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Kunoichi Ninpo Cho Yagyu Gaiden: Edobana Jigoku-hen

Kunoichi Lady Ninja

Japan 1998
produced by
Yoshimi Arai, Tetsuji Hayashi for King Records, Marubani Corporation, Tohokushinsha
directed by Hitoshi Ozawa
starring Yuko Moriyama, Kazuki Takeda, Non, Momoka Saeki, Kaoru Ukawa, Fuyu Ohba, Akiko Sugawara
based on a novel by Futaro Yamada, music by Torsten Rasch

Female Ninjas: Magic Chronicles

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Let me say up froht that I really love the concept of cute Ninja-girls doing fighting in skimpy costumes, especially when they occasionally have to use part of their costumes for special Ninja magic (which is why I always had a soft spot for the Female Ninjas: Magic Chronicles series, the 7th part of which this movie is). And when these girls fight some eccentric, over-the-top villains, that schouldn't hurt either, right ?

 

Well wrong, somehow this particular film didn't work at all for me. The main problem with it - besides the totally flat characters - is that I couldn't make head nor tails of the plot.

I'll try to recount it anyway, as best as I can: The Kato Clan are the baddies here, especially therir assassins called The Seven Beasts. They even kill nuns from a convent as well as defenseless men and women. But then there are the seven girls of the Hori Clan, the goodies. These seven girls are not only incredibly cute, they are also Ninjas, and since they are Ninjas, they want revenge. Their only problem is, there special powers only come to the fore in times of stress, which does not always help, and their special powers often involve a bit of tame nudity (sometimes to comical effect). the girls are helped by one-eyed Jubei Yagyu, blind  master Hannya and monk Takuwan.

 

Now this is the set-up of the story, from here on it gets unnecessarily complicated: characters and subplots are thrown into the film and vanish into thin air repeatedly, fight scenes seem to start out of nowhere, and several of the girls are even killed . In the end its jubei and the last three Ninja girls against the remainder of the Kato clan, led by the Lord of Aizu ... which is decided for the side of good when (totally unprovoked) one of the Ninja girls, Ochie (Yuko Moriyama), suddenly receives a magic sword and ultimately slays the Lord of Aizu. Then Jubei Yagyu leaves, but not before Ochie smiles for the first time (though I didn't even remember that she didn't smile through the rest of the film ...).

 

Now if my synopsis sounds relatively coherent, the film is not, and it's not helped at all by a rather bland direction and confusingly cut fight-scenes. It is really a waste of time, which is a pity because I so wanted to like this film ... oh well, one can't have everything

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD