Posts Tagged ‘Ninja’

If you’re child of the 80’s like we are you’ll probably remember seemingly endless stream of Ninja movies staring mustachioed white ninja called Gordon on the TV. Later I would find out that those were directed by the notorious Hong Kong director by the name of Godfrey Ho (also known as  Godfrey Hall, Benny Ho, Ho Chi-Mou and Ed Woo) who routinely used cut- and- paste method producing dozens of Ninja movies every year. One of the tricks he used was to buy an unfinished Taiwanese film (or 10) and pepper it with his default Ninja fight scenes to create a unique mutant of the Martial Arts genre (often featuring dual storylines by sheer necessity).

Most of those Joseph Lai produced gems featured Harrison (sometimes even without his knowledge or approval), anything from Ninja Terminator (1985) to Ninja Strike Force (1988). And I can’t forget all the brightly colored uniforms or those headbands with Ninja written on them to this day!

Quite possibly the greatest scene in the history of Martial Arts cinema!

To go back in time even more so Harrison started his career much like Eastwood acting in Italian movies– albeit initially in the sword and sandals genre (The Magnificent Gladiator). He would eventually move up to the more commercial Spaghetti Western films (Gunfight at Red Sands, also first Ennio Morricone scored film ever) before becoming the European answer to 007 aka 077 (no, I’m not making this up). Also you should definitely check out his Italian team- up with  Bruce Le called Challenge of the Tiger. Eurospy meets Bruceploitationyou don’t see that every day!

Beware of that buff Italian guy!

He also famously turned down the opportunity to act in A Fistful of Dollars and recommended Clint Eastwood for the role. He jokingly said he considers that his greatest contribution to the world of cinema.

He first started collaborating with a Hong Kong studio when he played  the title role of Marco Polo in  Shaw Brothers‘s production in 1975 and Commander von Waldersee in The Boxer Rebellion a year later. More than a decent start. But in the 80’s with the fall of both Western and Eurospy movies he ended up signing a multi- picture contract with Joseph Lai’s Imperial Entertainment which lead him to Godfrey Ho and as they say- the rest is history!

We want to thank Guru Khalid Khan for this wonderful interview, It’s really uplifting to see a legend like Harris still alive and kicking  while being charismatic as he ever was.

 

 

 

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We enthusiastically talked about the first post- Expendables 2 movie for Chuck Norris- The Finisher.  Unfortunately that project never came into fruition (even though they were talks of it shooting in Australia with out favorite Aussie badass Richard Norton directing) but now we finally have some good news for all you Norris fans out there!

15056431_1137649649646235_6784295093935268070_n  Just a cool photo of Chuck stretching Norton from our friends at Action Elite

Chuck has signed to appear in African (Botswanan to be precise) movie with some B- movie heavy hitters like Michael Jai White (Spawn, Black Dynamite) and previously mentioned Richard Norton, now a famed choreographer having worked on Mad Max: Fury Road, Suicide Squad and Ghost in a Shell).  The writer is Motswana- born Edward Sebati and on the directing duties we have none other than the action maestro Isaac Florentine of Undisputed and Ninja fame! I see him as a sort of heir to the Menahem Golan of the legendary Cannon Films (just better).

943363_360839514037845_1477549880_nMcDaniels brothers, only their mother can tell them apart!

Movie centers around the two brothers Sasha McDaniels and  Dumisani McDaniels who end up caught up in a net of poaching, robbery, murder and even a serious political conspiracy. Chuck is of course playing their cool uncle Sean Kane. Pre- production is well on the way and filming should beginning early 2017 and I’m sure I speak for all of us- it was about damn time!

320350_361977167257413_1249151529_nDeadly villain Sahili played by Aurelien Henry Obama,much deadlier than the regular Obama!


The last part of the famous Cannon Film’s Ninja trilogy (of completely unrelated films) is without the doubt the craziest and the must fun of them all.  Fact that we have an absolute miscast, a dancing star Lucinda Dickey (Breakin’, Breakin’ 2: The Electric Boogaloo) in the main role only makes it that much sweeter.

Ninja3

This movie starts with too seemingly unrelated scenes, a Ninja prepping his ancient and deadly weapons in the cave and some ritch guys playing golf without a care in the world. Turns out Ninja was payed to kill one of the rich golf playing pricks. Which one, who knows- he killed them all!

He’s maybe good at killing but strategy is certainly not his greatest strength.

Now, beside some fun moments in the fight I have to wonder why did someone trained in the art of deception decide to kill people in the broad daylight on the location where it’s almost impossible to for him to hide. I mean he even runs by foot being chased by cop cars and motorcycles. Stopping numerous cops, including two riding a helicopter he menages to escape barely alive by burying himself deep in the sand. Cops eventually give up on the pursue and he menages to get to a random girl fixing a phone line while listening to modern dance music on a boombox ( I guess she doesn’t have a cool Walkman like everyone else). He grabs her and after some scuffle she excepts an gift, Ninja To (sword) after which he finally drops the bucket.

Then we are treated to flashbacks of the Ninja’s battle that happened literally 3 minutes ago!!! Did they really want to beef up the  running time of this movie or what? She ends up interrogated in the police station and one of the younger officers Billy Secord , irritatingly insist on taking her out on a coffee. She continues to have flashbacks and runs away.But after playing some games on her… she decides that it’s noting some aerobics won’t fix.

It seems gyms  bring out the worse in men, because more than a couple jacked up idiots are making advances to one of the aerobic chicks Lucy to the point of being ready to take her by force. And that’s not in a dark ally but in the broad daylight in front of dozen witnesses! I don’t know what they’re on but it’s not doing them any good. Thankfully, the evil ninja ghost kicks in and Christie transforms into a deadly ass- kicker. And after an impressive acrobatic routine Christie kicks the crap out of muscle-heads while people cheer (why not one of them even thought about helping a girl out- who knows?)

Irritating cop Billy finally menages to pick her up in his car. Now, remember boys if you are stalking a girl long enough she’s going to eventually give up! Or call the cops, thankfully Secord is a cop himself so he doesn’t have that problem. They get into a bit of a fight but shockingly she takes the dude home, and gets to undressing part really, really quick. I don’t think we can blame the evil ninja spirit for this behavior.After the sex scene we are treated to some light show and a flying sword which all indicates Ninja possession is becoming even stronger.FlyingSword

And it is- as she dresses up in the costume and goes after one of the cops who killed “him”. The old man is playing pool in his home (who has a pool table in his living room?) and doesn’t see it coming. I guess he never had an avenging Ninja problem before. Soon enough another police officer ends up dead (the one in a Jacuzzi with couple of girls) but she still can’t put the peaces to together and thinks it’s all a nightmare.

Dead Ninja is sorry he didn’t kill absolutely everybody and goes after the cops that eventually stopped him.

Also, my favorite Sho Kosugi arrives to the US via airplane. He’s interesting because he doesn’t have an eye but he did what any other badass would do, he made and eye-patch out of sword shielding and wears it proudly for all the world to see. You know you don’t want to mess with a person like that.

Ninja III The Domination (1984).mp4_001862318Man, he’s awesome!

Her boyfriend I guess (that was fast) Billy kinda figures out what is going on and brings her to a Japanese mystic a Japanese mystic (played by James Hung, a Chinese man). She gets tied up and he performs and Asian Exorcism (like the regular Exorcism only in Japanese). In spite it being very amusing for the audience Ninja is is not impressed and he refuses to leave her body.

“You fool! You cannot stop me. I am a NINJA!”

It turns out that an ancient law applies here (the one I actually never heard before) “only a ninja can destroy a ninja” So that’s where Sho Kosugi comes in. His fellow ninja cost him his Master and his eye and he will get his revenge. She gets back home and angry at herself decides to battle the possible loss of her body and should to an unclean and evil presence bydirty dancing! ’cause that’s how you solved problems in the 80’s Did any problems actually got solved in the 80’s? I seriously doubt it.

Now Ninja continues his devious plan by attending the funeral of the cop- just to use the gathering as an opportunity to kill the remaining cops. Man he is insatiable!  Thankfully things get sorted out-  an exorcism finally separates the demon Ninja and the girl and Ninja ends up in a duel with Kosugi in an old temple in the most awesome Kung Fu moment of the whole movie. 

Slightly less epic battle ensues on the hill and seemingly indestructible Ninja  finally meets his demise by the only way possible, a freakin’ knife to the brain! You can’t go back from that… well except if you’re some kind of zombie ninja, but being that we experienced a demon ninja here I guess everything is possible. Cannon never picked up from here (making another unrelated Ninja sequel) but truthfully there is still no way to top this movie, is it?

Ninja III The Domination (1984).mp4_005302005This is the end, my Ninja friend, the end…

Verdict: It can be said that this movie is Cannon Films in a nutshell.

I mean it has dancing, aerobics, synth score, Asian Martial Arts, over the top acting and the ridiculous plot all rolled up in one! If you meet a person who knows nothing of Cannon Studios opus this would be more than a fine example (even more so than their more popular franchises like American Ninja, Missing in Action or endless string of Death Wish sequels).

Trivia: And ’cause it’s always fun to hear it from the people who were there in Cannon’s golden days (including Lucinda Dickey) here’s a clip from the documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films.