• Revenge Of The Ninja




    Released by: MGM
    Released on: 7/15/2003
    Director: Sam Firstenberg
    Cast: Sho Kosugi, Mario Gallo, Keith Vitali, Virgil Frye, Kane Kosugi
    Year: 1983
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    The Movie:

    Eighties action movie fans will remember the Golan-Globus films fondly. It seemed for a while there that there was a new one coming out every month and while they were pretty formulaic, they were always worth a look due to some pretty cool exploitative set pieces and nifty b-level stars.

    Sho Kosugi plays Cho Osaki, an artist living in Japan who returns to his home to find that a gang of evil ninjas has massacred his family. Only his son and his mother survive the attack and at the suggestion of his close friend and art broker, moves them all off to America in hopes of starting a new life and opening a gallery in which he can display his hand made Japanese dolls. Cho, who used to be a ninja, seals up his sword and vows never to use his ninja powers again.

    Things seem to be going pretty smooth once Cho moves to the land of opportunity, that is until he gets involved in a drug smuggling plot that is going on right under his nose. It seems that he has been used as a patsy and that the mafia has been using the dolls that he’s had shipped from Japan to sneak some high-grade heroin into the U.S.A.

    When Cho finds out what’s going on, his son gets kidnapped and his mother is killed, sending him into action. He breaks the seal on his sword once more only to find out that there is another ninja in town and he’s up to no good and just might be behind all of this.

    If you’re a fan of the 80s ninja films that seemed to be coming out faster than you can shake a stick at during this time, then you probably saw Revenge Of The Ninja. If you didn’t, stop what you’re doing right now and go get it. Sho Kosugi is a total bad ass and the man is not afraid to put his ninja powers to the test. This movie is pretty much non stop action with only a few scenes interrupting the fights to add some more or less unnecessary character development to the mix.

    Throw in a cheesy eighties synth-rock score that would make John Carpenter weep and a whole lot of gratuitous bloodshed and even a few gratuitous nude scenes into the mix and you’ve got one fine piece of ninja-slpoitation all wrapped up in a nice neat ninety minute package. Also worth noting, is that MGM has graciously supplied us with the gorier version of the film that played on cable in the 80s and contains a few more seconds of gore, most notably during the opening massacre scene and during the final confrontation at the end of the film.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Revenge Of The Ninja is shown fullframe and it looks like it was shot open matte, as it never really appears to be too cropped. Overall, the picture quality is very nice with strong colors and solid blacks and only some minor instances of grain rearing their ugly heads in a few spots here and there.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack is clean and easily comprehensible. There are a few scenes where you’ll have to adjust your volume on your receiver as the dialogue is a tiny bit muffled, but this is a pretty minor complaint. I would have loved a true 5.1 track on this release as it would have made the fight scenes just that much more fun, but given the limited audience of this release, it’s understandable why that wasn’t done and what is supplied is perfectly acceptable.

    The only extra on the DVD is the films theatrical trailer.

    The Final Word:

    Probably my favorite of the Cannon Ninja films, Revenge of the Ninja is given a pretty decent rebirth on DVD. I would have loved some more supplements, but sadly that didn’t happen.