Enter The Ninja
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The absorbing martial arts film that exposes Ninjutsu, the lethal, little-known "Art of Invisibility"... which includes the use of hypnotism, explosives and super-human fighting skills.
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Not long after I saw that film, I found out it was, in fact, the middle of a trilogy. Both the first and third films remained hard to find for years, but MGM finally released a MOD DVD a few years ago, which at least gives fans like me, who lost their VCR's years ago, a chance to see it.
The DVD is nothing spectacular; the picture quality is better than watching a VHS but incomparable to a remastered disc the film deserves. There are no extras and the chapter stops are at regular ten minute intervals.
As for the film, "Enter the Ninja" is something of a disappointment because it's nowhere near the low-rent awesomeness of its own sequel. Kosugi is regulated to a subordinate bad guy role and, although I love Franco Nero, he just doesn't fit the bill in this case. The film is long in the tooth and features way too much plot, but the film does deliver a decent amount of butt-kicking and several cheesy moments that will get giggles of joy from bad movie fans. The last half is far more interesting than the first; the action scenes are competently done, though it's obvious Golan was not the action director Firstenberg was.
While not a must-see, I could see picking this up cheaply for a night of low budget, low expectation thrills. This is the sort of movie that would've done well on Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater or a similar gimmick show.
I am holding out hope that Shout Factory sales on Ninja 3 will be able to justify rolling out the remaining Kosugi films in Blu-Ray with additional content much like several of the 80's slasher films that have been released thus far.
American Ninja / Rage of Honor / Revenge of the Ninja (Three-Pack)