ENTER THE NINJA
CANNON FILMS / CITY FILMS 1981
TREVOR THE CHARACTERS COLE LOCKE: FRANCO NERO
[with someone else’s voice] Wounded Angolan mercenary who chooses to become a gaijin
ninja and fight injustice. Wears some funky late 70’s and early 80’s gear including pants so tight, you could tell his religion. Uses his ninja pole of justice to do justice to his best friend's pretty wife. Does not appear to care that his white ninja gi
gives him bugger all camouflage in the jungle.MASTER KIMORI: DALE ISHIMOTO
~ Ninja sensei to Cole and others who is decapitated but still manages to make the gajin
a fully fledged ninja assassin. Badly dubbed ~ sounds remarkably like the Cookie Monster with a very bad cold and a strep throat.FRANK LANDERS: ALEX COURTNEY
~ AKA Mr Floppy, Mr Droopy. Art Garfunkel lookalike landowner in Manila and Cole’s war buddy. Acts with clenched teeth and a rapidly receding hairline. Has a drinking problem and an erection problem (the latter problem is not because he has no cement for his building projects). Stabbed and drowned in his own pool.MARY-ANN LANDERS: SUSAN GEORGE
~ Frank’s wife who greets Cole at first with a shotgun and then with her everything. Rider of the throbbing ninja pole of death. Says the word ‘bastard’ a lot.CHARLES VENARIUS: CHRISTOPHER GEORGE
~ Wealthy, histrionic, thumb-sucking tycoon with a Busby Berkeley fetish. Does not allow his employees to address him directly and orders those employees to dress in white suits in the heat of Manila. Killed with a-WTF-was-that-weapon and left with a goofy expression on his face.
SIEGFRIED 'THE HOOK' SCHULTZ: ZACHI NOY
~ crippled lackey of Mr Venarius with a handy, cojone seeking stainless steel weapon. Calls people ‘mistah’. Gets the snot slapped out of him every so often and is reduced to a porter by the film’s conclusion.
PARKER: CONSTANTIN DE GOGUEL
~ Mr Venarius’ veddy English assistant who never seems to lose his cool at anything happening, even when getting shot through the hand with an arrow and killed by his boss. After this, his very dry sense of humor dries up completely.HASEGAWA: SHO KOSUGI
~ Very, very p**sed off ninja who has lost much face and many underpants. He first spills his table mate's sake
and then attempts to spill his guts. Ninja’d with a vengeance.DOLLARS: WILL HARE
~ Store-owner in Manila, purveyor of fine Christian artifacts and just as fine pornographic pictures. LESSONS LEARNED
Always decapitate your ninja sensei
and your fellow ninja brothers when your ninja training course is complete.
Polo matches in the Philippines have running commentary.
Ninjas are always introduced by goofy music.
Ninjas can doggie-paddle.
Flying arrows make laser sounds.
Never, never tell a ninja to wait or to listen.
Always unsheathe your ninja-do
before jumping into a river off a cliff.
When a boss kills his assistant, the result of that is termed “a position has become vacant”.
Never leave a ninja sitting unattended in a parked car.
Women who threaten you with a shotgun can be introduced to another kind of cockable weapon entirely.Metsubushi
can explode of their own accord.
Never leave your ninja snuff movies threaded through the projector.
There is such a thing as a voice transplant: just ask Franco Nero.
Never work for a firm where you have to wear white suits daily and cannot address the boss directly.
Playing hide-the-sausage with your best war buddy’s attractive wife is not part of formal ninja training.
Any color will camouflage a ninja.
M-16 assault rifles sound like cowboy pistols when fired.QUOTES:
Cole: “I gave him three seconds. He took five.”
Cole: "Let him speak, Master Kimori."
Venarius: "Oh? And what do you preach?"
Preacher: “My sermon for today is ‘do what the man wants done’.”
Venarius: “You are ninja. A hired assassin. Why don’t you come and work for me? A position has become vacant.”
Parker: :”Pity he wasn’t Japanese. He’d have enjoyed his hara-kiri
Hasegawa: “He is no ninja!”
Frank: "Cole, you old SOB, how the hell are you? I see you've met the wife."
Cole: [carrying an armful of M16's] “Gentlemen, I believe these belong to you.”
Parker: “Interesting outfit. Who’s your tailor?”
Venarius: "MISTER PARKER!"
Cole: "Why is Hasegawa so frustrated?"
Dollars: “Who are you going to kill next, Mr Ninja?”
Venarius: “Ninja! Ninja! Ninja! Ninja! Ninja! Ninjaaaa! Ninja! Ninja! Ninja! Ninja! Ninjaaaa! Ninja! Ninja! Turtle!”STUFF TO WATCH FOR:
1:32: This score was written and performed by untrained musicians banging cigar boxes and dustbin lids.
2:02: I guess the guy who wrote this really was a d*ck, huh?
2:35: Oh dear, honorable ninja get kicked in most honorable pie-hole.....
3:57: Translation: you go that way, I go home.
7:03: Ohh.... ninja break fall with broken head....
8:50: Ha: Master Ninja can doggy-paddle!
10:02: That is how you get ahead of the situation.
11:00: Franco’s inner thoughts: “Stronzo
. First Force 10 From Navarone
and now this!”
13:30: Alas, poor Trevor, I knew him, Horatio….
13:35: He forgot the tenth level of power: “Sh*t. Like the script of this film. Tear to pieces and kill agent.”
14:00: .....is a piece of crap written on crap paper......
15:10: Ninja angry. Very angry. Spill sake
. Get up from table. Punch director in groin. Leave set.
15:33: He's frustrated because he's in a terrible Cannon film, that's why.
17:40: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST SUSAN GEORGE!
22:00: Now that is diversification in business.
28:26: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST ZACHI NOY'S DRINK!
33:48: RANDOM ACT OF VERY PAINFUL TESTICULAR VIOLENCE!
34:02: Oww....first this pain in my balls and now a headache too!
39:29: Who exactly is she calling a bastard now?
50:51: Aah! Ninja about to get stabby!
1:03:10: Ninja snuff movie ~ why is it in sepia, though?
1:13:29: OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW!
1:13:50: How can he walk with all that stuff on? I would have fallen down twice already.
1:16:02: Errmmmm…… bad idea to leave ninja in car.
1:17:44: I thought that metsubushi
had to be thrown down before they exploded?
1:18:19: Is that Michael Dudikoff? Surely not.*
1:20:02: If Christopher George shouts “Ninja” one more time, I’ll……….
1:22:16: If that isn’t the goofiest expression on a dead man’s face ever, I don’t know.
1:29: 03:She wants him to come back so that she can ride most honorable ninja pole, I suppose.
1:30:02: Who or what is he winking at and why?
Final thoughts: 1. The trailers for Watch Out We’re Mad
, The Streetfighter
were on the VHS I watched: they were all better than this film.
2. The VHS sleeve says “approximately 94 minutes” so the person that wrote this couldn’t make it through the film either?
* It was Michael Dudikoff.THE PLOT:
After almost dying in a very strange looking Angola, Cole Locke, a mercenary, travels to Japan to train as a ninja, learning the nine levels of power of ninjitsu
but forgetting the tenth, which is not to accept roles in s**tty films like this one. After attaining ninja status by supposedly killing half his fellow trainees [his sensei
included] and p**sing off the resident ninja Hasegawa, Cole then moves on to Manila to visit his war buddy Frank Landers and to get ninja stabby with his attractive, shotgun wielding wife Mary-Ann. Among his many problems such as alcohol abuse and over excessive masturbation, Frank has another problem and that is that the would-be Busby Berkeley of Manila, Charles Venarius, wants to buy his oil rich land, but Frank refuses to sell, leading Cole to fight Mr Floppy's battles for him against the likes of Siegfried “The Hook” Schultz, whose favorite pastime is to stab unlucky people in the groin with his hook, until Cole hangs him up in the bar to dry out. Literally.
Geez: the trailers on this VHS were better than this film!
After knocking the crap out of the businessman’s goons several times and upsetting “The Hook”, Cole decides to start finding out why Venarius wants Frank’s lands so badly. After breaking into the businessman’s building and dispatching Venarius’ guards, Cole discovers to his horror that not only does Venarius want to drill for oil on Frank’s land, he also leaves his ninja snuff movies threaded through the projector for all to see. The break-in alerts Venarius to the existence of Frank’s mysterious friend, whom, he learns is a ninja assassin, trained in the best traditions by Senseis Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Kurt Thomas and that guy from South Africa with the miracle underpants.
Venarius engages the services of Hasegawa who is apparently still very p-o’d at having his butt kicked by a gaijin
ninja trainee, so he lets loose with a blood spree at Frank’s estate, killing Mr Droopy and kidnapping his wife, while sending Frank’s workers screaming into the night when he burns their huts down with blood, fire and s**tty acting. Cole then prepares to avenge his dead droopy buddy by toasting his fingers in front of a fire ~ yum ~ and launching an attack on Venarius’ building, scaring the crap out of his ‘living mobile’ and killing several security guards. Parker appears ~ veddy calm and veddy English ~ takes Cole to his boss, in what appears to be a cock-fighting arena. After killing his guards in the car and most of Venarius’ goons, the revengeful ninja kills the boss with something that he threw in Venarius’ general direction, causing the boss to die with a shrug and a goofy expression on his face. I think that was a ninja star that was thrown but I couldn’t be sure.
It is then time for white ninja to take on black ninja ~ black ninja honorable enough to let pretty gaijin
lady go free and stupid enough to get ass kicked by white ninja, who considers chopping off black ninja’s head a honorable end. Ninja then say goodbye to pretty gaijin
lady who is desperate for ninja to return so that she can ride most honorable ninja pole of death again. Trevor not desperate for that, Trevor in agony, waiting for film to end. AAARRRRGGGHHHHHH!! Why ninja wink at me?
Menahem Golan’s Enter The Ninja
is right up there, next to Robert Clouse’s Enter The Dragon
………but only because I’m very anal about my films and books and they have to be in title order. So they are, by default, next to each other on the shelf, one classic, one film that acts like a laxative. I can’t say anything good about Golan and what he and his cousin Yoram Globus did to the film industry in South Africa in the 1980’s after discovering lucrative loopholes in our tax laws, so I will put that aside and concentrate on the entertaining mess that is Enter The Ninja.
This film was supposed to have sparked off the short-lived ninja craze in the USA and also the American Ninja
series of films (four of which were made in South Africa and two which were directed by a friend of mine) and while it is a truly bad film with all the martial arts stereotypes, it is no less entertaining in its’ well worn tale of a ninja who visits friends and ends up defending their honor and beating the seven colors of sh*t out of those who threaten them and their existence.
Someone ~ Golan perhaps ~ decided that Franco Nero’s voice wasn’t good enough and had him dubbed. His acting as the revengeful mercenary is good (mostly with his expressive eyes) and he doesn’t suck in the fight scenes either, although there are a few scenes where he has been doubled, most likely by Mike Stone. Christopher George turns in a real campy performance as Charles Venarius, the tycoon who, while making billion dollar deals from his Manila penthouse, longs to be a theater director with his swimming pool of ‘living mobiles’. His death scene has to be one of the most emotional, heart-wrenching and laughable ones in living memory. Alex Courtney and Susan George as Cole’s friends are good but good actors can’t do much with a script which requires them to act using their clenched teeth, fast receding hair and being pretty background filler, cocking a shot gun (but never using the thing) and screaming the word “Bastard!” a lot. In fact, too many times.
I enjoyed this film but it was agony to sit through, believe me. Cannon Films made some entertaining rubbish in their day but I cannot forget what they did to our film industry.