Ninja Masters of Death Review

I stumbled across this movie the other night (actually I knew about it but only had seen the ending a few times, which we’ll get to) and decided to watch it in order to put myself to sleep. It’s another Godfrey Ho concoctions, this time where he takes the alias of Bruce Lambert. But I describe this movie as a concoction because it uses Godfrey Ho’s technique of cut/paste to create a very disjointed film. In fact, you’re really just watching two different films somehow spliced together with slapped over dialog that makes a futile attempt at unifying the story together. If that doesn’t entice you as some form of mindfuck, you should definitely check this post out.

Unless you have some prior context about what’s actually going on in this film (namely Godfrey Ho’s techniques), you won’t be able to make much sense of anything. On one side of the equation is some Korean war movie about a kid and a soldier who adopts him. On the other side are ninjas. Not just ninjas but white boy ninjas under gold and purple pajamas. Um, yeah. So the real question is how does one try to assemble anything barely logical from this bizarre infusion of two not even diametrically opposed genres? I mean, this isn’t a case where you drop your Space Lego and mix them in with Castle Lego to engender Nexo Knights because He-Man proved you could create such a thing.

Well, in all honesty you don’t. Instead, what happens is this forced attempt to occasional pop in dialog mentioning ninjas and a few of the characters names to remind people the two stories are interconnected, even though neither are visually. The Korean war drama was done in 1974 whereas the ninja portion seems more modern. But what happens is a kid talking something like Anti-Communist Revolutionary talk at a village where he’s caught by an army. From there one of the soldiers ends up becoming a father (or rather uncle as the kid labels him) figure and tries to keep the kid out of trouble. Somehow a civilian woman gets involved and that side of the story gets really muddied if you’re not paying attention to any of the dialog (which is relatively easy because it’s just downright boring).

Then you have these warring ninja clans where the leaders are two white dudes. This part of the story is so low budget looking because they’re out in the middle of some hill just having nonsensical conversations that just lead to badly choreographed fights. It’s like they found some random, unmarked location and started shooting to create some footage that would later get spliced in. These moments flip without rhyme nor reason and with the ninja portions, the hatred increases that leads to the movie’s climax.

Before we get to that part, the Korean war drama section finally (and randomly) drops in the idea of how Jimmy is tied to the ninjas. Now, Jimmy (yes, that’s his name for a Korean boy) was connected to the ninjas at the beginning and was told that they manipulated him into making that speech. Why a group of villagers would believe a kid about ninjas and their anti-government political stance is far beyond me. But at least they get back to this issue. Jimmy tries to escape as an invasion by an unnamed army/enemy while the soldier decides to hold them off. Oddly, Jimmy starts screaming and it’s implied that he’s shot to death, leading the soldier to grieve. Then the soldier tries to leave his hidden spot and it’s kind of implied that he meets his end. But we’re never really sure because the editing just has him crossing the same river and there’s no other transition to make sense of the rest of that story.

Instead, we’re back to the ninjas story where random smoke explosions kill all the hidden ninjas. I’m assuming the previous enemy army was supposed to be in league with the ninjas because one of the officers talked about an invasion without really naming who or what was coming after them. And the woman just disappears off screen, never to be seen again nor discussed as to her fate. But back to the ninjas. All the ninjas are killed from their fox holes, leaving the two lead ninjas to confront one another.

The end fight is just wretched. It’s over the top where you know the director is fucking around having a hoot. But he uses a bunch of kung fu tropes like a Iron Palms with smoke emitting from their hands to imply their intensity or a bizarre version of the horse stance dance thing you’d see Gordon Liu do when he’s fighting his father character. Then they move to ninja weapons, including a sai that blazes flames and nunchukas which shoot out smoke. Eventually, the “good” ninja uses some bizarre Superman-like frost wind kami-hami-ha move that sends his rivalry flying into the air and literally get smoked into a crisp. The epic end techno 80s disco theme emits while the “good” ninja looks down sadly at his former friend (they never even discussed how they were friends) but jerks up in seeing some random bird, which presumably was the reincarnation of his buddy leading to the proverbial “The End” cut scene.

I mean what the fuck was this?  To say that this was barely comprehensible makes Romper Room seem like a PhD’s dissertation. Was the Korean segment the equivalent of a pr0n movie attempting to introduce a rudimentary plot to get to the sex scene, which in this case was the ninja portions? By comparison, Rage of the Dragon and The Hero, The Dragon are actually coherent, even though the plots are thinner then a bald man’s top and the characters are flatter than a Japanese woman’s chest. Also, there’s no attempt to hide how cheap the ninja parts look. There’s one cut where you can see apartment or sky rises in the background as the two fight.

I will say that this type of movie is something I can enjoy at least once because of how ridiculous it is. You can only make sense of something like this when you’re supremely tired at 4am in the morning or on a form of a pharmaceutical (I was neither; but I did have work the following day). I only knew about this movie because of the end fight scene, which I discovered from a Twitch streamer’s clip. At that time, I didn’t make the connection to Godfrey Ho because I didn’t know until the past month that he had a ninja fetish. Just because of the sheer silliness of the fight, I had to look up the director. At first, I didn’t know whom Bruce Lambert was. But after searching the alternate title (Ninja Project Daredevil), I found the connection to Godfrey Ho. It all comes together.

Should you watch it? This has a Manos: The Hands of Fate type of plodding, boring middle section where you endure this horrible drama with awful dialog and characters that you despise just to get to the ninja portions. The ninja portions are wretched until the end. The last 5 minutes are what you want to watch. It’s not even quality 5 minutes. More like mesmerizing WTF 80s hallucinogenics crap for a cheap laugh.

If I’m giving this bad of a review, why the fuck did someone like me want to watch this shit in the first place? Honestly, I wanted to see what lead up to the final encounter. I wanted to see Godfrey Ho in his purist splicing form. And boy…boy. That’s all really.

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