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Nine Deaths of the Ninja
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Reviews & Ratings for
Nine Deaths of the Ninja More at IMDbPro »

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Superb parody of the 80's action genre?

10/10
Author: whippyx
21 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can understand why this film has received an average score of 2.7 at the time of writing. It's no masterpiece of modern cinema. However I personally feel it's beyond what most people are viewing it as.

Sure it's corny and tacky, but it's also a superb parody of the 80's action film. A greasy wheelchair bound Nazi drug-baron with a pet monkey in a diaper and a homosexual crush on a giant laughing murderer in a turban, who commands a squad of mercenaries made up of Germanic lesbians and rednecked rapists? A gigantic Gatling gun called "The Dancer"? A training sequence which involves cutting watermelons by the poolside and barely missing a kitten that just happens to be sitting beside a watermelon? A ninja who eats Lollypops? Random ninjas that appear out of nowhere? A final death which involves polo players? Random disguises and costume changes? A single actor playing multiple roles? Attack midgets? An opening sequence with ballet dancers and a ninja performing a modern-dance in a smoke filled room? It's all there!

And if the over-the-top parody elements in the film aren't enough, the film is filled with fantastic dry humour. Genuinely well written and delivered dry humour. Really.. Spike and Macho Man chase a guy up a staircase from which he jumps to escape.. he falls two metres, through a box. When Spike and Macho get to him, he has blood pouring from his mouth and nose.. Spike mournfully states : "That was his last jump."

It is a simply a wildly entertaining parody of the 80's action genre, and sadly it just isn't being seen this way by the masses. I hope this review can help people to see it in a different light as I think for too long it has been misrepresented as a straight action film. This should be a cult classic, and not seen as a moronic joke of a film!

(or maybe it's just a really terrible but unintentionally hilarious film... either way it's great fun to watch)

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

And now the screaming starts...

Author: Mad Matt from Wichita, Kansas
15 September 1998

As one who pretends to have benefitted from a post-graduate education, I am almost ashamed of my love for this, the best/worst of the Ninja flicks. And while Ninja films are no longer in vogue among the "militia in training " college drinking crowd, this one is worth a look by anyone who loves MST3K or bad movies in general. The stupidity of this film is so self-contained that it needs no clever running commentary, but feel free to drink a few beers and add you own MST3K witticisms anyway.

Check out this plot: a band of terrorists hijacks a busload of tourists and makes several unclear demands. The terrorists are led by Alby the Cruel (Blackie Dammett, father of Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis), who sits in a wheelchair wearing elegant lady's gloves, accompanied by his pet monkey. Alby speaks in a poor German accent, with such great lines as "Az you gan zee, the hoztagez are un-har-med!" Alby's crew includes sexy Col. Honey Hump (a militant lesbian), Dr. Wolf (a sexual deviant) and Rahji the Butcher (Alby's gay lover). Of this bunch, Rahji is the most hilarious, wandering around with this forced malevolent chuckle all the time.

The good guys that come to save the day include Sho Kosugi, whose normal gravelly, yogurt-filled voice is cleverly dubbed by someone who sounds like a pop radio deejay, and Bent Huff, who spends most of his time grinning Puckishly whenever Sho Kosugi gets into a fight (trust me, I'm not making this up). Emilia Lesniak rounds out the trio, a sexy blonde of such immeasurable talent that she never worked in cinema again. Their commander , Vijay Rankin, is played by Vijay Amritraj, that dorky Indian tennis pro who starred in the lame James Bond flick "Octopussy" opposite Roger Moore. Amritraj has many pathetic lines, but the best one comes when he gets a phone call and exclaims, "What? Hijacked?"

Is there a reason to see this film? Well, this one has the potential to be one of the all-time great beer-drinking movies, even though it has nothing to do with fraternities, sex or keggers that last until the wee hours of dawn. I quit drinking when I graduated from college, but I still pop "Nine Deaths" in the VCR now and then because in brings back the giddy sensation of intoxication without the hangover. This one is as bad as it gets, and yet, like a car crash or an episode of "Saved By the Bell," you watch it in spite of yourself.

If ever a bad film deserved a cult following, however, this one is it.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Hysterical movie for all the wrong reasons

Author: MadameCassel from Brussels, Belgium
19 September 2004

For starters, the title is misleading. Nine Deaths of a Ninja? Fat chance. I hope the ninja would have used up his nine lives early on and get this movie done with. Nine deaths? Pfffft.

Okay, the plot, if there is one. A German (of course a German, and a Nazi, swastika flag and all) terrorist and his amazing bunch of henchmen and -women kidnap a bus load of tourists. They take them to a remote place in jungle and demand the release of Rahji Mohammed, some kind of fellow terrorist. The best special team, consisting of Shô Kosugi, Brent Huff who looks like he's escaped from a toothpaste ad and a gorgeous but oh-so-clever blonde Emilia Crow, is sent to take care of the problem.

The actor who plays Rahji Mohammed, Sonny Erang, sure has a challenging role to play. No one, not even the severely retarded mental patients I have seen in hospitals, laugh menacingly all the time. Rahji had two or three lines in the whole movie, the rest of the time he just laughs. Oh and he must be a really nasty guy: he takes some balloons away from children and squeezes the balloons until they pop. Terrifying. The rest of the terrorists show their bad to the core nature by stealing medication from a girl with severe heart condition.

The rest of the actors are just as wooden as Sonny Erang. Brent Huff is expressive as a brick (and I always thought Ben Affleck is wooden!) and Shô Kosugi is downright awful. The same you can say about every single soul in this pathetic excuse of a martial arts movie. Oh wait! There is someone who was relaxed and expressive: the little monkey. He was well cast.

The fight scenes are so stupid they are laughable. The bad guys stand in line and neatly wait their turn as they are being slaughtered. I wonder why this movie has been cut and given high PG, there is nothing to see here, not so gory violence and no sex, excluding a pair of titties in one scene.

Saving the hostages is forgotten for a long time while the brave men of the rescue team visit a floating whorehouse (Madame Whoopee's Floating House of Fun or something like that) where the assassin-trained whores try to kill our hero's, but one of the assassins loses her bikini top and they have to abort the mission...

The "hejsan så ska vi dansa" amazon women, lead by the queen bitch Honey Hump (!!) are maybe the most laughable element of this movie. And the Rahji's explosives in the mouth scene... how the hell can it leave the head untouched but come out of his butt???! Beats the hell out of me. But what can you expect of a movie where the best actor is a monkey in diapers.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Revenge of the 80's: Starring Sho Kosugi

9/10
Author: Miyagis_Sweaty_wifebeater (sirjosephu@aol.com) from Sacramento, CA
29 October 2003

9 Deaths of the Ninja (1985)is one of those guilty pleasure films. It's so bad that it's enjoyable. A fourth entry into the Ninja series (following Enter the Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja and Ninja III: The Domination). 9DOAN stars Sho Kosugi as a government agent who travels to the Philippines in order to stop a gang of terrorists.

Sho Kosugi's acting is about as good as his English and the rest of the cast makes him look like Sir Lawrence Olivier. This movie is so bad, bad in the tradition of the cheese classic Final Mission. But I enjoyed very, very much. If you like Sho Kosugi or those wacky Cannon films, then this one's for you!

Highly recommended (for all the wrong reasons).

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Someone's gotta' stick up for this one.

7/10
Author: Steve (Yagamei@aol.com) from Toronto
9 June 2005

9 Deaths, despite the mediocre score I've given it, definitely has a place amongst some of my favorite 80's action fliks. I'm actually surprised at the multitude of the negative feedback it's receiving here on the IMDb. I believe this is partly due to the common misconception that this movie is a serious, devoted stab at a true action movie (and it doesn't help that the site lists it only as being an action movie in genre). 9 Death is, to the enth degree, a COMEDY. It is intended to be a parody and comedy of martial arts/action movies and television of its time. Spike Shinobi A.K.A. lollipop (ala Kojak)? Come on, you know this is a joke.

You should be able to tell this film is deliberate humour, just watch the opening credits. It's a spoof off of the over-the-top Bond introductions, and there are other Bond parallels as well, such as the moronic laughing "arab" guy (who is subsequently played by a white guy .. riiiight), or Kosugi's speedo swim to the over-the-top whore boat. All taking ques from Bond movies as well as others. Secondly, you have your gung-ho American commando type ala Rambo or Ah-nold in Predator, mowing people down with a ridiculous chain gun.

There are simply too many comedic elements to list. The fighting midgets, the ridiculous, out-of-the-blue ninja fight near the end (with not a hint of explanation as to how or why the ninjas are even there), the melodramatic nazi villain, and the grace jones may-day esquire lesbian combat killer, "honey hump".

So before you watch this movie, I think it's important that you realize it is a comedy, and that it is filled with spoof or parody elements, right down to the cheesy music and characters. Of course, the film COULD be a little less deceptive in which genre it fits under. I can easily see how many would think the director was just a goof trying to make a serious action film - and the use of Kosugi's kids in the movie doesn't help (has it ever in the past? remember the Kane Kosugi/horrible actress fight in Revenge of the Ninja).

Even as a comedy, though, the movie isn't perfect. There are a lot of shots that don't make sense, some of the acting is terribly wooden, and the title (while I suspect is all part of the humour) is just ... EXTREMELY misleading. And, unfortunately, some of the jokes that 9 Deaths tries to pull off just simply aren't funny -- and it can be excessively campy and cheesy at points, whether this film is a satire or not. Regardless, I recommend it to anyone looking for a cheesy, funny throw-back to 80s martial arts/action films. It's not bad for an afternoon viewing.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining tongue in cheek action movie parody

6/10
Author: HaemovoreRex from United Kingdom
15 May 2006

Make no mistake, Nine deaths Of The Ninja is not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, however, reading a number of reviews on the web for this film, it is plainly overt that a great many of the reviewers have woefully missed the point.....this is NOT a movie that begs to be taken at all seriously!

What it actually is, is a deliberate tongue in cheek parody that mixes and simultaneously pokes fun at a number of other movies such as its main star's previous ninja films which were produced by Golan Globus. Also added to the mix we have elements that could well have jumped straight out of a James Bond film such as a group of midget assassins, a sadistic lesbian militia leader and a megalomaniac wheelchair bound Nazi!

With such exaggeratedly comic characters on display it frankly baffles me how any reviewer could perceive this as and subsequently attempt to judge this against the criteria of a serious action film!

As to the actual quality of the film in question, and adjudicating it for what it actually represents, Nine Deaths Of the Ninja comes out as a fairly entertaining watch.

Sho Kosugi plays Spike Shonobi aka lollipop (on account of his predilection for them!), head of the fictional highly elite 'DART' team. Under his command are Steve Gordon aka Macho Man and Jennifer Barnes aka Foxy (and she is to!!!) Their mission in this case is to free a group of hostages who have been seized by the exceedingly evil Alby the Cruel.

The above plot provides a great excuse for lots of martial arts action, big explosions, military shenanigans and even some ninja along the way!

As mentioned previously, the whole thing is basically played for laughs and plenty of fun can be derived throughout (check out the hilarious scene when our man Sho is besieged by some villainous midgets!)

Overall then, whilst ambiguously labelled as an 'action' film, this is not a classic by any means, but is in fact a refreshingly light hearted and self effacing take on what is for the most part a stoic and humourless genre.

All in all, good fun!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Utterly hysterical!

8/10
Author: sarastro7
28 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Of course, you know the phrase "so bad, it's good". Well, I'm usually not into bad taste for the sake of bad taste (as several of my friends are), but this movie is an exception. It is quite simply the funniest "serious" movie I've ever seen. It's supposed to be a cool, albeit uproariously derivative, action/ninja movie, and it's just impossibly bad. The plot doesn't work, the Dr. Strangelove-clone - a relatively subtly gay Nazi - is allied with Black lesbians (the leader of which, to top it off, is named "Honey Hump") and Muslim terrorists, and the ninjas that the main character fights are not connected to the rest of the cast or story at all! They just appear and are vanquished and that's that. The hero, Sho Kosugi, acts (and fights) atrociously, and his lollipops and various ninja gadgets are so silly that you are forced to laugh from the very moment he appears on screen.

The action sequences are beyond laughable (a guy casually jumping from ten feet and onto a cardboard box dies from the terrible fall - you'll know the scene when you see it; it's priceless - just after the dwarf fight) and the dialog is absolutely ridiculous - in most cases most likely made up on the spot. I had a very hard time believing that this was a serious movie, but I've been persuaded that it is (except of course for its conscious ripping off of several better-known movies and story lines).

The genius of this movie is that it maintains its outrageously bad style perfectly throughout its duration. I have not laughed so much at a bad movie since I can't remember when. Trust me, this is going to end up as the Rocky Horror Picture Show of action movies. It is a camp cult movie of epic proportions.

In 1985 I probably would have rated it a 2 out of 10. In 2005 the badness of it has become vintage.

8 out of 10.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

9 Yawns of The Audience

3/10
Author: lemon_magic from Wavy Wheat, Nebraska
3 May 2011

You know, I can sort of see where the director and producer were trying to go with this one.

There are some elements here that are obviously supposed to be funny, or at least camp: the "Cherman" pervert/Nazi in the wheelchair, the attack midgets, the alarming hairdoes on the two female leads, the Amazon squad, etc.And there are some other elements that were obviously supposed to be sexy and glamorous - the opening credit sequence apes James Bond, Sho Kosugi spends a lot of time with his shirt off, various and bad guys are always on the verge of molesting their female hostages. And some action sequences were obviously meant to pull in the ninja/covert ops fans.

So it looks as if these guys were trying to promote Sho Kosugi from the ninja film ghetto to a more mainstream audience by imitating a Jackie Chan film from the "Armor Of God"/"Protector" era. But they didn't have the chops or the cast or the writing to pull it off. The results are, well, pretty crappy.

9DOTN is stupid where it tries to be witty or camp, and the action sequences are strictly going-through-the-motions. By trading the old rough-cut, cheesy Golan-Globus approach for something slicker and duller, and with even worse acting, the movie manages to throw away whatever reason there was to watch Sho in the first place.

I found my copy of "9 Deaths" in a Crown Pictures compilation with 12 flicks for 5 bucks, so I'm not complaining - much. Watch only if you are the hardest-of-hard-core fan of stupid movies.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Join Spike Shinobi and the gang!

6/10
Author: Comeuppance Reviews from United States Minor Outlying Islands
18 October 2010

When German, wheelchair-bound terrorist Alby the Cruel (Dammett) uses his team of female soldiers to take a busload of Americans in the Philippines hostage, a team of special anti-terrorist agents are dispatched to save the innocents. Steve Gordon (Huff), Jennifer Barnes (Emilia Crow) and of course Spike Shinobi (Kosugi) are sent in to save the day. It seems Alby is demanding the release from prison of Rahji (Sonny Erang), a grinning, drooling idiot of a terrorist. He's so evil, he goes around popping kids' balloons just for fun. Once he is released, only one group of people can stop the terrorists and free the hostages...Steve, Jennifer and Spike! Did you think it would be someone else? The fact that Sho Kosugi's name here is Spike Shinobi should tell you everything you need to know about this movie. And that it was shot in the Philippines (and that it's a Crown International production). Knowing these things should help you appreciate the silliness within. This anti-terrorist crew hangs out together by the pool, and Spike practices his sword skills on watermelons, then serves them to his compatriots. Narrowly missing a kitten while blindfolded sword-chopping is an important technique to have. Also they have very snappy matching jumpsuits. But when their boss calls in "Dark Team - Red Option 4" they snap into action. This obviously isn't to be confused with Robert Vaughn's "Control 5" from Deadly Reckoning (1998).

Blackie Dammett chews the scenery as Alby, and his beloved pet, a monkey with a diaper, is a highlight of his terrorist training camp (any bad guy worth his salt has one). But are they any match for the blow-pop loving Spike (he has a special holster on his belt to hold his blow pops)? When the action in the movie turns to a jungle scenario as the team gets closer to the training camp, Huff goes all Rambo with his headband and giant machine gun. They're really pulling out all the stops because Kosugi's sons Shane and Kane are trapped on the hijacked bus. Luckily, they are crafty li'l devils that have some tricks up their sleeve as well.

Sure, many things about this film make no sense, including the fact that Sho isn't technically a ninja in the film, and the title makes NO sense considering the action in the film, but they needed to call it something cool, especially because the ninja boom was in full swing at this time. I guess they figured simply the presence of Sho Kosugi made this a ninja movie. All of the silly stunts and nonsensical actions are completely and totally justified by the amazing opening credits sequence. They really don't make 'em like this anymore. It really should have gone on longer. Sadly, the movie never improves upon this opening sequence. We can't describe it, you just have to see it for yourself. You'll be glad you did.

For pretty ridiculous, pseudo-ninja action, try Nine Deaths of the Ninja. You could do a lot worse. This at least has some crazy, silly, funny stuff, which can't be said about a lot of other movies of its ilk. Plus it has Sho. If you see it, get it.

For more insanity, please visit: comeuppancereviews.com

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An astonishingly abominable unsung camp classic

10/10
Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
28 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A band of nefarious terrorists lead by crippled ruthless drug kingpin Alby the Cruel (the stunningly dreadful Blackie Dammett, who does a third-rate Dr. Strangelove impression throughout the entire movie) kidnap a bus full of tourists who include a U.S. congressman. Alby demands the release of a dangerous criminal cohort and that all the drug enforcement agents in the Phillippines leave the country. The American government send in the courageous DART team -- lollipop-sucking ace martial artist Spike Shinobi (stolid Sho Kosugi), macho meathead Steve Gordon (the extremely obnoxious Brent Huff) and hot blonde babe Jennifer Barnes (the gorgeous Emilia Lesniak) -- to save the day. Emmett Alston, the same low-budget movie blunder wonder who blessed us with the shoddy seasonal slasher stinker "New Year's Evil" and the amusingly inane Bigfoot sci-fi/horror bomb "Demonwarp," writes and directs this amazingly abominable chopsocky action opus with a staggering ineptitude that's a true gloriously ghastly marvel to behold. Ray H. Wagner's crude cinematography, Cecile Colayco's cheesy score, the ridiculous villains (an especially wicked lesbian is named Honey Hump!), and the incredibly awful acting are all uniformly pathetic. A simply stupendous pseudo-James Bond style opening credits sequence with a bare-chested sword-brandishing Kosugi, lots of swirling mist, and three terrible lady dancers clad in leotards rates as a definite campy highlight. The maladroitly staged action scenes are often unintentionally uproarious: Kosugi beats up a bunch of guys while disguised as an old man and even fights four dwarfs sporting sunglasses and really bad teeth. A total four-star sidesplitting schlock howler.

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