I owed you a new ninja review, a brand new one, and since we talked about a Rey Malonzo movie being repurposed for The Ninja Squad, might as well continue the streak, with the fairly elusive Ninja Death Squad.
Elusive as it’s way easier to find under the title used for marketing it in various european territories, Ninja Warriors From Beyond, and it has been preserved thank to various VHS rip , one even by The Wu Tang Collection, so you can easily see it for free on Youtube if you so desire.
Honestly, i wish this actually got a DVD release, as pretty much all the VHS rips are incredibly saturated, to the point you can barely see the shape of the title in the title screen, and the white credits just blend into the white oversatured background, making them plain unreadable.
Not that the credits are quite correct to begin with, but that’s just an extra touch of trash, alongside the subtitles in foreign language (polish this time), a classic of borderline bootleg genre cinema. XD
The fortunate/unfortunate “Film A” of today is the 1983 filipino movie “Maestro Bandido”, one who declares it loud and clear – and i quote the IMDB entry – “THIS AN ACTION-DRAMA FILM”.
I have no reason to believe it wasn’t gonna be, but clarity is key, after all.
Seriously, there’s no proper synopsis i can find for Maestro Bandido, so once again i will have to assume from the redubbed stock footage, and i think it’s about a guy that has been wronged by a mob leader’s relative and him getting revenge likely for being framed (maybe by the titular “Maestro Bandido”, as in the mob boss), but basically it turns into a knock off of Rambo I and II, which is kinda to be expected at this point, and not too surprising anyway.
I’m really not sure what exactly was the plot in the original movie, to be frank, but at least this time it has closure, with the maing getting revenge by killing the mob criminal, and the “Film A” isn’t good, or even decent, but it could be worse, it’s utterly forgettable actionxploitation crap, but it’s entertaining enough to not be totally dull and boring, could be worse.
The main bulk of “film B”’s plot is about a group of ninjas specialized in high ranking military assassinations known as Black Ninjas (profiling much?) and a special agent being sent alone to their base to get rid of them all.
The special agent being a good ninja (wearing white ninja attire this time around) played by the one of the other recurring caucasian actors in Ho films, Danny Raisebeck (credited as Joff Houston, as he often was), also in Ninja Of The Magnificence, Thunder Of The Gigantic Serpent and Empire Of The Spiritual Ninja, and a handful of other ninjaexploitation films by IDF Film and Arts or… the other name they used after a certain point, Filmark International.
While the filipino “Film A” is kinda weak but serviceable enough for this level of trash, the new ninja footage it’s quite fun and full of ludicrous weird shit, like the “remote bomb-in- flower political assassination scene”, where a ninja swaps a flower bouquet for a vying political figure, and the fake one it’s not just one dowsed in poison, it’s a fuckin remote bomb. XD
Other ninja tricks seen here include the “long sash band-fighting rope” (which look like “mummy magic” but are actually old cliches from japanese and chinese action fantasy movies), the “hand sucking vortex” abiluty used to attract a ninja foe like Kirby trying to eat an enemy, absurdly elaborate ninja traps, or spraying foam-fog from the hands to whish away snakes.
Snakes which have been previously summoned by playing a microphone like a fuckin flute, obviously.
It’s a cornucopia of cheap ass ninja tricks on a uber low budget, there’s even them doing the “clone jutsu”… by having two actors in an identically colored ninja jumpsuit. XD
Clearly most of the fx budgets was spent on the hilariously bad effects for when the main good ninja becomes invisible, or when he and the editor splice together weirdly some frames to simulate the character slipping out of a “pocket dimension” or swapping places with his opponent, they’re so fuckin bad to be downright funny and make the movie way more entertaining.
This one has a lot of ninja footage, mostly fun bullshit like the “army ninjas training routine” and the goofy ass “invisible” slapstick bullshit, and i’m quite happy for it.
The final fight it’s amazing nonsense, with the bad ninja boss (this time dressing in violet, i guess to stand out from his black robed henchmen) using a bladed umbrella to fight, the good guy out of nowhere summoning an earthquake with the power of shaking the camera, followed by using an illusion to confuse him and finishing the bad guy with a sword in his torax, then leasurely walking off and immediatly the “red screen of END” found as closure for many Ho ninja flicks.
This time they “forgot” the headbands with “Ninja” and “Nin Ja” but i’m fairly sure it’s actually due to having more people on screen as ninjas and Ho not having more than 3 ninja headbands at best.
Would it really be that farfetched a situation? I don’t think so, but anyway while not being one of the “best” ninja flick from this company, overall Ninja Death Squad/Ninja Warriors From Beyond it’s a decent trashy time for the connosseiur of ninjaxploitation and a taste for the Godfrey Ho flavor.
Not one of the more entertaining, weird or funny, but not one of the more boring ones either, quite serviceable… for these movies ‘ “standards”, anyway.