Five Days of FIVE ELEMENT NINJAS: Day 3

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By day three, most of you should be rushing out to some store to buy FEN, and won’t be reading this. However, for you stalwarts still clinging to obsolete concepts like credibility and logic in your movies, let me assault with the azure awesomeness that is…

THE WATER NINJA!

The kung-fu traditionalists next encounter what is supposed to be a babbling brook with a picturesque bridge and whatnot. What it actually was… the dankest, grimiest and coldest looking indoor water tank set ever built. Makes the day-glow blue suits even sillier.

These are not happy stunt men, as that water looks stagnant and nasty. They are to be congratulated, however, for actually making some of the dubious floatation devices of ninja lore actually sorta work on screen.

If nothing else, the water ninja sequences are centered on pole fighting, and in a Chang Cheh film, that means some f’n awesome fights! Its probably the most kung-fuey of the environs, but that’s fine, as the next element takes things back to some rather nifty ninjutsu, with…

THE FIRE NINJA!

Okay, side rant; I HATE red ninja suits. They’re the product of American movies, and since the initial training battle in Enter the Ninja, we haven’t been able to get over them. Red ninja suits are all over Marvel Comics, GI Joe action figures, and alas, Hong Kong films. At least these guys have a logical connection to the demented chromatic themes of FEN.

Bamboo smoke grenades are completely historically credible, and there's the potential of a fight having a solid foot in legit battlefield shinobi tactics. That potential, however...
...is dashed for the sake of some rather dicey-looking, dangerous-as-hell flaming sword gags. Yikes!

The fire ninja sequences are the perfect example of the bizarre hybrid frequency on which FEN operates. For every researched, credible weapon or technique featured, there’s a completely ridiculous follow-up that makes this movie something like martial arts science fantasy. As a fan, you either have to embrace its dada-ist nature or skip the movie all together. Your loss though, especially if you’re a gore hound, because here come…

THE EARTH NINJA!

It is with a mighty ‘sploof’ that the earth ninja burst forth from the dirt, and man do they fight DIRTY!

The earth ninja stab up at opponents from underground, aiming for the nether regions with unsettling skill. Eeeesh...

The earth ninja scenes, especially the initial slaughter sequence, are almost tough to watch. There are literally Venom entrails dangling around in the grass, and naughty bits are pierced and perforated like swiss cheese. GRUE-SOME.

Tomorrow on Five Days of FEN, a whole ton of ninja in…gasp…black suits?!?! And a mesh-clad hottie in the mix.

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