Action Movie Fanatix Review: Revenge of the Ninja

Revenge of the Ninja banner

400 Years Of Training In The Art Of Sudden Death…

Unleashed On 20th Century America.

Starring: Sho Kosugi, Keith Vitali, Virgil Frye, Kane Kosugi, Arthur Roberts, Professor Toru Tanaka

Director: Sam Firstenberg

1983  |  90 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Only a ninja can stop a ninja.” – Cho Osaki

So, I realized as I started to watch Revenge of the Ninja that, I don’t think I had ever seen a Sho Kosugi movie in my life.  Crazy, I know.  I have heard some pretty amazing things but never got around to watching one of his movies.  And when I saw the names Golan and Globus in the opening credits I knew I was in for a treat!

Attempting to escape his bloody past, Cho Osaki (Sho Kosugi), a former ninja assassin, leaves Japan and moves to Los Angeles, where he’s befriended by a shady businessman.

I found the opening scene to be really funny.  I know I shouldn’t laugh about a family getting slaughtered by ninjas but I did.  I sorta felt bad when I laughed at the little kid getting the shuriken in the forehead.  There is something funny about these “shadow warriors” standing in a big group, in plain view wearing bright red head bands and belts.

And then this whole bloody opening scene is followed up by Sho’s young son kicking a bunch of bullies’ butts.  This kid actually has some skills but it is still funny to watch little kid martial arts choreography.  This isn’t the last we see of young Kane Kosugi either.  He is a big part of the movie and holds his own in a few fights with adults.  Color me impressed.

The rest of the choreography is very good too.  I have become too accustomed to seeing bad choreography from any martial arts movie prior to the modern choreography phase.  Revenge of the Ninja will definitely make me rethink that position.  The final fight is a great ninja vs. ninja showdown.  The ninjas use all kinds of ninja tricks and weapons to try to defeat each other.

All the action is brutal, bloody stuff.  I already talked about the shurikened foreheads but there is also the guy that gets a face full of ninja jacks and stabbings that result in blood spraying from a dude’s gut like it was shot from a fire hose.  Is it a little over the top and ridiculous?  Uh, yeah!  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Revenge of the Ninja is a TON of fun.  Crazy bloody violent ninja fights galore.  What more could you want?  The answer is nothing.  Nothing more could you want.

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