Enter the Ninja (1981)

R  |   |  Action, Drama  |  2 October 1981 (USA)
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After just completing his training at a ninja school, an army vet travels to the Phillippines and finds himself battling a land grabber who wants his war-buddy's property. He must also ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Ann
Will Hare ...
The Hook
Mr. Parker (as Constantin de Goguel)
Dale Ishimoto ...
Joonee Gamboa ...
Mr. Mesuda
Leo Martinez ...
Pee Wee
Ken Metcalfe ...
Subas Herrero ...
Alan Amiel ...
Maroon Ninja
Douglas Ivan ...
Maroon Ninja (as Doug Ivan)


After just completing his training at a ninja school, an army vet travels to the Phillippines and finds himself battling a land grabber who wants his war-buddy's property. He must also fight his rival. Written by Michael Pilkington <mjpilkington@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Ninjitsu, the darkest and deadliest of all the Martial Arts. See more »


Action | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ninja I  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(uncut) | (edited for TV)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Hazardous fauna abundant during shooting in the forests and jungles of the Phillipines landscape included mosquitoes, snakes and giant lizards. See more »


In the final fight, Cole's sword is thrown out of the arena. Ten seconds later he is miraculously holding it again. See more »


Frank Landers: You know Mary Ann there are times when I... when I wake up in the morning and I look at this guy in the mirror and I say "What the hell are you doing with your life frank?" and you know something, son of a bitch never answers me!
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Apple (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Exit the room
16 April 2010 | by (Doomed Theater of Despair) – See all my reviews

Do you like ninja movies and taking naps? Well have I got a movie for you! Anyone, and I mean anyone, who uses the word "classic" when talking about this movie should be banned from martial arts films for the rest of their lives. Boring, boring, boring! Franco Nero is Cole the only non-Japanese to been trained in the arts of the ninja. When he completes his training and is granted full ninja status (I guess they must serve an apprenticeship) his inclusion is rejected by Hasegawa (Sho Kosugi) who refuses to accept the American as part of their clan. I wouldn't either as the wooden Nero clearly has no martial arts training as every action scene conveniently never shows his face. It's sickening to watch Sho Kosugi play second banana to this empty suit. Cole travels to the Philippines to meet an old Vietnam buddy Frank who REALLY likes cockfights. Frank has become more of a lifeless drunk, at least when he's not cockfighting, which opens an emotional bond between Cole and Frank's bug-eyed wife Mary-Ann. The locals are terrorized by thugs under the control of Charles Venarius who Christopher George takes to cartoon levels of absurdity. When Cole easily dispatches Venarius' men he demands a ninja as if they can be had at any corner store. Turns out Hasegawa has left the clan and has become a mercenary ninja for hire. Slow buildup to the inevitable fight to the death between the former students. Uninspiring action sequences are hampered severely by Nero's lack of fighting ability as well as his complete lack of screen presence. His rigid performance makes Christopher George's so over-the-top that he joins William Beckwith from "Prime Evil" as two of the most campy badguys ever. There a so many movies out there that deliver the true ninja experience better than "Enter the Ninja" that it defies belief that this was even made for the American audience. One of the rare disappointments from the Golan-Globus duo that gave us so many cheesy actioneers in the eighties. Rather take a shuriken to the eye than watch this again.

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