Ninja Death 1 (HK 1982)

Rating: **
Review Date: 3/14/10
Director: Joseph Kuo
Cast: Alexander Lo

There's not a lot of info about this film. While Joseph Kuo is unofficially credited as the director, the style is much more reminiscent of Robert Tai's insane "Ninja: The Final Duel" (1986). From what I could tell, this film is the first in a series of three films about a group of Japanese ninja who are trying to track down and annihilate the last surviving members of a rival ninja clan. Tiger (Alexander Lo) is the son of one of the survivors, and is rigorously trained in kung fu to face the ninja threat that he knows nothing about. The film is disjointed, heavily edited, and makes no sense whatsoever. Some scenes are so out of place that I wondered if they were from other films. There are also two completely bizarre ninja love scenes (!!!) that are overly long and completely pointless, with the strangest one featuring Tiger (or does it?). It's like a dream sequence or something, and immediately afterwards it's like nothing ever happened. What the hell?!? Someone help me out here! Adding insult to injury, the English dubbing company changed during the middle of the production, causing the voices to be different for the second half of the film. The film ends on an abrupt cliffhanger as Tiger discovers that his father is the leader of the evil ninja clan. Wait a minute... That doesn't make any sense at all. But does anyone really care? Really, the only reason to watch the film is to see Alexander Lo in action and to marvel at the intricately choreographed and energetic (although seriously undercranked) fight scenes. They're a lot of fun and the stunt men are quite good. Clever editing also keeps the action fresh, fast, and furious. For classic kung fu buffs only.