Sometimes a simple marketing gimmick of labeling a film as a cross between two fan favorites works. In the case of Ninja Zombies, claiming the film is Zombieland meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer will probably turn some heads. However, it would be more accurately labeled as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for half-wit adults.
The film’s marketing also boasts a few other things: amazing action sequences, suspense, gore, violence, and plenty of laughs. Written and directed by Noah Cooper, the movie definitely delivers over the top ninja fighting action – which could be considered violent. Sadly, it has zero suspense unless you consider anticipation for the end to come. The production boasts amazing quality – including screen spattered blood – much like a video game – but the biggest hang up is the acting. That is where the laughs come in.
The story of orphaned 25 year old Dameon Kim finding he must fight the agile undead -with the help of the spirit of a samurai isn’t half bad; it’s actually pretty solid. Having a thespian that knows his exact cues and delivers his lines with the inflection of a grade school talent show, though, is brutal. And it doesn’t stop there. The ‘hot girl’ Trish is practically wooden and Goth sword expert Kara’s performance is so unbelievably forced and cliché that it had to have been done on purpose. Even Lloyd Kaufman shows up as himself in complete over-the-top fashion. The only relief, if you can call it that, comes in the form of G and Lar-Dawg – the Bulk and Skull of this world. The two bumbling idiots are convincing with their overuse of ‘That’s what she said’ and the like.
The rest of the cast is mostly skilled swordsmen and martial art experts – and it shows. Probably the most impressive piece of Ninja Zombies are the films namesakes. 75% of the film is filled with fighting that is incredibly impressive even if some set pieces are overpowered by filters and effects. Unfortunately, this is also a downfall, as it becomes repetitive and definitely gives it the villain of the week Power Ranger feel. Even the effects on the sword of destiny (that will rid the earth of the ninja zombies) looks like it’s out of the inserted stock footage from the original Japanese TV show.
Entertainment-wise, Ninja Zombies fits perfectly into the world of Americans loving Japanese things like eating Pocky, cos-playing at anime cons, and living otaku.