Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Ninja Squad (1986, Godfrey Ho & Robert W Young)

Another nugget of movie-making gold from the crazed minds of Godfrey Ho, Joseph Lai, and the must-be-fictional IFD script unit. This time our pal Richard Harrison (who is unnerving without his trademark moustache, just like a young Burt Reynolds or a post-Fawlty John Cleese) returns as Ninja Master Gordon to train a young lad named Billy in the mystical arts of ninjitsu.

Unfortunately for Billy, he hasn't reckoned on the lack of job prospects for 18th century Japanese assassins down at the local labour exchange, and finds himself returning to his home town without money or gainful employment, and facing a gang of extortionist thugs threatening his poor old mother that if she doesn't find any cash they'll "burn down your fuckin' house"!!! Class.

Whilst young Billy wrestles with the domestic soap opera aspects of ninja existence, his master Gordon is entangled in conflict with the startling Ivan the Red (Dave Wheeler), who possesses an amazing costume, a ludicrously macho and husky dubbed voice, and a truly sensational bass-lead theme tune. Seriously: if they release "Ivan's Theme" i predict it as Christmas number one with full confidence.

 Ivan's challenge to Gordon to fight to the death for NINJA SUPREMACY is spurned, and so Mr. The Red decides to take out a number of random ninjas clad in outfits of varying ludicrousness as they "train" (jump about a bit) in various neighbouring fields. Obviously, we're all waiting for the final showdown between these two ninja colossi, and we aren't disappointed.



 Well, we are, to be honest, but as with all of these movies, it's the journey , not the destination, that matters. And when we've encountered such hilariously inept dialogue, thrillingly pounding basslines, and dubbing so bad it may well make you mentally ill along the way, who can possibly complain? Only the type of person who wouldn't even "revenge" their own mother.

Harrison: reading the script, appalled, 1986.

                                      No-one defeats Ivan the Red!  Hahahaaaa!!!! (My hero)


  1. PINK ninjas? What kind of camoflage is that?! For when a ninja needs to hide out during a gay pride march?! Ludicrous. Still this film looks amusingly dreadful, the inevitable outcome of the 80's ninja fad I feel.

  2. It's possibly the worst of the Godfrey Ho ninja mashup movies i've seen, but in some ways the best. The ninja outfits are like Power Rangers that kill each other. The dubbing is honestly like what my brother and i used to do as kids: plug a microphone into the VCR, hit 'Audio Dub' and improvise dialogue on the hoof over whatever was happening onscreen.

    It is surreal and marvelous.

  3. Honestly, 'Power Rangers' was the first thing I thought when I saw those outfits, but at least the Power Rangers had the decency to force only the female member of their team to dress up like Hello Kitty.

    The Ninja Squad is one of the worst names I can think of for a ninja movie. Seriously. It's like turning on the telly and finding that Saturday's episode is called Doctor Who and the Aliens from Space.

    Is that really what the Eighties were like? People randomly threatening to burn down old women's houses? Even 2000 AD didn't make it look that bad! I'm surprised my mother (who was young then, she would hasten to add) got through the decade unscathed.

    Richard Harrison is definitely handsome enough to be a samurai or whatever, so it's a shame that he's the blondest ninja I've ever seen. Looks more like Henry V.

  4. Richard Three has more killings in it than Henry Five.