Ninja Of The Magnificence (1988) [REVIEW] | Monk VS The Ninja Slavers

Also known as American Ninja: The Magnificent, would it really be a 80’s ninja movie from the depths of Godfrey Ho’ “ninja mines” if i didn’t have at least one alternative title? And didn’t have a guy named “Elton Chow” in it?

Yes, this is the 100 % new ninja movie review i promised, and i hope you’re still hungry for Filmark/IFD Film and Arts brand of ninjaxploitation shit, because there’s more, there’s always more.

This one though it’s arguably one of the better known of the bunch, thanks to it being more widely distributed and also happening to be one of the more fun of these “cut-n-paste” cinematic meatloaf servings, as it features Brad Jones’ beloved obscure actor Pierre Kirby, taking the mantle of the ninja protagonist that otherwise was mostly worn by a very reluctant Richard Harrison.

Here Kirby plays the role of Ferris, NOT “Ninja Master Ferris” as he set on getting revenge for his master death, caused by a fellow ninja pupil, Ross (played by another recurring ninja actor from Ho’s roster, Danny Raisebeck), whom managed to amass a small ninja army loyal to him.

MEANWHILE, in the lifted footage from 1986’s korean action movie Arahan, we have another pupil named Lee, set on its own revenge quest against Old Fox and Lord Kong, a ruthless slaver that exploites people and force them to work on his gold mines.

These two villains were totally also involved in the assassination of the ninja master, with Lee being another pupil of his and hence also in search of good ol’ retribution, but also brave and willing to help other people that were enslaved, including an orphan girl.

At least this is how the movie attempts to tenuosly link the two plots via the script and the re-dub, and of course it’s about as believable and seamless as you’d think.

Then again, the cut-n-paste ninja flicks that are better edited often have a very boring or not interesting “base movie” that accounts as the noticeably bigger chunk of the final product, but this time we (including Ho and co.) got lucky, as the korean movie in question it’s an old timey martial arts flick that already has some kind of ninjas in it.

And a clay pottery sub plot that maybe made sense in the context of the original korean movie, not really here. At all. But god knows these cinematic homunculi had to reuse almost the entire stock footage from the movies they cannibalized to get the runtime close to 90 minutes as possible.

Still, i would wager that the “get one free with purchase of” dealio they got saved the company 50 bucks, enough to make at least 5 more of these.

It wouldn’t be one of these if there weren’t some goofs on top of the ridiculous nature of the movie itself, and here in some scenes they forgot that the “Nin Ja” bandannas are for the evil ninjas, as the main villain Ross can be seen wearing the “Ninja” bandana meant for the good guys all through the movie, while his henchmen did remember to put the appropriate headband. XD

Well, that’s also part of the charm, an appropriate cherry on top if you will.

Godfrey Ho (credited here as Charles Lee XD) directed it, and aside from the aforementioned “double pack ninja value” with the choice of movie to rip stock footage from… well, actually, thanks to that and more ninja inserts Ninja Of The Magnificence it’s one of the more entertaining “ninja spliced” movies of the lot, as the final product it’s mostly a constant sequence of fights and action-adventure scenes (including a mine cart sequence and the monk warrior protagonist shooting 10 arrows together from a bow and actually hitting the ninjas), passing from the martial arts with hilariously bad english dub (dear christ, the voice they gave to the little orphan girl!) to the cheesy caucasian ninja tricks and cheesy as hell lines with fitting delivery.

And even in that regard there’s more than usual footage, with Pierre Kirby’s character using swords, tonfas, ropes, and the two main ninjas do actually fight more than once, not just for the final showdown that concludes the film, as it’s commonplace for these trashy ninja movies to hold off the best garbage until the abrupt resolution.

My main gripe is that a not-that- small part of the old korean movie it’s so badly preserved, like 10-20 minutes of it are so oversatured by a dark blue tone or it’s simply too dark that becomes nearly impossible to properly see what’s actually going on in the scene.

Still, the stitching of a cheesy but overall decent and quite entertaining martial arts flick with the “Pierry Kirby & co” footage makes this one of the best of the many ninjaxploitation flicks made with this level of cheapassery by IDF and all those involved with the low budget “ninja factory”.

Dumb as hell, stupid brainless ninja trash fun for the cultured garbage divers, Ninja The Magnificence does indeed live up to its title, garnering his place alongside the other Ho ninja classics, even if lacks insane memorable shit like the Garfield phone calls. NINJA!!

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