Ninja Terminator (1985)


Richard Harrison (Ninja Dragon)
Jang Lee Hwang  (Emperor of The Underworld)
Maria Francesca (Fireback)
Phillip Ko (Techno Warriors)

If anybody has sat down to watch a decent Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee film and thought to themselves ‘Hold on, you know what would make this better? Really bad ninja fighting that has little to do with the actual story, a story that makes absolutely no sense, and some of the most random quirkiness ever witnessed on screen, that’d make a great film!’ Then Ninja Terminator may be the film for them. However, if they added to that ‘Also, I’d like to see a love scene set to Pink Floyd’s Echoes, twice, and perhaps a guy in a blonde wig for no reason at all’. Then Ninja Terminator IS for them.91i+JQz9rNL__SL1500_Ninja Terminator takes the whole ‘so bad it’s good’ movie ethos to stratospheric levels, even beyond movies like Troll 2. What works here is the movie that Godfrey Ho is tacking his usual ninja battles onto is just about as crazy as the ninja battles themselves. I swear, there must be a kung fu fight every five minutes or so, each of them getting increasingly stranger until the penultimate fight on the beach (followed only, of course, by the bizarre ninja showdown). Without going into specifics and spoiling things, I’ll make a vague-ish list of what’s nuts about this film: 1) Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream on the soundtrack. 2)Split second ninja costume changes 3) Weird use of children’s toys 4) Crabs 5) Pawning jackets 6) Random jacket changes 7) Feet that dig sand 8) Dramatic wig removal.91mQLiPZpqL__SL1500_I’ve watched a few of these ninja films so far, and it’s by far the greatest one I’ve seen. By the way, if you like actual good films, just reverse everything I’ve said and take it as a warning.




Mike Norris (Ripper Man)
Billy Drago (The Holls Have Eyes)
Chad McQueen  (The Karate Kid)
Don Swayze (Drop Zone)
Elizabeth Sung (Hero)
Isabel Glasser (Forever Young)
Branscombe Richmond (The Scorpion King)

Ex-Green Beret Matt Collins is kidnapped along with his fiancée, Lauren Sadler, by crazed hunter extraordinaire Danton Vachs. Every year he holds a contest where people can purchase the right to hunt down and kill a human being. This time, Collins is to be the hunted. Vachs uses Lauren as motivation for Collins to really fight to survive and thus provide the buyers with a truly exceptional hunt. Collins is turned loose on an uncharted island and four killers set out to find and kill him.91i+JQz9rNL__SL1500_It’s hard to believe that everybody headlined in this movie is a relative of a far more famous actor. (Exceping Billy Drago) That being said Death Ring is a competent Most Dangerous Game rip off, with some decent action sequences, some moderate suspense and far better acting then what you would expect. However the most entertaining thing about this feature is Billy Drago who gives a performance so cheesy, that he overall steals the show.



Gary Daniels (The Expendables)
Bryan Genesse (The Alternate)
Barbara Crampton (You’re Next

The script for “Cold Harvest” is anything but inspired. We’ve seen the post-holocaust setting many times before, we’ve seen the same kind of creeps this movie has in other movies, and the dialogue is unexceptional. (And what does that title mean? It’s never explained.) Other faults the movie has includes Gary Daniels. In this movie and in others of his I’ve seen, he simply can’t act.lethalninja924Still, there is still some pleasure to be found in the movie. Although this was clearly a very low budget movie, it’s clear that the production team squeezed every penny out of their limited funds. The photography and lighting is very good. The movie does go by at a fairly brisk pace. And Bryan Genesse and Tony Caprari make amusing and colorful villains. But what’s really good are the action sequences. I’ve seen other movies directed by Isaac Florentine, and I can tell you that he sure knows how to make exciting action sequences, including the ones in this movie. If you’re a B movie fan, you’ll probably find enough good stuff in this movie to make it worth your time.


Lethal Ninja (1992)


Ross Kettle (The Diamond Hunters)
Norman Coombes (Gold)
David Webb (Superman Returns)
Kimberleigh Stark (Cyborg Cop)
Frank Notaro (Ali)

This film would have been more at home in the 1980s. Unfortunately, this movie is not as entertaining as the many ninja inspired Cannon productions of the 80’s. Yet it’s clearly been influenced by the popular American Ninja series, complete with a hero called Joe(Kettle), and a Steve James knock off in Pete(Webb).  Neither Webb nor Kettle appear to have any genuine Martial Arts skills. A huge problem, especially when you are making a Martial Arts movie. The pair may have had some basic training or lessons in preparation for the film?. They did have Martial Arts advisors on the set, which Ill talk more about later-on. The creepy Kray(Norman Coombes) and his fellow oddball, Omar(Frank Nataro) have a small band of ninjas. The pair are trying to make millions in cash, while wiping out the local population. Lucky for the world and our heroes, the odd couple’s ninja are really- inept.lethalninja923The movie opens with scientist Dominque Ford(Kathryn Hill), performing some tests on a lake. Which just happens to be a major water source for most of Africa. It’s turning red and smoke is emitting from it, which can’t be good. Within minutes Kray arrives in a helicopter with two bodyguards. His ninja then proceed to slaughter all the workers. Not sure how so many people fit into one small helicopter?. We are treated to some really-bad exaggerated sound effects during all the movies fight scenes. When the masked assassins move in on Dominque, there’s a big woosh sound whenever one of them comes into shot. This production leans more towards the Godfrey Ho IFD/Filmark ninja flicks, than the Cannon ones. For some fans this will be a plus, the only downside being, we don’t get the energetic Hong Kong fight choreography.lethalninja924When we first see the stories hero, he’s running some meditation class out in the wilderness. It supposed be in America, buts it’s obvious the whole production was shot in Africa. You could get the impression that Joe is the leader of some cult, until a Government man turns up. After hearing of his wife’s kidnapping, he goes to seek out his buddy Pete. Who just happens to be running a kickboxing class. Before you know it, the pair are landing in Africa, and trying to get a large crossbow through customs. Before visiting the local nightclub, like all foreigners do in action movies. There’s also the obligatory bad song and dance number, performed here by Kimberliegh Stark(Terminator Woman, Cyborg Cop). She’s plays the love interest to Frank Nators greasy villain Omar. The song gets cut short, when our deadly duo mix it up with the local bouncers. In another poorly staged scuffle, the pair make easy work of the heavies. The poor camera angles only make the below average choreography worse.lethal-ninja_268998_6316According to the movies final credit sequence, Reo Ruitors(Spanish Rose) was the stunt coordinator. They also had a Ninjitsu expert in the form of Paul Casson. With Mike Laranijiera(American Kickboxer, Kickboxer 5) on set, as their kickboxing expert. Laranijiera is still involved in Kickboxing in South Africa, as a trainer. It might just be his class that actor David Webb is teaching in one scene?. Sadly, the on-screen action, doesn’t live up to the knowledge they had behind the scenes. Both actors appear to be trying, but it’s clear they just don’t have enough experience in the fighting arts to pull to off. Some of the kicks and punches would struggle to leave a dent in polystyrene. Even some of the stunt guy’s reactions are slow and sluggish. In one sequence, which appears to be filmed in an empty water park. Two ninjas close in one of our heroes, atop a waterslide chute. It’s a dangerous looking stunt, and you can see by how the stunt guys move, that their, being understandably very cautious. They should have staged the fight in a more suitable place, especially when you consider their, not exactly the Jackie Chan stunt team. This would have looked less impressive, but would also have saved the fight from looking like its filmed in slow motion. The stunt team were clearly capable, but it looks like they didn’t have much experience of Martial Arts choreography. Lethal Ninja also had another kind of on set, advisor, one which you won’t be able to guess.lethal-ninja_268997_1764During a night raid on Kray’s compound, Joe encounters a different kind of ninja. When the lights come on in a darkened venue, Joe is surrounded by Kray’s assassins. Each ninja is armed with a lethal pair of roller boots. Yes, you read that right a lethal pair of roller boots. Complete with sharp blades and throwing stars sticking out of the sides. Making the roller boots look more like a pen knife with wheels. Things get even stranger, when the ninja perform a nice synchronized routine. Which would look more at home on one of the countless talent shows, that occupy T.V channels these days. This is where the third advisor comes into things. Wendy Van Heerden was hired as the movies skate choreographer/advisor. She stages, what appears to be a nod towards Godfrey Ho Ninja Thunderbolt(1984). Where Wong Tao evades some ninjas on roller boats. Joe looks as baffled as any viewer would, after fending off a few attackers he makes a quick exit.Lethal-Ninja-1992It was unintentionally funny sequences, like the one I mentioned above, that helped me endure this movie. There’s also the Nostradamus theme running through the story. Pre-to the credit there’s a quote of his shown, while an odd soundtracks kicks in. Sadly, whoever’s playing the electronic keyboard, doesn’t have the talents of John Carpenter. The plot is supposed to be similar- to the quote shown at the start. Where the old French physician tells of a man from the west, coming to save people who are enduring a great darkness. Then there’s the quotes featured throughout the movies run time. They even stuck a picture of the man onto the hotel room where Joe and Pete are staying.lethal_ninja_portThis is certainly one of Nu Images weaker productions. Martial Arts fans can avoid this one, unless you get more laughs out of bad movies than actual comedy’s. A lot of the production also appears to have been filmed in a closed theme park/resort?. The dull final fight takes place on top of some old tall industrial mining rig. It says a lot, when the location is more interesting than what’s taking place on screen. With the exception of some of David Webb’s one liners, and his use of a crossbow, with explosive tipped bolts. Not to mention a campy Tango & Cash(1989) inspired torture sequence. There’s no other highlights, unless you count Norman Croobes excellent lesson in scenery chewing. Where he looks like a creepy version of the man from Del Monte, featured in tinned fruit adverts.




Frank Zagarino (Cyborg Cop 3)
Joe Lara (Armstrong)
Elizabeth Giordano (The Rvenger)
Brian O’Shaughnessy (Fraud!)
Todd Jensen (The Cutter)
Ian Yule (Zule Dawn)

hqdefaultDirect to DVD action man Frank Zagarino headlines as the leader of an elite special forces group who’s sent in to tackle a far right militia type faction led by bad guy Joe Lara. Trouble is Lara turns out to be a decidedly slippery bastard and manages to escape and later seizes control of a secret military base complete with a number of nuclear missiles……yep, ransom demands are predictably very much on the cards here. Although one quite understandably may scoff at this admittedly cliché ridden effort on paper, a number of very well executed sequences lift this way above the average mark, most notably an ambush atop a bridge in which Zagarino’s entire squad are slaughtered in spectacular style.2397937,TfpHoAlyl6FoVNR2ljANu6zfG6xNplQYfKbP39Vm3ZJVJM4S_zuQt7QTLNB5W_F1TbevXhY7Ohm3mpkPMvVOOA==For fellow fans loving daft plot contrivances also, the ending in this will be sure to please……suffice to say a nuclear explosion ostensibly isn’t much to worry about according to the makers of this. To summarise; approach this in the correct frame of mind and it may well surprise you. Certainly, it’s well worth a watch for B-movie fans.


Ninja the Protector (1986)


Richard Harrison (Ninja Dragon)
David Bowles (The Gathering)
Warren Chan (Crackdown Mission))
Morna Lee (Bionic Niunja)

Ninja the Protector (1986)The late-80s/early-90s was the golden era of the action hero: Sly and Arnie were tops at the box office, whilst second-tier stars like Chuck, Dolph, Van Damme and Seagal cleaned up on VHS. Even Speakman and Dudikoff became recognisable names, not just amongst die-hard fans of fight flicks, but with normal folk who arrived too late at the video shop to rent out the newest releases but didn’t want to go home empty handed.Ninja the Protector (1986)Richard Harrison, on the other hand, is a name that will probably only be familiar to those who weren’t afraid to delve into the darkest depths of the dreaded bottom shelf (reserved for only the lowest budgeted Z-grade garbage). Sporting an ultra-macho Selleck-style ‘tache and often seen clad from head to toe in a crap camouflage suit, Harrison was the star of many a Ninja film from legendary director Godfrey Ho, who would cobble his films together with little regard for logic or narrative cohesion.Ninja Protector is a fairly unexceptional example of such a movie: the plot is typically all over the place, the result of Harrison’s Ninja footage having been clumsily spliced together with an old Hong Kong film; ninjas materialise out of nowhere to do battle with each other, resulting in the usual frenetic sword-based martial arts mayhem; and the action is regularly punctuated by soft-core sex scenes featuring a selection of nubile Asian honeys. Those familiar with this type of junk may find it mildly entertaining for the duration, but the film sadly lacks any of the truly bizarre stuff that occasionally qualifies such ninja nonsense as unmissable.


Private Wars (1993)


Steve Railsback (The Stunt Man)
Michael Champion (Total recall)
Stuart Whitman (Superboy)
Michael DeLano (Commando)
James Lew (Big Trouble In Little China)
Holly Floria (Netherworld)
Ken Davitian (Borat)
Scott Leva (Changeling)


Jack Manning (Railsback) is a cop who works the seedy streets of Hollywood. Because he plays by his own rules, he is kicked off the force for insubordination. After eight years, he has hit the skids and has become a raging alcoholic. He’s also a private investigator. When the local ‘hood starts being terrorized by the local hoods, Manning’s old cop buddy Mo (Tullis Jr.) seeks his services. It turns out these aren’t random street assaults, but a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top. The top being the prerequisite evil land developer Winters (Whitman). He’s sending the aforementioned punks to drive out the locals because he wants the property. But can Manning clean up the community – and his own life – before it’s too late? Private Wars is pure PM enjoyability at its finest. It has all the classic PM stuntwork we all know and love – whether the action scene in question has to be there or not. At the flimsiest setup, action ensues. You gotta love it. And the fact that it’s all spearheaded by Steve Railsback makes it all the more interesting. Whether oddly cast as an action hero or not, try to imagine Anthony Perkins as a “I’m gonna clean up this town” – style sheriff who drinks heavily and inexplicably has almost superhuman fighting abilities and you might get the picture.mia-sara-any-man's-death-3Throw in a huge dose of The Annihilators (1985) and you have a comic-booky staple of the Fighting Back (1982)-style “Take the Neighborhood Back!” movie that was so prevalent at the time. And while Ronnie is the love interest with the Christina Applegate-like good looks, special marks must go to Dan Tullis Jr. as Mo. His wonderful performance steals the movie. It should also be noted that Michael Delano and Vince Murdocco are on board as well, which adds to the fun. But the baddies are great too. Especially James Lew as Winters’ bodyguard. But the street punks are so great – they strut around town with their boomboxes against their ear (I guess iPods have eliminated this practice) and listen to NWA-like rap music. It’s important to point out that there is a large dose of humor in Private Wars, as exemplified by the “mercenary casting” scene. You’ll know it when you see it. It’s definitely a highlight of not only this movie, but of the whole PM canon that we’ve seen to date. What’s great is that, whether by accident or design, this movie is so outrageously unrealistic it’s hilarious and a genuine treat to watch.goldenninjawarrior1Private Wars deserves better recognition. It’s entertaining, funny, and a good time will be had by all who see it.