Ninja Month: Ninja Wars
Opening Statements and already
the first shots are fired.
The internet. It's a place of vast knowledge and vast terror. It's also a place where ninjas are glamourized in the 'quadrangle of friggin sweet.' The other three facets of this quadrangle are of course, robots, pirates, and zombies. Those three are for different months because August is Ninja Month here at Sevenhertz.net. We all know that ninjas have many positive aspects to them. They perform their duty of cutting things, preferably living, into many smaller things, preferably dead. They run up walls, they swing from trees, they laugh, they love and they kill. However, this does not make ninjas without their faults. In fact, many things involving ninjas are downright horrible and that's what we'll be talking about today.
On today's plate is a film. One of those bad martial arts films from the past, but without the excuse of being from the seventies. This particular film, made in 1984 starts out with a man running towards the audience. Why is he running? Who knows. Perhaps he forgot he had an appointment. Perhaps he left the stove on at his home. Another possibilty, which I tend to believe is true is that he's late for this very movie himself, because as soon as he jumps into the screen like a man of action the title washes across the audience's eyes with a J that quite frankly looks like a T.
'So what's the title?' you might be saying to yourself. The title is NINJA WARS! I know, I know, with a name like that and an opening sequence that screams action you're probably preparing for a lifetime of excitement just vicariously experiencing this film through me. Prepare wisely though. Prepare wisely for some serious disappointment. This is amongst some of the worst ninja movies I've ever had the displeasure of witnessing. Found deep in the bargain DVD bin at the WAL*MART superstore, in a three disc set that promises OVER 14 HOURS of martial arts fun this movie waits in ambush on the thiid disc. The back of the box lists its synopsis as such:
Ninja Wars: Rival clan leaders scheme to win the love of a beautiful woman and rule the world. A brave young hero(Hiroyuuki Sanada) and a master sowrdsman (Sonny Chiba) join forces to save her from a horrible fate.
And that's the entire plot synopsis. The third-disc movies really got the shaft on these things, where the first two discs get paragraph long introductions. Not that it actually matters, because if the plot was entirely or even somewhat accurately described on the back of the box then no one, not even Sonny Chiba himself, would ever watch this film.
Leaving off with our actiony friend leaping us into the movie, we find ourselves in the land of Japan, watching a really lame fight between two armies that lasts for about five seconds. Five seconds full of smoke-caps exploding off people's chests, swords slashing into people and causing not even fake blood, and a bunch of horses moving frm left to right and then back as if directed by some incompetent animal trainer. After these five seconds are up, without warning we are in the place of lord Miyoshi. He has just took a bride and need to have a tea ceremony to cement this relationship. The tea ceremony's kettle is the famous black spider kettle provided by lord Donjo. I will for the rest of this review/diatribe call him lord DONG. Why? He looks like a dong, and he acts like a dong, and his name is Donjo. If this movie thinks it can get away with Js that look like Ts then I can get away with JOs that look like Gs. His bride is a pretty little number by the name of Ukyodayu. She's that beautiful woman that the above synopsis referred to. It would seem, as she's getting married, that someone's already got claims to her love, or at least rental rights to it. This doesn't stop a crazy old laughing man from appearing and talking in the worst voice I've ever heard recorded to audio with the exception of Rita Cosby. His name is Kashin Koji, heretofore referred to as 'Evil annoying voice guy'. We know he appears because the leader of the Yagyu clan, Shinzaemon(Sonny Chiba), throws like an ice-cream sandwich wrapper or something at the ground and then slashes open a perfectly good closet. Perhaps evil annoying voice guy has a secret or two to hide. In that closet. You know the one I'm talking about.
Well, evil annoying voice guy just stopped by to deliver a message to lord DONG that whoever wins the heart of Ukyodayu will rule the world. This causes Shinzaemon to take umbrage and he's going to kill the wizard/devil/evil annoying voice guy, but lord DONG wants a little humping action with the princess bride. Shinzaemon walks away all pissed off and Sonny Chiba, and Kashin Koji introduces another villain into the movie. Devil Monk #1: Devil Monk Who Can't see. This monk, who's gimmick is to wear a huge stupid hat that completely obscures his face and throw a sickle around like a boomerang, kills a Ninja. The first ninja we've seen in this damn movie, and it gets killed instantly. Ninjas in this movie aren't up to a very good track record so far. Scene Shifts.
To a happy girl who looks exactly like Ukyodayfu(accomplished by being the same actress of course) running through the forest and cutting down trees with her glowing blue hand. Now. This girl's name will take anyone who's stopped paying attention and started cursing at the screen at least an hour and a half to figure out. Half of this is due to people in the movie pronouncing her name with marbles in her mouth, and another half is due to the fact that it really doesn't matter. If you ever get subjected to this movie, here are some popular names to use whenever she is referenced. The one I'll be using for the rest of the review is in bold.
Micro Machines Highways and Bi-ways Playset
Tigermeanie introduces us to the main character. Jotaro, a ninja. They laugh, and frolic in the fields, jump on each other and dryhump. It's a good day for Tigermeanie and her boyfriend, until the other devil monks arrive. That's right, there are other devil monks. FOUR OTHER DEVIL MONKS TO BE EXACT! Each of them having different powers and no name whatsoever. In order of appearance they are: Asian Cheech Marin with Afro, Ugly Bald Guy, Uglier Bald Guy, and Whitest Japanese guy ever. Jotaro urges his girlfriend Tigermeanie to run away and he'll fight them off. She does, but he sucks at fighting. Almost instantly, within five seconds Asian Cheech Marin with Afro vomits foam insulation onto his face, killing him dead.
Or at least dead until ten seconds later when Shizaemon shows up after all the devil monks have fled into the forest after Tigermeanie. Shizaemon doesn't mess around, he slices the foam insulation off Jotaro's face and says, "He must be a ninja. He was only pretending to be dead to deceive his opponents."
Great. Fine. Whatever. He's some great ninja with super skills that actually don't give him any advantage whatsoever. Seriously, pretending to be dead isn't a very effective way of protecting your honeypot when the bears are clawing at your door, so why would it work when you want to protect your newfound dryhump partner? You're one of the worst ninjas ever, Jotaro. For shame. Scene Shfits.
Back in the lair of lord DONG we find out that Tigermeanie has been kidnapped by these devil monks in order to make aphrodisiac. Personally, I think with Asian Cheech Marin with Afro on their side, they could probably just make Afrodisiac and call it a day, but I think these devil monks just wanted an excuse to
rape seduce some moderately hot asian chick. She wakes up as they talk about their plan to rape seduce her, and jumps out the window in disgust. Devil Monk Who Can't see jumps out the window after her, and catches her. So distraught by her predicament, Tigermeanie cuts off her head.
That in no way prevents them from
raping seducing the everloving hell out of her. They put her head on some whore's body who becomes the evil lady Hellfire, and put the whore's head on hers, claiming that even though she has a different head, her tears will still work because she's totally still a virgin. We guarantee it, lord DONG.
rape seduce her. I really like strike tags.
Now that that's done, they need of course to test out this aphrodisiac in what is possibly one of the worst scenes I have ever seen in my life. First of all, their chosen aphrodisiac victim is a poor choice. It's a really fat woman. You don't need potions to get a really fat woman interested in toading your wet sprocket. All you have to do is wrap a delicious slice of bacon around your wang and you're pretty much in like Flynt. By which I mean Our Man Flynt. You could also be In like Flynn, Erol. Either way is acceptable. These guys don't go the bacon route for this woman though, they give her a drink of the green aphrodisiac and let her cast her eyes on Uglier Bald Man. In addition to being ugly and bald, his face is also cratered in ways that modern topography cannot even classify. As such, a topographical map of his face would be made up of several question marks, and perhaps a screaming face. He still could've gone the route of the bacon, but I digress a bit. She undoes her kimono and lets forth the floppiest fat breasts that mankind has ever seen. My sex-drive was killed for exactly three weeks after watching this movie. I made death threats to cake shops, and burned big fat effigies in the wee hours of the morning. Breasts shouldn't be floppy like that. It's just not right. Still, like a gold mining prospector digging in twin tubs of radioactive cottage chese Uglier Bald Man goes at it like a champ. I hope to anything that's holy that the actor got paid double for that. Sure, his face was pockmarked and he got to touch some breasts, but damn! I juggle chickens for a living and I don't write it off as a freebie.
The successful test of the aphrodisiac makes lord DONG pleased. Tigermeanie with other girl's head escapes while everyone is distracted by the fat woman. Jotaro finds her, and she gets killed by the devil monks. So he's enlisted to keep the Black Spider Tea Kettle safe, because it's full of aphrodisiac. Now. I may be no master of rocket science, but his girlfriend gets killed in a lake. Tea kettles can be poured or washed. He could've stopped this whole silly movie right here and right now, but he didn't. Because he wanted to fight evil.
We're thirty minutes in by now... maybe three ninjas, but definitey no wars. The title is deceptive.
He tries to fight the devil monks, and fails, but escapes with a smoke bomb, and is returned to his master. Hattori Hanzo. Hanzo says that he won't have Jotaro screwing it up for the rest of the ninja clan. Jotaro whines a bit about Tigermeanie and runs off to go fight evil or something. By this point I was so mad at the movie for having nothing more than two to five second fight scenes that I began protesting its existence by not paying attention till something cool happened. This movie is just lucky I don't have good willpower or I'd never be able to tell you what happens next!
The Devil monks and Lady Hellfire all say lord DONG should wait a bit because Jotaro will totally try to rescue Ukyodayu from his evil scheme because she looks like and is the twin sister of Tigermeanie, and true love conquers all and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Lord DONG agress with this plan and gives it a big thumbs up and also decides to okay a plan to have monks attack the temple they'll be at during their next tea ceremony with Miyoshi and Ukyodayu. Scene shifts exactly to this. It's a really long scene where nothing happens. There's lots of annoying humming. Lots of Lord DONG staring lustfully at Ukyodayu, and lots of Jotaro climbing around in the shadows. Then it happens. A bunch of monks with torches start running for five minutes, interespersed with the above. They kill two guys in non-bloody drive-by swordings and set the temple on fire. The devil monks try to kidnap Ukyodayu but to no avail. Mostly because they're kinda retarded. Asian Cheech Marin with Afro vomits foam insulation, if you remember. Jotaro descends upon the devil monks and kidnaps Ukyodayu for himself, while Bald Ugly man and Bald Uglier Man shake their fists in consternation. The pair of heroes escape into the fire, and the temple burns to the ground. And that's the end of the movie.
Or at least I wish that was the end of the movie. It just keeps dragging on. Jotaro starts calling Ukyodayu Tigermeanie, because she's Tigermeanie's twin, Devil Monk Who Can't See finds them hiding in a bhudda statue, but decides to leave a note saying 'Oh yeah, I totally know where you are, and even though I kicked your ass every other time we fought for two seconds, I'm going to go get the other devil monks...for like, moral support, you guys stay here okay?' instead of just killing them and getting it over with. They escape, of course, but get caught up with. That's when Bald Ugly Man reveals his hidden power. He's got knuckles that fire nails. Before Jotaro and Ukyodayu get killed deader than your sister's dead friend, a mysterious swordsman appears (spoiler alert: Sonny Chiba) and saves them somehow. We don't actually see him arrive really clearly, or do anything cool, the screen just fills with smoke and then the two are saved.
Ukyodayu goes back to Miyoshi with the tea kettle, and Jotaro decides its time for revenge. And this time......... IT'S PERSONAL!
This is like the seventy five of one-hundred minutes mark. Maybe sixty five. I'd like to point out that we've maybe raised the tally of ninjas in this movie to four only if you count Sonny Chiba, just for the smoke bombs, eight if you only count the devil monks as being ninjas, just because they can kick this lame ninja's ass all the time, nine if you count both of those groups, or three if you don't think any of those other qualifiers mark these people as ninja. I say three myself, and still really not a lot of wars. Some really shitty skirmishes, maybe, but no all out wars.
Jotaro starts with the dude that will help him keep the rest of these jerks from coming back to life. The Whitest Asian Guy Ever. This guy is not asian at all. He is the most anglo-saxon mofo you're ever going to see outside of Chuck Norris in a martial arts flick. And I don't mean that as an internet funny facts kind of compliment. This guy couldn't even Walker-Texas-Ranger himself out of a fight by sidekick-spinkicking to disarm a goon with a gun. This guy is their DEVIL MONK DOCTOR. All he does is heal them when they die.
When Jotaro swings through the trees and picks him up before stabbing him in the heart, I'm sure he probably wished that he was A) cool and B) able to heal himself. He dies. Then the rope swings back past Asian Cheech Marin with Afro Hair with no one on it. Twice. This causes him to leap in a lake for some reason. Jotaro is in the lake. Our Jotaro. In the laziest death ever we see the lake bubble a lot, while yellow scarves are released from underneath the surface. This is of course the foam insulation in his body being drained from him. The scarf nearest the last bit of bubbling before he pops up out of the water is red. That sure is a lot of bright red blood, that's also made of fabric, that Jotaro spilled there. How do we know? Jotaro pops up next to him clutching a knife between his teeth. You do it, Jotaro.
That out of the way, his face is suddenly covered by that large hat that Devil Monk Who Can't See uses. When he wakes up, he's in bed with Tigermeanie. At least he thinks he is, for a moment. But he's not, it's Lady Hellfire. She's got a decent rack I suppose, but it doesn't at all make up for the terror that was unleashed upon my eyes earlier. Too little, too late Ninja Wars. It's also revealed here that Lady Hellfire is in fact DEVIL MONK WHO CAN'T SEE! Which really doesn't make a lick of sense. Because Devil Monk Who Can't See and chick who became lady Hellfire were both separate entities in the same room at the same time. Hey, whatever, it's your script Ei Ogawa, just don't spring any more naked fat chicks on us and I promise not to kill your wife.
The other two remaining devil monks knock down the walls of the building these two lovebirds are in, and capture him, preparing for his beheading. Ukyodayu hears about this and leaves the castle of Miyoshi to try and save Jotaro, because they're in wuvvvvvvvvvvv. While she's gone, Lady Hellfire launches a plan to enter the Miyoshi manner as Ukyodayu because she looks like Ukyodayu. While she's doing that, Ukyodayu sneaks in to DONG's palace because she looks likes Lady Hellfire. The guards at DONG's palace are real geniuses, let me tell you.
Upon attempting to rescue Jotaro from the dungeon, Bald Ugly Guy that launches nails from his knuckles shows up, and they have a fight that I can't even make sense of. Like every other fight in this movie it takes about five seconds, starting with Jotaro trying to sweep-kick his oppoenent. But, agh. I really don't know how the guy died. He got nails in his neck, sure, I'm fine with nails in his neck killing him, but then he stood back up. Jotaro leapt above him, and pulled something out of the back of his neck. Was this his power supply? is DONG employing ROBOT DEVIL MONKS!?!?!?!? I shudder to think. Anyways, with Bald Ugly Guy number one taken care of, it's time to go back to Miyoshi's place. While they're on their way there, check out that suave internet grammar by the way, they encounter Bald Uglier Guy. I honestly don't know what his power is other than being uglier than Bald Ugly Guy. I guess he's super strong, but the fight still takes five seconds, and this was another confusing death. One minute he's holding Jotaro in the back breaker position. And the next he's impaled on a a tree while Jotaro is tumbling down a cliff, and there's a really soft and kinda long screaming sound. Did he fall off a cliff? Did he throw Jotaro up a cliff? What the hell did I just watch here? I DON'T KNOW.
This may very well be the longest EBBC ever, so I'm cutting this short right now. I'm tired of talking about Ninja Wars. You know what happens at the end? Nothing good. Lady Hellfire gets killed twice. Once by Lord Miyoshi, and the second time as Devil Monk Who Can't See which doesn't make any sense because like before she was that Devil Monk, but then she couldn't be, but we never get to see who it really was because this movie is kinda crappy. Jotaro and Shinzaemon WHO WAS TOTALLY THE MYSTERIOUS SWORDSMAN IF YOU SKIPPED OVER THAT SPOILER ALERT UP THERE, EVEN THOUGH IT WASN'T TOTALLY OBVIOUS, hear Evil Annoying Voice Guy's Evil Annoying laugh. Shinzaemon kills DONG. Ninjas finally pop out but don't do anything worthwhile. Jotaro stabs his hand, jumps on Ukyodayu as she burns on a cross, and the movie ends with 'Whoever wins the heart of Ukyodayu will hold the world in his hands.' That's the end of the movie. I guess they could be alive, I guess they could be dead.
I don't really care. If you made it this far, you get the no-prize. You've just vicariously watched Ninja Wars through the eyes of D.Davis. Congratulations.
D.Davis better watch his back, talkin' smack about ninjas. Ninjas don't like smack-talkin' about them. They'll put the assassinate in his ass, you feelin' me?