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.
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
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.