Enter the Ninja
United States - 1981
Director - Menahem Golan
MGM/UA, 1991, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 41 minutes
I've referred to this film in several prior posts about Sho Kosugi films, 9 Deaths of The Ninja and Pray for Death. This is the first movie in the classic Sho Kosugi ninja trilogy. I love the international flavor of this film. Director Menahem Golan is an Israeli, half of Golan/Globus and the venerable 80's exploitation powerhouse Cannon Pictures. Star Franco Nero is of course Italian, co-star Kosugi is Japanese, and the film itself was shot on location in the Philippines. If you're feeling brave and want to watch two ninjas fight in a cockfighting ring, you can watch the trailer for Enter the Ninja at Cult Trailers, and the whole movie free on IMDB.
If not entirely believable, which you shouldn't expect anyway, it is pretty fun. As I recall, Nero is called out to the Philippines to help out an old war buddy and some poor campesinos. They are being harassed by the mafia who has discovered oil on the farmers banana plantation. The mafia hires Kosigi I guess because a ninja is more frightening to a bunch of peasants than 50 guys with uzi's?... Yes, uzi's (or something similar), Menahem Golan loves to include high volumes of automatic weapons fire in all his movies. It makes them more, more...shooty.
A UK VHS insert from the awesome Cannon Films.org
The full poster from impawards.com