1984 – Hong Kong
Director – Godfrey Ho
Imperial Entertainment Corp., 1988, VHS
There’s been a lot of the Godfrey Ho movies recently and for that I apologize, mostly to myself, but business is business and it has to get done. This one I picked up because of the promise of Richard “Dick” Harrison, and sure enough there he is in full ninja getup in the credit sequence.
Some multiracial goons hash out a drug deal with some bread that goes sour before being broken up by a gymnastic flipping black narcotics agent Alvin. One of the goons, Lenny is captured and after smoking over the problem agrees to turn in his boss Rudolph for the promise of cash and immunity.
On the other end of the line however is Rudolph an angry and ugly Australian ninja who quickly orders Alvin and Lenny executed ninja style when he catches wind of the deal.
Alvin returns home to suck face with his underage wife on their anniversary, but the ninjas show up and Alvin isn’t able to switch into his ninja outfit quick enough to save her. Dying in his arms choking on her own blood she exhorts him over the course of a long conversation not to seek revenge. When he is taken off the case at work he returns home gets drunk and hallucinates his wife. That’s enough to drive him insane and he packs his ninja gear for HK.
Rudolph is already there meeting with his ugly business partner who’s running the streets with his coarse menacing asian flunky Tiger across an invisible editing vortex.
Dick finally shows up again, a hard nosed cop on the HK vice-squad assigned to catch the Rudolph Mafia. Dangerously rupturing the fabric of time and space, Dicks boss actually holds up a photograph of one of the Asian characters in the film and a stuccato of random fighting pours from the breach.
In a progression of confusing unmaskings it’s hard to keep track of who is who, and who is who’s proxy Asian fighting against who’s proxy Asian in a fluttering morass of ugly white men in sparkly ninja outfits and Asian people dancing in goofy 80’s fashion.
Dick is dismissed from the Rudolph case by his smug tool of a boss, and he and Alvin; restless angry ninja with matching yellow outfits, finally team up to fight their way through Rudolphs henchmen. It takes the destruction of Rudolphs entire drug shipment, this time concealed in watermelons before he agrees over the phone to meet Dick and Alvin at the reservoir in full ninja regalia for some loud, face-to-face grappling.
Actually, this might be one of Godfrey Ho’s more watchable ninja-frankenfilms, Ninja: Silent Assassin manages to skim the fetid cream off the top off of some very spoiled milk.