The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ninja III: Domination (1984)

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I've been warned to avoid this one for some time, and I totally understand why, because it's a pretty bad deal. The thing is, though, it just doesn't feel right not having the third of the three Ninja movies up here, even if the first two had nothing to do with this one, or each other. The other thing is, we at the DTVC feel it's as important to warn people off about the bad ones as much as celebrate the great ones. So with that being said, here's Ninja III: Domination.

Ninja III is about a bad ninja almost killed by the cops after he assassinates a scientist enjoying 18 holes at his local muni. Before he goes, though, a Solid Gold dancer making extra cash as a technician for the electric company happens to see him struggle and tries to help, only to find herself bewitched by his evil spirit. We don't know which is worse, that or the stalker cop who she suddenly falls for and has lick V-8 Juice off her neck, but regardless, she's now blacking out and committing murders dressed as a ninja, and only Shô Kosugi knows what the deal is, and only he can stop her. Throw in James Hong again acting as an ethnicity not his own, and you've got Ninja III.

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This starts off amazing, with the bad ninja kicking ass and taking names. Helicopters are exploding, golf balls are being crushed, and stuntmen are dying all over the local muni. I was even cool with the girl being possessed, because it was so funny. But the hairy stalker cop turned hero was just too much, and just too creepy. I also get that they were trying a Kwaidan Japanese ghost story type deal, but the execution was just ten kinds of wrong, with a lot of bad Poltergeist rip-offs and so forth, and the movie ended up being all over the place.

The stalker cop was probably the most irresponsible thing in the film, even more than James Hong as a Japanese man. To me it was actually kind of scary, our heroine meets this cop while she's telling the police about the dead ninja, and the cop hits on her, even after she tells him no multiple times. Then he calls her (how did he get her number? illegal police procedure probably), and after being rebuffed again, follows her to the aerobics class she teaches. As if that's not enough, when she's accosted by some bodybuilders in an alley outside the gym, he doesn't help, makes her fend for herself, then takes her away under the pretense that she's been arrested for assaulting them. What is that? And what recourse does she have if she doesn't fall in love with him and invite him back to her place to lick V-8 Juice off her neck? What, she reports him to the same police department he works for? Yeah, I bet that'd go over great, considering you're giving the report to the guy's friends. Now her report gets "lost", and he's suddenly "patrolling" in her neighbor hood 24-7. Police officers are entrusted with a very great responsibility, and to have a cop hero condoned and even vindicated in his stalking practices is simply appalling.

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Shô Kosugi isn't in this anywhere near as much as he should be. When he's there, he's great, but what the hell does that even mean, right? He's always great when he's there, it's always just a matter of how much there there is, right? Go to Revenge of the Ninja or Pray for Death for the good Kosugi.

Is there anything hotter than a chick in a leotard playing a classic arcade game? In this case, unfortunately, the game is Bouncer, one that was still in development and didn't make it big, instead of something truly awesome, like Galaga. Women, if you've got a guy in mind you want to impress, this is the way to his heart. You don't exactly have to go the leotard route, especially since classic arcade games can be pricey, and you may have to play outside of your home, but you take a guy to the arcade and you start killing it on Pac-Man or something, he'll be yours forever.

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Did I mention the cop guy was hairy? Like gross hairy, all over the back and shoulders, and in one scene he's rocking a tank top. Part of me wants to say "hey, more power to you", but no, that's just disgusting. You need to have more consideration for the people around you, and as a director, Sam Firstenbirg needed to step in and put some sleeves on him.

This isn't out on DVD, and perhaps that's a good thing. Sautéed in wrong sauce doesn't begin to describe what's going here. It's like they took all the awesomeness from Revenge of the Ninja, and decided give us ten minutes at the beginning to remind us of what they were capable of, knowing full well they were going to hit us with a hairy stalker cop and bad Poltergeist rip-off graphics.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087805/

7 comments:

  1. Baha, this sounds terrible. Think I might give it a miss. Good to see another review mate.

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  2. Good to have you back man! I actually got this film on DVD-R from Ioffer awhile ago though I havne't gotten around to watching it yet, I don't think it sounds THAT bad(at the very least it HAS to be better then Black Eagle)I might as well watch it eventually since I already own it, i'll just fast-forward through that stalker-cop stuff, the poltergeist stuff I can deal with.

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  3. Ninja III: Domination looks awesomely bad!

    Nice to see you back!

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  4. This is why we can't lose you my man. This review is things that I didn't even notice. There were so many problems the stalker cop didn't bother me. I will grant you though that the beginning was pretty cool, with the ninja being wiped out by the cops. Though that's all Ninja III had going for it. The finale in particular was disappointing. The Exorcism stuff was just terrible and not in a fun way. I mean while there is initial hilarity in see a sword float into the room with smoke surrounding it, after awhile such became repetitive.

    Indeed Pray For Death seemed excellent by comparison didn't it? I think the problem was the Golan and Globus got a tad too ambitious, in that they wanted to capitalize on the breakdancing craze as well as ninjas and Poultergeist. The result was this jumble that just wasn't interesting at all.

    Who knows what's next (I have a good idea but I won't say anything, make it a surprise) I think this though should've been called Ninja 3:The Abomination.


    Also I saw Inception, I really don't get the hype. It's as if people haven't seen Dreamscape, Nightmare On Elm Street Part 3, Total Recall and The Matrix. All which are in my opinion far better than Inception. I just want to say that, I'm toying with reviewing such, I'm not sure if i'm ready for the hatemail.

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  5. Yeah I wasn't too crazy about Inception myself, I too noticed that it copied alot of ideas from those films you mentioned(in fact I just recently got Dreamscape on DVD and immediately noticed the similarities between the two upon reading the plot summary), it was FAR too long for it's own good, it had too many plot holes and I found it hard to really care about the characters, though the film was pretty nice to look at and the action scenes were competently shot though they were a bit too "ordinary", I was really hoping that Nolan would've capitalized on the opportunity to show us all kinds of crazy shit that could only happen in a dream, rather then him spending so much time explaining the rules of the dream world and all the different levels, personally I enjoyed Salt MUCH more then Inception.

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  6. I remember liking NINJA III as a kid when I had no critical faculties to speak of but it has not aged well at all and Lucinda Dickey is a pretty crappy actress. Case in point: the BREAKIN' films. Give me REVENGE OF THE NINJA any ol' day.

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  7. Hey guys, great to hear all the support. I'm not sure when the next review will be, but hopefully not too far from now.

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