Director: Sam Firstenberg
Cast: Shô Kosugi, Lucinda Dickey, Jordan Bennett
By Brian M. Sammons
So why am I reviewing a ninja movie on Hellnotes? Well because ninja movies are cool, and ninja movies from the 80s are especially awesome, but also this ninja movie has a lady getting possessed by the spirit of an evil ninja who then starts killing a whole bunch of people. So it’s kind of like The Exorcist, only with ninja swords, throwing stars, and mass murder. How can you not love that?
Also, this movie is pure, unadulterated awesome! What, you don’t believe me? Well keep reading.
Ninja 3 begins with, surprise, surprise, a ninja in America taking out some crime boss, in broad daylight, on a golf course. Naturally, being a ninja, he gets the job done, but not before the entire L.A. police department is called out on him, including a helicopter. All this does is piss this ninja off, so he then proceeds to kill 30 or 40 cops in style, including shooting a blowgun dart into the barrel of a gun so that it backfires and throwing a ninja star with his foot! But sheer numbers eventually win out and after taking enough lead to have drop Jason Voorhees, our psychotic ninja does the old disappear in a puff of smoke trick.
Enter Christine, a telephone repair person and quintessential cute 80s girl. She finds the bullet-riddled ninja and tries to help, only to get possessed by the ninja’s dying spirit for her troubles. So she picks up the fallen ninja sword, keeps it, and reports the dead guy to the local police. Next enter Christine’s love interest; a smart-mouthed young cop named Billy. Now Christine doesn’t know it yet, but Billy was one of only five cops to survive the ninja’s golf course slaughter and that’s unfortunate, as the evil spirit now inside of Christine is hell bent on killing all the police officers who gunned him down.
Before you can say “sword to the face” Christine is slicing and dicing her way through cops, not to mention getting possessed by lasers coming out of an arcade machine (because you know, ninjas!) and trying to get rid of the evil ghost inside her through a hilarious Chinese exorcism overseen by James “David Lo Pan” Hong. Other highlights include at least four jazzercise bits (because it was the 80s and all movies back then had to have jazzercise in them somewhere, I think it was the law), Christine trying to use the power of 80s pop-rock and dance to overcome a spiritual possession, a hot tub ménage à trois that goes oh so wrong, and an over the top climax that includes possessed monks and a ninja burrowing into the earth, Superman-style. And hell, with all that going on, I forgot to mention that the original Mr. Ninja himself, Sho Kosugi is also in here as a good ninja looking to put the bad ninja down for good. Now that equals one hell of a fun slice of 80s ninja action!
As for the special features, there are a few here, just not loads as we’ve come to expect from Scream Factory. First it is a combo Blu-ray/DVD release and the cover art is double-sided. Then there is an audio commentary with director Sam Firstenberg and stunt coordinator Steve Lamberi. There is also a promo photo gallery and…that’s it. That’s all the extras you get here. While I guess the most important thing is the presentation of the movie, and Ninja 3 does look amazing in HD, I wish there was just more goodies to be found here.
Ninja 3: The Domination is 100% awesomeness sprinkled with hell yeah. It is, in a word, fun! I love 80s ninja movies, and this one could be a contender for the most 80s and ninja-rific of them all. It is silly, goofy, surprisingly not too gory, action packed, over the top, downright funny, and completely badass. If you grew up watching ninja movies on cable or VHS like I did, then chances are you already know how cool this flick is. If this somehow escaped your notice until now (you know, like a ninja!) and are looking for some 80s action fun, do yourself a huge favor and pick up this Blu-ray when it comes out June 11th.