I've always loved the cheesy ninja movies produced (primarily by Golan-Globus' Cannon Films) in the 1980s, starring Sho Kosugi and Michael Dudikoff, et al. In fact, I'm a huge fan of the studio's four-film American Ninja series (and yes, I know there's a movie called American Ninja 5, but it's not really part of the series, just some deceptive/dishonest marketing by the distributor) - I truly enjoy the complete absurdities of the comic book plots, the clumsy choreography and the low-tech cheapness of the productions. In fact, my only complaint is that there weren't more of them.
Hell, I'm kinda embarrassed to admit it, but when I was in art school, I bought some shuriken throwing stars and ninja "tabi" boots from ads in the back of a karate magazine. If I'd had the money, I'm sure I would have bought a whole ninja outfit, too.
Well, coming out on DVD in a couple of weeks is Ninja, starring British martial artist Scott Adkins as a "white ninja" battling an evil counterpart. From the trailer it looks like a near-perfect updating of the Cannon Films good ninja vs evil ninja formula - photography's a little slicker, CGI blood instead of ketchup, more wire-fu - but otherwise, pure, old school drive-in chop socky.
I expect to get a copy for review soon, and will definitely cover it for DVD Late Show. I'm actually eager to see it. I've been thinking for a long time that ninjas were due for a pop culture comeback. Will Ninja measure up to the sheer brainless pleasures of 1983's Revenge of the Ninja? We'll see....