Enter the Ninja
Judd Bernard, Yoram Globus for First City Films, Cannon
directed by Menahem Golan
starring Franco Nero, Sho Kosugi, Susan George, Christopher George, Alex Courtney, Will Hare, Zachi Noy, Constantine Gregory, Dale Ishimoto, Joonee Gamboa, Leo Martinez, Ken Metcalfe, Subas Herrero, Alan Amiel, Douglas Ivan, Bob Jones, Jack Turner, Derek Webster, Konrad Waalkes, Jim Gaines, Don Gordon Bell, Isolde Winter, Lucy Bush
story by Mike Stone, screenplay by Dick Desmond, stunt choreography by Mike Stone, music by W.Michael Lewis, Laurin Rinder
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In Africa, Cole (Franco Nero) and Frank (Alex Courtney) were
warbuddies, and Frank even saved Cole's life once. But when the war was
over, Frank got married to Mary Ann (Susan George), bought a farm in the
Philippines and settled down, while Cole went to Japan to study Ninjitsu.
Now though, landgrabber Venarius (Christopher George) wants to take
Frank's farm away from him, and he's not one to shy away from a bit of
violence to get what he wants - heck, he's not even shying away from much
violence - and thus Frank has a) turned into an alcoholic, and b) called
his old warbuddy to Manila to help out.
Soon enough, Cole has taken care of Venarius' henchmen (including Zachi
Noy, who hams it up as a sleazy gangster with a hook) and has turned his
private army into a bunch of incompetent, whimpering idiots (and has on
the side also bedded Frank's wife Mary Ann), which in turn causes Cole's
right hand man Parker (Constantine Gregory) to travel to Japan, to fetch
an evil Ninja to fight Cole, the good Ninja - and as fate may have it, the
evil Ninja turns out to be Hasegawa (Sho Kosugi), Cole's old enemy from
Soon enough, Hasegawa has killed Frank and taken Mary Ann prisoner,
just to lure Cole to the site of the final showdown, a boxing arena, where
Cole kills all of Venarius' men and finally Venarius himself before
Hasegawa shows himself and lets Mary Ann go in exchange for a final fight
- which, wouldn't you know it, Cole ultimately wins, and at the end of
which he decapitates Hasegawa upon Hasegawa's request (he wants to die
with honour) ... and once again the day is saved, but at the end, Cole and
Mary Ann still bid farewell to each other because ... I have no idea, I
thought they were lovers.
Rather weak and very routine American-produced martial arts flick
lensed in the Philippines, with for the most part of the film rather weak
fighting going on. It is only in the finale that good martial arts -
between martial artists Sho Kosugi and Mike Stone, Franco Nero's double -
can actually be seen, but then they are way too short and over way too
soon. And even the usually dependable Franco Nero can't save teh film this
time around, and he seems to actually turn in one of his laziest
Interestingly enough, the plot of this film does not too much resemble
an Asian martial arts flick and has more to do with the B-Westerns of old,
some of John
Wayne's Monogram flicks readily come to mind. Only the stunts
in Enter the Ninja are mostly inferior to what Yakima Canutt used
to do ...