Give us your TOP 5

Had a reader on the VN Facebook page (have you ‘Liked’ us? If not, SHAME!) post a great question:

“If you had to distill your favorite ninja films into a grievously unfair list of only 5, what would they be?”

OY! Can you imagine the nightmare scenario where you were trapped on a deserted island with only five ninja movies to watch over and over? Or if you had a bomb shelter with space for only five ninja films to survive the apocalypse and represent the genre for far-off future archeologists? Top tens are easy, but FIVE? That’s tough.

What I ended up coming up with (in no particular order) were:

Castle of Owls (1963) Probably my favorite ninja film ever.

Shinobi-no-Mono 1 (1962) For its historical significance, and being the best example of Hatsumi-driven credible espionage-based ninja flicks.

Revenge of the Ninja (1983) Arguably the best of the American 80s craze, which must be represented.

Five Element Ninja (1982) As should Hong Kong’s co-opting of ninja into their kung-fu empire.

Magic Serpent (1966) To satisfy the Monster Kid in me, and represent TOAD MAGIC!

The Top 5 format forces me to exclude the entirety of the Joseph Lai/IFD genre-unto-itself cut-together films (Full Metal Ninja being my personal fave). Also on the bubble: The Octagon, the artistic apex of the genre Samurai Spy, Mission Iron Castle for being the height of dark ninja noir, and one of the Kadowkawa/Chiba/JAC collaborations has to be high up there too (Ninja Wars being another personal bias, lots of late-light cable viewings in this man’s youth). Ninja Scroll is probably the anime entry as well.

But what about all of you? Commenting is now wide-open to anyone and totally easy, so please, leave us you own Top 5 below. Really curious how many of us have similar lists, and am ready to slap myself with disgust for missing a crucial title that should have been on there.

Speak up folks!

6 Responses

  1. jesus manuel

    Here I go…5 titles of my top favourite ninja films. Not particular order

    -Shogun’s Ninja ( the best Sonny Chiba ninja movie)
    -Pray For Death ( Sho Kosugi at his peak)
    -Ninja Gari ( both versions from the 60’s & the 80’s)
    -Shadow Hunters
    -American ninja 2

  2. Redmao

    Only 5, it’s indeed a tough one.

    • Rage of Honor (No hood, but still a ninja)
    • Ninja Condor 13 (Alexander Lou’s white suit deserves a mention)
    • Ninja in the Dragon’s Den
    • Shinobi no Mono 1
    • Prey for Death (Back to the shadow)

  3. Mangetsu

    My top Five :

    -American Ninja/ American Warrior
    -Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (yes, I know …)
    -Ninja in the Dragon’s Den
    -Mirai Ninja
    -Revenge of the Ninja

  4. battlestarniko

    samurai spy
    hidden fortress
    tattooed life

  5. Brandon

    My favorite Chambara films in general. I need to see more ninja flicks. They are kind of hard to track down and the ones I have seen are extremely cheesy. More so because I practice Ninjutsu.

    -Sword of Doom
    -When The Last Sword Is Drawn
    -13 Assassins

  6. Jimaur

    I haven’t seen man ninja movies but here goes;
    – Ninja in a Dragons Den
    -Mirai Ninja
    -Ninjas & Dragons
    -Pray for Death
    -American Ninja 1