Sho Kosugi makes his return for a second week in another oddball ninja movie where Sho plays a guy named "Ninja" but doesn't actually operate as a ninja. Instead he's a member of an elite force of anti-terrorism and drug trafficking controllers alongside Brent Huff and Emilia Crow. Hope you enjoy murder!
While still technically a ninja film, this is basically a buddy-cop movie with super agents instead of cops. The dynamic between the three members of DART (especially Kosugi and Brent Huff) is one of having a great time killing bad guys and seducing women. Lots of winks & guns and head shaking while the other struggles to dispatch villains. The chemistry works (despite all voices being dubbed) and is good for a laugh at each point. Imagine Andy Sidaris directing a ninja film (even though he kind of did).
Then there is the team of outlandish villains showcased by Blackie Dammett (fun fact: the father of Anthony Kiedis, yes THAT Anthony Kiedis) and Colonel HoneyHump (Regina Richardson). Blackie's Alby the Cruel is one of the silliest and neurotic nazi ever portrayed in film and is hilarious. Next to him stands HoneyHump who appears to be the toughest hot mercenary leader of a Hell Squadesque all female troupe of short-pants wearers. Recruited about halfway through the film comes in Rahji (Sonny Erang) who is part-caveman, part Jaws of James Bond fame and only has one line, "Heh heh heh". All three are completely ridiculous and make for show-stealers. We could have got a lot more of all of them.
The action is bananas, Sho's cadre of ninja weapons are bonkers, their methods of defeating baddies is ludicrous (including tearing off bikini tops and seducing hookers), and the general-having-a-good-timing of the DART team make this one of Sho Kosugi's best films despite the outright fact that all of them are brilliant.
Over the top action:
Good Movie Quality:
Bad Movie Quality:
Because ninjas are cats, or cats are furry little ninjas. Either way the title of this film alludes to events which do not transpire in the film. At no point is there any threat to the life of Spike (Kosugi) a secret ninja agent commando. In classic form Kosugi will bring the family aboard for the film but this time he has both Kane and Shane Kosugi in the film, rather than the usual lone Kane. Neither play his children, as it would seem, but both show real potential to one day become secret ninja agent commandos, or at least two kids you want on your tram ride at universal studios in case something goes wrong.
I have cataloged the breakup of Kosugi and Cannon films in previous installments of the blog. Emmitt Alston was originally supposed to direct the Kosugi Cannon debut, Enter the Ninja but apparently Charles Bronson insisted Alston directed the first Death Wish. More odd then that Alston would direct this film, the first after Kosugi left the Cannon Group for somehow more explosive pastures.
The cast would include, Emilia Crow, who is credited as Lesniak in this film. She would not experience a great career. Neither would Brent Huff, though Huff would eventually make lemonade out of lemons by eventually making it behind the camera. Huff is in two of my favorite films, this one and the Jaekin classic The Perils of Gwendolyn in the Land of the Yik Yak. Huff kicked around pretty good in the 80s and appears in other fun stinkers including; Deadly Passion, Cop Game, Strike Commando 2 and Born to Fight. Usually if Brent Huff is in the movie you know you are in for something. The last actor of real note is father of Anthony Kiedis and all around weird guy Blackie Dammett. He does great in 9 Deaths, it is a wonder why he wasn’t in more budget films.