Get a degree in ‘Golden Ninja Warrior’

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Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about the Godfrey Ho/Jeseph Lai/IFD/Richard Harrison category of  ‘cut together’ or ‘mash-up’ ninja films can be found at Jesus Manuel‘s bi-lingual blog The Golden Ninja Warrior Chronicles.

Jesus is a bit of a mash-up himself, a Spanish expat living in the Philippines, collecting what he calls “wacky and nasty” Asian films. I’m in awe of his dedication to this red-headed stepchild sub-genre of the 80’s ninja craze. I dig these flicks for all the wrong reasons, and they make for a great bad movie night experience. My tolerance otherwise wanes. But Manuel not only loves these things,  he’s gone so far as to collect the original HK crime films that ninja footage was later cut into to produce such masterpieces as Ninja Terminator and Ninja Commandments.

Truly awesome, keep up the good work amigo!

Joseph Lai shlock-o-rama

We started the week with the high-end of the 80’s craze, let’s wrap it up on the low end…

There are some great scans of not-so-great posters from REALLY not great in the least movies over at Wrong Side of the Art. These are actually newer “extremed”-up pieces for recent DVD releases of the mid-late 80’s Joseph Lai / IFD catalog.

These movies infested rental stores in legion, like vermin, and were the nails in the coffin of the craze, plummeting the quality of ninja movies to new lows. How many of us rented these based on alluring clamshell packaging, only to be heartbroken once home and having to suffer through another shameless cut-together “movie” with Richard Harrison tooling it up in a yellow satin ninja headband… Deeeeeeep hurting.

What’re those on the left, Schwinn-jas? At least these newer sleeves actually picture the movie content, in the 80’s clamshell and big box era, flicks like these were encased in some pretty nice painted imagery which hid both the ludicrous costuming and the cheapness of the product. Today, those are actually the strengths of these releases, as there is all sorts of nostalgia and ironic appreciation for how god-awful films like Full Metal Ninja, Ninja Terminator, Ninja Thunderbolt, Ninja Commandments, and Ninja in the Killing Fields are.

YouTube is rife with trailer comps posted for humor, and DJs laying beats down under collages of absurd scenes from these movies. Perhaps more people are watching them now than did back in the day?

Read reviews of select IFDs here, with some nice clamshell art scans.