Cyber Ninja (Japan 1988)

Rating: **
Alternate Titles: "Renegade Robo Ninja & Princess Saki", "Renegade Ninja"
Director: Keita Amemiya

This pre-Zeiram effort by director Keita Amemiya is a futuristic sci-fi ninja tale that looks and feels like a non-campy version of the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" (or any other sentai show for that matter). A dark overlord and his monstrous minions unleash their army of mechanical ninja against a dwindling clan of humans. One of the mechanical killers is infused with a human soul, and he turns on his masters. Meanwhile, a small group of humans attempt to raid the dark overlord's castle and rescue Princess Saki before she's sacrificed to a demonic tree. They reluctantly join forces with the renegade cyber ninja to end the dark overlord's reign of terror.

It's a fairly low budget effort, but it features some pretty neat costumes, awesome sword fighting, interesting concepts, and a handful of nifty effects and visuals. Unfortunately, the overall result is a technical embarassment and looks too tacky to take seriously.