Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
The Great War was a bad thing.  I don't know who launched first, but it's all over now… but not so fast… because there are survivors.  Not only are there survivors on the scorched Earth, but it looks like all the survivors are like Ninja.  Or at least know basic kung-fu.  I mean… when you think about it… the Earth was pretty much overpopulated anyway, and then we get the bonus effect of the few humans left having Ninja skills.  I'm talking Scorpion and Sub-Zero type ninja skills.  That seems like pretty good trade off if you ask me.  The movie is called 'Ninja Apocalypse' and if you were to bet me a dollar beforehand that a super low budget film that liberally mixes chunks of 'The Warriors', 'Mortal Kombat', 'The Walking Dead' and largely takes place in a basement wouldn't be terrible… I'd guess I'd be out a dollar today. 

Master Fumitaka, as played by the legendary Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, has gotten word that some kingdom down the road is planning an attack, and as such he summoned the previously warring factions of the Ninja Clans to a peace meeting, for separated they fall… but together they cannot be defeated.

Each clan brings their best to this peace meeting, but we will focus on the so-called Lost Clan, called this because they didn't tell us.  Leading the Lost Clan is the warrior Cage (Christian Oliver) who will bringing his angry older brother Surge (Les Brandt), Trillion the Smart Guy (Kaiwi Lyman), Sky the Giant Mute (Isaac C. Singleton Jr.) and Mar the telekinetic enabled Hottie (Tara Macken). 

So the Lost Clan makes it to he dungeon abode of Lord Fumitaka who says a lot of really upbeat and positive stuff about how they have to stay together… yada yada yada… in a way that only Mr. Tagawa can say these things, until he catches a shuriken to the brain.  Who did this!  Witnesses claim it was Cage and the Lost Clan but we were looking at Cage so I don't think he did it, but regardless, the Lost Clan is now trapped in the basement with a crap load of the other Ninja Clans and guard ninja hunting them with a great reward on the table.  Fumitaka's no. 2, Hiroshi (Ernie Reyes Jr.) has his doubts about Cage's guilt, and Cage believes it's the super hostile Ninja Becker (West Liang) who's the culprit, but the order of the day is to just survive, make it topside and save their own tribe back home before the slaughter begins.
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It will be a perilous fight in this basement as Ninja's with amazing skills will be on the attack, zombies will be on the attack,  crazy hot chick sirens will be on the attack, Cage's jerk-off a big brother will be on the attack and not all of the Lost Clan will make it… but all isn't what it seems.  Actually, if you've ever seen movie before, it's everything that it seems, but let's pretend to be shocked.  It's much better that way.

Let's start with two fairly significant issues I had with director Lloyd Lee Barnett's movie 'Ninja Apocalypse'.  One being the elimination of one particular member of the Lost Clan less than halfway into the movie, this made me very sad, and the other being the decision to make actor Isaac C. Singleton a mute.  The dude has a really deep and powerful voice, so why shut him up?  Unless the thought was that his overpowering voice would dwarf the other actors even more so than his overpowering size already does.  Besides, he's a Black Guy.  We all know at some point he's going to self-sacrifice himself so that his white teammates can live.  At least let him speak while he's self-sacrificing. 

Those issues aside, I did not mind the 80 or so minutes I spent with 'Ninja Apocalypse'.   On one hand I really do admire the thought process that went behind setting this thing up and keeping costs low.  Nuke everything from the start, which limits the need for expensive sets and lots of background extras, but it keeps everything modern so we still have cars, PC's, and other modern conveniences which avoids the need to make this an expensive period piece.  That's using the old noggin right there.  Now considering the majority of this film does take place in a basement, there was some concern that we would be stuck spending a lot of time watching these people walk around in this basement, and while there were times that these characters seemed to be traipsing around this basement for a little too long, most of these scenes were few and far between.

Mostly they were in the basement heading from one fight sequence to another.  This is probably where 'Ninja Apocalypse' is at its best when it came to the action sequences.  Sometimes they did seem to go a little long, but for the most part they were very well choreographed, and were assisted by some cool particle effects along the way such Cage's Feet of Thunder or Mar's Swords of Lightning.  And since Ernie Reyes Jr. is in this movie it shouldn't come as a surprise his scene is the best one in the movie.

'Ninja Apocalypse' certainly was perfect by any stretch, the inclusion of zombies was weird, some of the acting was a little on the stiff side, when characters were forced to talk things did tend to slow down since the dialog wasn't what one would call scintillating, and if all the Ninja are trying to kill you, then all the Ninja are trying to kill you… even the hot ones.  But this one does get a lot of the basics right.  Decent action, little down time, keep it moving and keep it short.  A tad bit derivative maybe, but ultimately 'Ninja Apocalypse' was kind of fun.
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