Just out of decency, every friend of taste-free film enjoyment should have at least one Godfrey Ho film in his collection. After all, anyone who has such an astronomical number of deadly trash torpedoes on his or her conscience as our Chinese directing wonder deserves respect. Period. The title alone reveals that the piece under discussion here is once again one of Ho's infamous Ninja flicks. Just to name a number: Between 1980 and 1990 alone, more than 40 of these genre gems were created under the leadership of Godfrey Ho. One should not necessarily expect great entertainment qualities from these assembly line productions (exceptions do exist), only the word "Ninja" in the film title is as certain as the foreign shame factor of a Dieter Bohlen song. The rest of the title is thematically coherent to the content in very few cases. For example, "Zombie vs. Ninja" does not necessarily mean the material presence of murderous undead.
But no matter what, the main thing is that it sounds cool. And if a passionate manure film taster then additionally sees a chic cover and a chubby advertising line of the brand "Only a Ninja can kill a Ninja!", the often following realization is that the cover was once again more tasty than the content...
And so this time, too, the focus is on rather difficult to digest film food, which only owes its laxative Richard Harrison aroma to the fact that the viewer is spared the mental intestinal obstruction. In the role of the super cop Jason, Harrison is once again allowed to hold his chest hair up to the camera and, with the help of his crazy ninja skills, dig up an international counterfeit ring. Leader of the bad guys is the unscrupulous businessman Bruce Marley, who, of course, also masters the art of Ninjitsu. Special features: Glances evil and looks like a used sanitary napkin in combat gear.
The remaining figures are much more colourless in terms of entertainment, as they come entirely from the shallows of the IFD archives. Specifically, 3/4 of the plot was loosely fished out of the stock footage cloaca. Thanks to amateurish overdubbing and silly new synchro, the usual story disaster unfolds in connection with the scenes shot by Ho. For example, we have Marley's henchman and main distributor of the flowers, Albert Wong. Susan Chang, who runs an agency for photo models, organizes the distribution of the counterfeit money. Jason's contact person is a certain Warran Lee, who was smuggled into Susan Chang's house and works there as a model. Warran's girlfriend Debbie doesn't like this, because her lover can't take care of the resocialization of his petty criminal brother David anymore. Debbie herself feels neglected as well, which is why she slits her wrists out of defiance. In general, family problems seem to play a much bigger role in this work than what makes a fan pull out his wallet. Badly choreographed brawls and creepy bumping into each other on the beach round off this orgy of borderline taste in an excellent way.
The only scenes you can rely on are those shot by the master himself, in which nicely staged ninja fights and involuntarily comical dialogues complement each other perfectly. Richard Harrison acts as usual with sacred seriousness and routinely dabbles through all emotional stages with the same facial expression. The final fight between Jason and his adversary is particularly noteworthy: gun-wielding ninjas on motorcycles, racing towards each other as in a medieval lancet tournament, is a rarity even for genre experts.
"We lost three men, but our Ninja Spirit never dies. To die the death of a Ninja is a glorious way to die. Our birth is at the dawn of the time. When we embark upon a mission, we fear nothing.
If our enemies rise - eliminate!
Conclusion: Ho's scenes with Harrison and his Gwailo buddies are quite entertaining, but unfortunately too few. All in all, this is a rather tenacious ninja brawler, especially because of the cheesy stock footage. The fancy "grand finale" makes you more or less forgiving.
16 cuts with a difference of 72.7 seconds (= 1:12 min.)
The remaining runtime difference results from a longer black screen in the uncut version at the beginning and after the end of the movie.
Times within this report always follow the scheme: shortened version [Uncut version].
The cut BBFC 18 VHS by Video Collection International Ltd was compared to the uncut BBFC 18 DVD by Hollywood DVD.
12:09 [12:10 - 12:18]
Jason incapacitates Black Dog with a throwing star.
54:57 [55:06 - 55:17]
Lilly's mistreatment by Four-Eyes was also cut short. It is missing how Four-Eyes jumps on the girl, tears her clothes and yells at her: "Never betray me again! You common whore!"
56:43 [57:02 - 57:06]
Jason hurls a throwing star at the enemy ninja, but misses him (the throwing star gets stuck in the tree trunk).
1:03:25 [1:03:47 - 1:03:51]
David hits the chest of the bad guy even longer in the uncut version.
1:03:33 [1:03:59 - 1:04:02]
David kicks an injured Bad Guy lying on the ground in the back.
Double used scene in the cut version
Instead of the kick in the back, a close-up of the bad guy lying on the ground was inserted into the VHS version (and is thus included twice).
+ 1.4 sec.
1:08:39 [1:09:07 - 1:09:14]
Jason steps to the table on which his ninja utensils are draped and reaches for the sai. The scene is completely missing in the VHS version, probably because of the throwing stars that can be seen in it.
1:11:23 [1:11:59 - 1:12:01]
The bad guy, who immediately before rammed a knife into Lilly's stomach, gives her another kick in the side. Lilly falls dead to the ground.
1:16:11 [1:16:49 - 1:16:58]
David is held by two bad guys while a third bad guy beats up the defenseless man.
1:21:26 [1:22:13 - 1:22:15]
Bruce presents his Bakuhatsu gama (Ninja weapon, consisting of a sickle with chain), Jason does the same.
1:21:39 [1:22:28 - 1:22:37]
The opponents drive towards each other with swinging Bakuhatsu gama, but the weapons interlock and fall to the ground.
1:21:55 [1:22:53 - 1:22:59]
Now Jason and Bruce throw throwing stars at each other, but here too the weapons collide and fall to the ground.
1:22:17 [1:23:21 - 1:23:23]
Bruce aims another throwing star at Jason.
Short shot in which Bruce hurls the throwing star at Jason.
1:22:19 [1:23:26 - 1:23:27]
Jason fends off the throwing star with the blade of his katana.
1:23:04 [1:24:11 - 1:24:14]
Jason fires a throwing star in his fan at Bruce, but he evades with an acrobatic interlude.
1:23:31 [1:24:42 - 1:24:43]
Jason throws another throwing star at Bruce and hits this time.