29 August 2011

Ninja Vengeance

United States – 1988
Director/Writer/Producer – Karl Armstrong
Columbia Tristar Home Video – 1993
Run Time – 1 hour, 27 minutes

A young man passing through a small Southern town accidentally finds himself at the wrong end of the law. He was just looking for the worldly knowledge and experience that his ninja master (Stephen K. Hayes) babbles incoherently about in numerous homoerotic flashbacks, but cest la vie.

Instead, what he finds is a wealth of white guilt from which he must absolve both himself, and white audience members. A Black kid is killed by racist cops/Klan members who realize that a drifter is the perfect scapegoat. Fortunately our Magnificent Singular Amigo Samurai just happens to have brought his Ninja motorcycle and ninja instructional manuals along for the big fight.

Despite all onscreen visual evidence he does indeed transform into the titular Ninja and take vengeance. However as I mentioned before, the purpose for this is not to bring racist murderers to justice, but to absolve himself of guilt! I presume the yin-yang is used here as a metaphor for separate but equal. For shame!

Watch Ninja Vengeance right now, streaming at NitFlex!

Also read this article on "combat reality training" by Ninja Vengeance co-star and real life ninja Stephen K. Hayes in this spring 1986 special issue of Ninja Magazine

That's Hayes on the right.


Kev D. said...

The '80s Ninja movies really have to be scene to be believed.

Anything Sho Kosugi is usually the cream of the crop... or crap. Whichever.

the-scandyfactory said...

GOD do I miss the days of Ninja magazines at every corner grocery store. In high school, one of my classmates was obsessed with Kosugi and one day after gym class, he cut a hole in one of his black socks for his four fingers to fit through and then a hole for his thumb. He wore that sock to school for a week. His name was Mark, he never did his homework, and he cried a lot.