This film was not originally intended to be part of the American Ninja series. Cannon Pictures made it under the title American Dragons (it is even shown on many cable TV stations with this title) but the title was changed to American Ninja V before release. This explains why star David Bradley plays Joe, a different character than the Sean Davidson character he played in American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt, and American Ninja 4: The Annihilation. See more »
Throughout the film Lisa (Anne Dupont) doesn't wear any jewelery. When she is kidnapped, she is unconscious and carried away by the villain and is clearly wearing a metal watch on her left wrist. However, she was not wearing the watch up to the point where she is snatched by the villain and it's gone by the time she regains consciousness. See more »
U.K. video version is cut by 1 minute and 11 seconds to remove all fight scenes featuring nunchakus and throwing stars, and to edit an ear clap and a scene where young Hiro is kicked in the head. See more »
It's terrible...but there are other martial arts films that manage to be worse!
While this film isn't part of the actual 'American Ninja' cannon since it has nothing to do with the previous four films in the supposed series, I really didn't care. After all, NONE of these film have decent ratings (the highest current on has a score of 4.8) and they are all apparently sub-par. However, the most incredibly sub-par of them all is this film, "American Ninja V", which has the distinction of being so universally hated that it made the IMDb Bottom 100 list--and that is why I chose to watch it. You see, I occasionally like a really bad film--it gives you a good laugh at the filmmakers' expense! This film has one cliché that makes it hard to like. No, it's not ninjas--it's insufferable kids who come along to help the hero. Not only is this kid an annoying brat, but he also is a bad actor...like most of the folks in the film. This is a problem, as most folks coming to see the film probably ended up rooting for him to get killed! A modern ninja (David Bradley) is asked to watch some brat (Hiro--Lee Reyes). Almost immediately, they get sucked into an international conspiracy involving a crazed general, weapons of mass destruction, purple ninjas and some cartoon-like baddie in a black and red outfit with a cape! They end up in Venezuela (which might well explain the current state of poor relations between this country and the US) and get their butts kicked. Then, the mysterious Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita--and yes, I know he is not really playing Miyagi here) shows up an announces that the talentless kid is really the son of a great ninja master and that he has powers that have not yet been tapped--secret ninja training his dead father taught him when he was very, very young(???). And, there is a short montage with Bradley and Reyes training and BAM, the kid is a super-ninja! Well, at least that's what they want us to believe--neither appear particularly skilled in martial arts. And the two of them go on a rampage to rescue the girl (there always is one) and save the planet.
This film has neither element needed in a good martial arts film. The story and acting are dumb. And, the martial arts action is lousy. In fact, I could easily see Asians watching this and becoming angry that the US could produce a film with absolutely no one with good martial arts skills. Well, perhaps not--as I have seen a lot of martial arts films and bad martial arts films are unfortunately relatively common. And this brings me to a problem with ranking this bad film among the horrid Bottom 100 list. The Asians have made a lot of martial arts films and have produced a few that are FAR WORSE than this film. For every Sonny Chiba or Bruce Lee film, there are others that simply are terrible. My favorite of these horrid films featured guys using 3 foot tongues to fight AND they had gorillas (guys in cheap gorilla suits) who also did wretched kung fu! So, no matter how stupid "American Ninja V" is, it isn't even close to the worst the Far East has to offer. The big difference is that "American Ninja V" has a much wider audience and therefore is easier to notice and hate! For the life of me, I sure wish I could remember the name of the film with kung fu gorillas and the guys with the huge tongues--I'd love to see it again! I remember how the punches and kicks often weren't even within a foot of the intended victim! It made "American Ninja V" look like "Gone With the Wind" in comparison!! If you can place the title, drop me a line. I am SURE it's a real film and I am not hallucinating about it! Cartoon-like villains and special effects
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