I’m continuing my celebration of Ninja Day all this week with reviews of ninja movies. Today I look at one of the greatest ninja movies of all time, Revenge of the Ninja starring Sho Kosugi.
Revenge of the Ninja is the second in an unofficial “trilogy” of ninja movies by The Cannon Group in the mid-80s. The first movie in that trilogy was Enter the Ninja (1981) and the third movie was Ninja III: The Domination (1984). All of them starred Sho Kosugi. However neither of those movies were anywhere near as good as the middle movie, 1983′s Revenge of the Ninja. Let’s take a walk through this movie’s plot and see all the unbelievably awesome and ridiculous moments contained within.
So, the movie starts in Japan. Sho is there with his wife, young son and parents. Sho is off talking to his friend, Braden, an old white dude, when a group of like 6 ninjas show up and slaughter the family. I’m not sure why the family died, some old ninja master must be jealous of Sho’s bad ass awesomeness and sent his army to kill them all. The movie doesn’t really do a good job of explaining it.
So this group of ninjas come in and kill everyone and then lay in wait for Sho to show up. When he does arrive, they pop out of the bushes and try to kill him by shooting arrows at him. However, these are the worst ninjas ever and they underestimated his grim determination to kick ass and Sho catches two of the arrows in his hand and then catches the third arrow IN HIS MOUTH. Surprisingly, watching Sho catch a ninja arrow in his teeth didn’t cause the ninjas to crap their gi’s and run. However, they must have been out of arrows after this display because they stop shooting and jump out of the bushes to surround Sho instead of just shooting him with his hands and mouth full (like I said, WORST NINJAS EVER). All the better for him to ninja kick some ass.
And Sho does kick their ass rather handily. Afterwards, Sho decides to follow his friend Braden back to America and start over with his young son (who wasn’t killed) and his mother (also survived).
By the way, this is Braden. The old white guy who is also, apparently, a ninja. I guess he lived with Sho’s family for 20 years in Japan and learned their ninjitsu. However, Sho doesn’t realize that Braden is evil and is using Sho to smuggle drugs into the country. Notice Braden’s ninja outfit. It looks like it’s made of silk and he wears a mask underneath his ninja mask. Awesome. And evil.
Braden is working with these also ridiculous gangsters to smuggle heroin into the country through Sho’s Japanese art museum. Obviously, they try to double cross Braden and steal the heroin themselves. What kind of gangster doesn’t use a scantily clad or topless woman as a masseuse? The gay kind.
Anyway, it’s six years after the ninja attack in Japan. Sho’s son, Kane (actual real son Kane Kosugi) is in elementary school. There is a ridiculous but awesome scene in which adorable little Kane in his pink Izod sweater kicks a bunch of older bullies’ asses. I don’t know why it’s in there, but I love that it is.
This is Kathy. She’s the typical 80s blonde. She works at Sho’s museum. And she’s also working for Braden to smuggle the heroin. In her first scene, she shows up in Sho’s family dojo without pants and tries to seduce him. This is the first of many times we see Kathy in skimpy outfits. However Sho turns it into a lesson and begins to spar with her and pretty easily kicks her ass. Of course she holds her own for a bit because everyone in this movie knows some form of martial art.