Kicking myself (with dagger-toed boots) for not noticing this film series was happening sooner, because tonight is the last of four nights of ENTER THE NINJAS!! — a weekend-long celebration of ninja movies, sponsored by Subway Cinema and taking place at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City. Those who are fleet of feet can still make SHINOBI NO MONO 2: VENGEANCE at 7:30pm and AMERICAN NINJA 2: THE CONFRONTATION at 9:30pm.
Again, I have failed my school this week, since I was not on my guard, and clearly I would fall first to the might of the ninja. It shall not happen again, should I survive this day. But at the very least, what follows here is a fun poster/picture gallery with a few titles you may not have seen in a long time, or ever.
The full schedule:
- AMERICAN NINJA (1985, USA) — in 35mm!!!
- AMERICAN NINJA 2: THE CONFRONTATION (1987, USA) — in 35mm!!!
- DUEL TO THE DEATH (1983, Hong Kong) — digital projection.
- ENTER THE NINJA (1981, USA) — in 35mm!!!
- FIVE ELEMENT NINJAS (1982, Hong Kong) — in 35mm!!!
- A LIFE OF NINJA (1983, Taiwan) — in 35mm!!!
- NINJA III: THE DOMINATION (1984, USA) — in 35mm!!!
Here’s my own quick review of the new Shout! Factory Blu-Ray from 2013:
Ninja movies are one of my more eccentric passions, one for which I make no apologies. This one here is a doozy. Shout! Factory did us right with the release of this Blu-Ray, although when it came out I saw a lot of jokes about NINJA III’s title, as if it were LEONARD PART 6 or something. In fact, NINJA III is a tenuous sequel after all, intended to follow Cannon Films’ previous ninja epics, ENTER THE NINJA (directed by Menahem Golan of THE APPLE fame and starring Franco Nero as the world’s whitest ninja) and REVENGE OF THE NINJA, which like NINJA III was directed by Sam Firstenberg and featured an expanded role for Sho Kosugi, who in fact is the only link between the three films. NINJA III starts with a ninja assault on a golf course, and it only gets weirder and wilder from there. It stars Lucinda Dickey from BREAKIN’ 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO as an aerobics instructor who becomes possessed by the spirit of an evil ninja. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s James Hong plays the Father Merrin role, kinda sorta. Yeah, this is a 1980s update of THE EXORCIST, only with aerobics and ninjas. Which, I don’t have to tell you, is a cornucopia of wonderfulness.
- REVENGE OF THE NINJA (1983, USA) — digital projection.
- SAMURAI SPY (1965, Japan) — in 35mm!!!
- SEVENTEEN NINJA (1963, Japan) — in 35mm!!!
- SHINOBI NO MONO, a.k.a. A BAND OF ASSASSINS (1962, Japan) — digital projection.
- SHINOBI NO MONO 2: VENGEANCE (1963, Japan) — digital projection.
- Super Special Secret Screening! — in 35mm!!!
- TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (1990, USA/Hong Kong) — in 35mm!!!
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Tags: California, Cannon Films, Christopher George, Criterion Collection, Franco Nero, Golan-Globus, James Hong, japan, Kickstarter, Lee Tso-nam, Lucinda Dickey, Masahiro Shinoda, Menahem Golan, Michael Dudikoff, Ninja Turtles, Ninjas, Sam Firstenberg, Satsuo Yamamoto, Sho Kosugi, Steve James, Susan George, The 1980s, Turtles, Yasuto Hasegawa, Yoram Globus