|release date||September 14 1984|
|writer||James R. Silke|
|starring||Shô Kosugi, Lucinda Dickey, Jordan Bennett|
Probably the greatest thing about Ninja III: The Domination is no matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re going to get it. The movie covers almost every genre imaginable, and sometimes not on purpose.
The 1984 film directed by Sam Firstenberg (Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo) starts with an epic 10 minute battle sequence between a ninja and an entire golf course. The entire time watching this, I was convinced I was either hallucinating or it was the greatest slice of crazy I’ve seen in a long time. From here the movie continues with the action genre, delves into horror with possession, hits romance with some sexy stuff involving V8 juice, adds some comedy with a seemingly fit cop not being able to keep up with an 80s aerobics class and throws in a lot of martial arts for more action.
Ninja III: The Domination is fantastic. Is it a good movie? Well, of course not. It’s pretty awful, but it keeps trucking along despite its completely crazy storyline. A woman becomes possessed by an evil ninja’s spirit after he has been gunned down by the local authorities. She then can only be saved by another ninja. This means we get a tough 80s movie babe (very similar to Jennifer Beal in Flashdance) suddenly dealing with a nightly call to a floating ninja sword while trying to live a normal life. Her new boyfriend, a local cop with an impressive man sweater, tries to help her by taking her to an exorcist of sorts – but it only exacerbates things. In the end, the mysterious man with the eye patch that has been following is her only hope.
The Ninja III blu-ray is amazing. The colors are bright and the picture looks crisp and new. The sound is even great, as hokey as some of the foley may be. There may be some sync issues, but it’s easy to overlook them with that awesome synth score. It’s jarring and almost ridiculous, but it’s the 80s and that makes it pretty fabulous in the end. The only thing that could be seen as a downfall about the blu-ray is the special features only include a commentary track and a photo gallery. The commentary track features director Sam Firstenberg and stunt coordinator Steve Lambert and is informative. The packaging says there is a trailer, but I simply couldn’t find it. Perhaps it was accidentally left out. The photo gallery is pretty interesting. It includes posters from many different countries, which I have always found intriguing. There are also stills from the movie and candid shots. If you’re a fan of the movie, the transfer itself is well worth picking up the blu-ray. The special features are just a little bonus.
Greater than the conundrum that is Ninja III: The Domination, is probably the nostalgia that surrounds it. It is a reminder of the days when you would pick a movie at a video store based on the box art and description. You may be stuck watching it at a sleepover, and there was no chance of turning it off because it cost $3 to rent it. It is a reminder of the days when you simply couldn’t move on to the next film streaming. It is a reminder of when you just had to give in and commit yourself to something and hope for the best. If you remember Ninja III or even just want to relive those days, then grab a V8 and some special friends and give it a watch.