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Ninja Holocaust (1985)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 33 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

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Title: Ninja Holocaust (1985)

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Credited cast:
Richard Harrison
Phillip Ko
Sandy Kwon ...
(as Chae Eun Hee)
John Ladalski
Casanova Wong
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User Reviews

action-packed mid-eighties martial-arts romp-a-rama
2 December 1999 | by (England) – See all my reviews

You know you're in for a rough ride when the box proudly proclaims that the characters in the film are "skilled in the use of deadly wapons" [sic]. The film stars Bruce Pok and Wang Li, whose names are written one above the other on the box trompe-l'oeil style to give the at-a-glance impression that we have a lost relic of the legendary Bruce Lee on our hands. Comfortingly, we see that the film is produced by the legendary Fuk brothers.

Initial disappointment that both the pictures and photographs displayed on the box bear absolutely no relation to the contents of the film is soon forgotten as incomprehension merges into glee as this little known treasure wends its way through the traffic of its stage.

The action begings on a beach in Hong Kong in 1944, where we see a man running for his life from several ninja assailants who seem literally to be exploding out of nowhere all about him. The quarry finds a peasant tending his paddy-field, and entrusts a necklace to him. We suppose that it is this that the ninjas seek.

Cut to modern day. Goodies and baddies alike search for the necklace. No reason is given, but there are enough spectacular scenes worked around this basic premise to keep even the keenest ninja hound at bay.

The snooker scene is a classic of the genre, and the terrifying, but aptly named, Red-Head leaves a chill in his wake. The hero's brother, Ha Soi, even has a tip for the female viewer, as he concocts a health-enhancing but surprisingly delicious-looking brew consisting of raw eggs and vinegar. His brother's performance on the rowing machine shortly after partaking of this potion is laudable.

The film ends as suddenly and bewilderingly as it began, with the viewer, if no further enlightened as to the whereabouts of the necklace, at least a good 90 minutes older, and wiser in the ways of Hong Kong movie-making.

A word for our foreign viewer: both dialogue-dubbing and background music blend superbly with the whole to provide a uniquely satisfying frisson between Oriental drama and Occidental knock-about comedy, the idea being that non-intentional humour is always far more effective.

Congratulations, those boys from Hong Kong.


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