Cobra Against Ninja (1987) [REVIEW] | Thai May Cry

Time to crush your flimsy hopes right away: sadly we don’t have ninja fighting a giant king cobra snake (or a giant James Latta), nor we get stock footage of snakes, the movie just has a guy that names himself “Cobra”, proper christian name as thai dudes called “Chester” and “Raymond”.

Why does he want to go against the ninja (♫ he will fight the battle to win ♫) ? The ninja of course being Ninja Master – read notes – Gordon (even though Cobra is also a ninja), this time also known as the “Red Champion”, despite his jumpsuit being red AND yellow for this specific movie.

The answer is simple: he just wants to bet on Gordon dueling other ninjas, and he wants to rig the odds by tricking other criminals into betting or downright using them… as much as he can via editing, as these criminals come from an otherwise unrelated 1978 thai movie called “Kaa Maa Jaak Meuang Na-Kon”. Gotta love how Cobra at one point even hires one of the main criminals (which are actually ex-soldiers working undercover with the police – and edited in “Gordon” – to take down a gang) to assassinate “Gordon”… but of course he can’t, as Richard Harrison’s footage has not only plot armor, but the advantage of his footage being shot 9 years later than “movie A”.

Which leads to Gordon (pissed off that Cobra used ninjas for his own gains, which i guess it’s against the “Ninja Code” or something) ultimately facing off Cobra in the customary final ninja fight, with the inevitable victory of Richard Harrison, this time without any last second surprise like in Ninja Operation 5, where he was shot in the back by disembodied hands with guns.

This is sadly one of the lesser ones, as “A.A. Creative Unit” clearly didn’t give a shit and never bothered to tie together “movie A” and “movie B” in any clear way, they could have done the same and redubbed the dialogues so that the criminal gangs were actually working with the ninja Cobra and that Gordon was helping the thai police squad, but no, instead they used gambling ties and literally phoned in scenes, very sloppy even for the “Godfrey Ho standards”, they never even tried here, you can tell. At least the obvious editing of the Ho footage with the stock footage from “Movie A” is not that terrible, as in at least the lighting matches better than in other one of this ilk.

And to be honest, the thai movie they chose is confusing in itself to follow, as i often forgot who’s who and what the fuck are they doing, as we’re never properly introduced to the characters (and them wearing similar clothes and having very similar haircuts doesn’t help), and it’s hard to care, as we have a frankly bad thai crime thriller about friends that come back from the war and end up working for criminal gangs, a bad and boring crime thriller, fairly uninteresting and dull even in the more graphics scenes (including a murder and an implied rape), as it hard to keep a track on what’s happening exactly, or care to follow the plot, which makes some sense only at the end, when out of nowhere we get the explanation- reminder of the main guys being in cohoots with the police and armed to blow up the criminals with… bombs shaped like wristwatches, strap-less wristwatches.

Senseless plots that are hard to actually follows aren’t anything new for these Godfrey Ho or Lai cut-n-paste ninja hackjobs, indeed, but with sub par action, plenty of filler, stupid scenes and laughable fist fights, here you kinda wish you could skip to the original footage of ninja fights, far more entertaining than what happens in “Movie A”. All the evil ninja adversaries get ridiculous names like “White Dolphin” or “Green Snake” (all dressed in black ninja jumpsuit anyway), Gordon using the ninjutsu of vanishing after a backflip via editing, using even a silver painted magic ninja boomerang, and bringing out a feathered spear to fight the evil Cobra, who brandishes a red wicker shield and sword combo, like in Ninja Operation 3: Licensed To Terminate.

I don’t exactly hate or found it SO boring it’s worth skipping, but unless you’re binging on cut-n-paste 80’s ninja flicks (for whatever masochistic reasons) or you’re a battle hardened ninja cinema buff ready to see everything this style of z-grade cinemas from the 80s…. just watching an edited compilation of the ninja fights from this movie would be preferable and more fun.

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