serving as adviser. I did enjoy the Shinobi series and my favorite with the unlocking of joints to slip being tied up.

Castle Of Owls, that's an odd title for a ninja film. I'm going to look that film up online see what I can find out about it.

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Castle Of Owls, that's an odd title for a ninja film. I'm going to look that film up online see what I can find out about it.

Make sure you get the right one from 1963, the remake is horrid.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0199857/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

 

It might be the best ninja film ever made. There is a great website, Vintage Ninja which has devoted a few pages to it.

 

http://vintageninja.net/?tag=castle-of-owls

 

 

 

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For me "Castle of Owls" was the first real ninja film with Hatsumi Sensei serving as adviser. I did enjoy the Shinobi series and my favorite with the unlocking of joints to slip being tied up.

I'm just gonna try and make you guys jealous by mentioning I saw that in 35mm a few months ago :cool
 

 

To be honest, it's one of the few pre-70s ninja films I've seen. But from the 70s I really like Demon Spies (1974). In fact, it gets better every time I see it. It may not be quite the masterwork of 70s chambara like Lone Wolf and Cub, but it's charminly smutty and exploitative while being well made at the same time. The action choreography is solid as well. Techically speaking it's not a ninja film but an oniwaban film... close enough I think.

 

Trailer here:

http://nihoneigatrailer.com/Trailers/D/DemonSpiesTrailer1-1974-NTSC-640x360.html

 

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Make sure you get the right one from 1963, the remake is horrid.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0199857/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

 

It might be the best ninja film ever made. There is a great website, Vintage Ninja which has devoted a few pages to it.

 

http://vintageninja.net/?tag=castle-of-owls

 

 

 

Thanks for the heads up and the links SteyrAUG.

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I'll agree Castle of Owls is definitely one of the best Ninja movies ever made!

 

Demon Spies is also great, anything with Kei Sato in it is usually gold.

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Ninja Empire (1988)

a.k.a Ninja Phantom Heroes U.S.A

Directed by- Bruce Lambert

Filmark cut and paste madness with some lousy dubbing and equally bad ninja action. A former soldier is sent to HK to deal with the Ninja Empire. Its not really an empire because there only appears to be four of them. I'm not sure who the hero of the film is played by either?. HKMDB doesn't have him listed in their cast list for some reason. They couldn't get Richard Harrison for the film so they got another caucasian with a mustache to fill his shoes and camouflage ninja suit. Only when our hero switches into ninja mode he appears to become shorter. They clearly couldn't get a double that was similar in height. There's a cameo appearance by the greatest Snake Fist Fighter of all time Jim Norris of Secret Executioners fame. Only Jim doesn't get to display his great skills at fighting but does a nice dramatic performance as a disgruntled drunk. HK regulars Addy Sung Gam Loi & Ho Pak Kwong have little to add to the film with their roles in the stock footage used.

I pretty much knew what to expect from this and even with very low expectations it just wasn't up to much. Some of these films can be so bad their entertaining, this one is just plain lousy. I know these old cut and paste ninja flicks always have odd abrupt endings. Ninja Empire appears to end just as the finale is starting to warm up. Did they make a sequel? what actually happened to the characters in the final scene?. You wont be missing anything if you pass on watching this title. If you do want to try a cut and paste film give Ninja Terminator a chance instead.

Edited by DragonClaws

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Ninja Empire (1988)

a.k.a Ninja Phantom Heroes U.S.A

Directed by- Bruce Lambert

 

Filmark cut and paste madness with some lousy dubbing and equally bad ninja action. A former soldier is sent to HK to deal with the Ninja Empire. Its not really an empire because there only appears to be four of them. I'm not sure who the hero of the film is played by either?. HKMDB doesn't have him listed in their cast list for some reason. They couldn't get Richard Harrison for the film so they got another caucasian with a mustache to fill his shoes and camouflage ninja suit. Only when our hero switches into ninja mode he appears to become shorter. They clearly couldn't get a double that was similar in height. There's a cameo appearance by the greatest Snake Fist Fighter of all time Jim Norris of Secret Executioners fame. Only Jim doesn't get to display his great skills at fighting but does a nice dramatic performance as a disgruntled drunk. HK regulars Addy Sung Gam Loi & Ho Pak Kwong have little to add to the film with their roles in the stock footage used.

 

I pretty much knew what to expect from this and even with very low expectations it just wasn't up to much. Some of these films can be so bad their entertaining, this one is just plain lousy. I know these old cut and paste ninja flicks always have odd abrupt endings. Ninja Empire appears to end just as the finale is starting to warm up. Did they make a sequel? what actually happened to the characters in the final scene?. You wont be missing anything if you pass on watching this title. If you do want to try a cut and paste film give Ninja Terminator a chance instead.

Was it this one ? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0199840/

 

Somehow, I believe I have this on a set and I may even have seen it, but it's so forgettable I don't remember a thing on this one.  :squigglemouth: 

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Was it this one ? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0199840/

 

Somehow, I believe I have this on a set and I may even have seen it, but it's so forgettable I don't remember a thing on this one.  :squigglemouth: 

That's the one, they appear to have used a gangster film and perhaps a third movie in the form of a low budget war flick?. Sophia Crawford appears in the film as a ninja stunt double according to IMDB. The funniest scene has to be when the evil ninja goes ape on a kids adventure playground. That alone says it all about this film.

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That's the one, they appear to have used a gangster film and perhaps a third movie in the form of a low budget war flick?. Sophia Crawford appears in the film as a ninja stunt double according to IMDB. The funniest scene has to be when the evil ninja goes ape on a kids adventure playground. That alone says it all about this film.

 

Looks like typical Fimark MO here - using one main movie, pieces of another one and adding Ninja scenes where Ninja fight in playgrounds or parks.

Edited by Secret Executioner

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The fight choreography in the ninja scenes are usually much better than the ones in Ninja Empire. They also rely more on the stock footage from the other two films. Normally you get a lot of more ninja related fights spliced in but not in this flick.

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The fight choreography in the ninja scenes are usually much better than the ones in Ninja Empire. They also rely more on the stock footage from the other two films. Normally you get a lot of more ninja related fights spliced in but not in this flick.

Sounds like a lousier version of a Filmark film. :doh 

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You want ninja? I'll give you ninja....

 

 

 

A story of an art dealer who, leads a double life as a martial arts warrior.

 

Writer:

 Ed Spielman
 

 

I was too young to catch this first time round but its not bad from what I can remember. Doesn't most of the action take place in a skyscraper at the end of the movie?. They should have cast Sho Kosgui in the Michael Beck role.

Edited by DragonClaws

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Diamond Ninja Force (HK, 1986)

 

sortievideoavantcinma3lq.jpg

 

Was hesitant between putting it here and in the horror thread from the World Cinema section because unlike your regular cut-and-splice films from IFD of the time, it doesn't insert Ninja scenes in some actioneer... but in a Poltergeist knock off.

 

The story is that a couple and their kid moved in in a new house, but the Black Ninja wants (yes, there is ONE Black Ninja) to drive them away for whatever reason (apparently the house is built on a burial site originally - sorta like in Poltergeist -, but it's said that the ground belong to the Black Ninja Clan and that some treasure is hidden there), so he uses black magic (pretty much sitting in the middle of candles and swinging his katana around) to summon a spirit that scares the wife and the little boy and also torments the husband (the spirit is a dead chick and this leads to some gratuitious nudity as well as scenes of the husband having sex with the ghost...). The couple then turn to their friend Gordon (hurray for Richard Harrison and his moustache and his Garfield phone... But he's a Red Ninja so no camouflage suit, though the Golden Ninja Warrior makes an appearance too) for help, so while they keep getting attacked by the ghost working for the Black Ninja, Gordon goes out and kills a bunch of henchmen (including fan-favorite Pierre Tremblay and Andy Chorowsky and Clifford Allen whom you may remember as two inept cops working with Richard Harrison/Gordon in Ninja the Protector) working for the Black Ninja before a final showdown between the only two Ninjas in the movie while the family FINALLY get useful help (Gordon seems to mess around with them a lot before that) in the forum of some crazy Taoist priest (he also shows up drunk cause he stopped at a tavern for a few drinks with a friend) who casts the spirit away in a weird and most improbable manner.

 

This isn't the craziest or best Ninja film from IFD, the Ninja scenes aren't the good old stuff you'd expect with colorful Ninjas and/or crazy techniques, but instead feature Richard Harrison in a red suit attacking people dressed in everyday clothes. They are also still too short as well as few and far between, and sometimes just showcase the Black Ninja swinging his sword or Gordon on the phone (including stock footage from other films, so Gordon's stache is blond at times, but gets gray-ish at others). However, the Asian portion looks like a pretty nice film, too bad there seems to be little to nothing on the original movie. I only read it was a 1980s ghost story type of film called Ghost Hunting and apparently the corpse found during the construction of the house is actually that of a woman who seems to have been burried alive by a group of guys (hence why we get a female ghost, though the portion about the poor lady is obviously totally ignored in the IFD movie).

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Diamond Ninja Force (HK, 1986)

 

sortievideoavantcinma3lq.jpg

 

Was hesitant between putting it here and in the horror thread from the World Cinema section because unlike your regular cut-and-splice films from IFD of the time, it doesn't insert Ninja scenes in some actioneer... but in a Poltergeist knock off.

 

The story is that a couple and their kid moved in in a new house, but the Black Ninja wants (yes, there is ONE Black Ninja) to drive them away for whatever reason (apparently the house is built on a burial site originally - sorta like in Poltergeist -, but it's said that the ground belong to the Black Ninja Clan and that some treasure is hidden there), so he uses black magic (pretty much sitting in the middle of candles and swinging his katana around) to summon a spirit that scares the wife and the little boy and also torments the husband (the spirit is a dead chick and this leads to some gratuitious nudity as well as scenes of the husband having sex with the ghost...). The couple then turn to their friend Gordon (hurray for Richard Harrison and his moustache and his Garfield phone... But he's a Red Ninja so no camouflage suit, though the Golden Ninja Warrior makes an appearance too) for help, so while they keep getting attacked by the ghost working for the Black Ninja, Gordon goes out and kills a bunch of henchmen (including fan-favorite Pierre Tremblay and Andy Chorowsky and Clifford Allen whom you may remember as two inept cops working with Richard Harrison/Gordon in Ninja the Protector) working for the Black Ninja before a final showdown between the only two Ninjas in the movie while the family FINALLY get useful help (Gordon seems to mess around with them a lot before that) in the forum of some crazy Taoist priest (he also shows up drunk cause he stopped at a tavern for a few drinks with a friend) who casts the spirit away in a weird and most improbable manner.

 

This isn't the craziest or best Ninja film from IFD, the Ninja scenes aren't the good old stuff you'd expect with colorful Ninjas and/or crazy techniques, but instead feature Richard Harrison in a red suit attacking people dressed in everyday clothes. They are also still too short as well as few and far between, and sometimes just showcase the Black Ninja swinging his sword or Gordon on the phone (including stock footage from other films, so Gordon's stache is blond at times, but gets gray-ish at others). However, the Asian portion looks like a pretty nice film, too bad there seems to be little to nothing on the original movie. I only read it was a 1980s ghost story type of film called Ghost Hunting and apparently the corpse found during the construction of the house is actually that of a woman who seems to have been burried alive by a group of guys (hence why we get a female ghost, though the portion about the poor lady is obviously totally ignored in the IFD movie).

Nice review.

 

Godfrey Ho loved to put random nudity in his film even if its in the form of a naked ghost lol. Never watched this one but it reminds me of another cut and paste horror film Scorpion Thunderbolt. Does Diamond Ninja Force have the usual abrupt Godfrey Ho style ending?.

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Nice review.

 

Godfrey Ho loved to put random nudity in his film even if its in the form of a naked ghost lol. Never watched this one but it reminds me of another cut and paste horror film Scorpion Thunderbolt. Does Diamond Ninja Force have the usual abrupt Godfrey Ho style ending?.

 

Heard of the Scorpion Thunderbolt series (yeah, there are several of those). And of course DNF does have that usual abrupt ending. It literally goes bad guy dies/Gordon walks off/THE END.

 

On a sidenote, the theme song to Diamond Ninja Force is pretty cool. Not sure where it comes from though, but it's pretty catchy and awesome.  :bigsmile: 

Edited by Secret Executioner

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Heard of the Scorpion Thunderbolt series (yeah, there are several of those). And of course DNF does have that usual abrupt ending. It literally goes bad guy dies/Gordon walks off/THE END.

 

On a sidenote, the theme song to Diamond Ninja Force is pretty cool. Not sure where it comes from though, but it's pretty catchy and awesome.  :bigsmile: 

There's several of those films impressive. Just had a quick listen to the opening theme SE, and I cant put a name to the music played over the credits.

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Was just teasing you, but that album's title could have made for a nice thread name. :tongueout

 

Figured I'd link to the Nnja-related topics I made in the video sections

Greek trailers - Ninja Masters Of Death and Jackie Chan's Armour Of God:

 
 
Godfrey Ho's Rage Of A Ninja (opening scene + trailer):

 

The Thundering Ninja trailer:

 

Clash Of The Ninjas trailer:

 

Ninja Master Of Death ending scene:

 

 

Cobra Against Ninja opening scene:

 

 

Robert Tai's Ninja The Final Duel trailer:

 

 

Ninja Destroyer trailer:

 

 

Robert Tai's Ninja Kids French trailer:

Just updated the links, so now you can get direct access to the threads with videos.  :xd: 

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Not a fan of these films, but the set itself looks nice.

You might enjoy Enter The Ninja SE its certainly not the most serious ninja film ever made. Worth seeing for an early appearance by Sho Kosugi and Franco Nero in his only Martial Arts film role.

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More good news for U.K ninja fans, Rage Of Honor gets its first official UNCUT U.K release on DVD & Blu-Ray. Its out on the 28th of December.

 

Link- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rage-Honor-DVD-Shô-Kosugi/dp/B0108B2SSC/ref=sr_1_2?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1448311052&sr=1-2&keywords=rage+of+honor

 

Despite Sho Kosgis ninja films getting released in the U,S on DVD years ago. Its taken U.K distributors a long time to pick them up.

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More good news for U.K ninja fans, Rage Of Honor gets its first official UNCUT U.K release on DVD & Blu-Ray. Its out on the 28th of December.

 

Link- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rage-Honor-DVD-Shô-Kosugi/dp/B0108B2SSC/ref=sr_1_2?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1448311052&sr=1-2&keywords=rage+of+honor

 

Despite Sho Kosgis ninja films getting released in the U,S on DVD years ago. Its taken U.K distributors a long time to pick them up.

Yeah, Pray for Death is out on Blu Ray on the same day as the Ninja Trilogy boxset (18th January) so fans in the UK can finally get these. I'm actually really looking forward to picking these up, Ninja 3 and Pray for Death have never had even a dvd release here so there long overdue. I'm aware that Pray for Death is the US R rated version but i've only ever seen the heavily censored UK vhs so i'm sure it'll be an improvement on that.

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Yeah, Pray for Death is out on Blu Ray on the same day as the Ninja Trilogy boxset (18th January) so fans in the UK can finally get these. I'm actually really looking forward to picking these up, Ninja 3 and Pray for Death have never had even a dvd release here so there long overdue. I'm aware that Pray for Death is the US R rated version but i've only ever seen the heavily censored UK vhs so i'm sure it'll be an improvement on that.

It will a huge improvement especially if your only used to the old censored VHS print. Too bad they are using the R-Rated print but its better than nothing I suppose.

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