Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So this question goes out to my Japanese homies out there. One of my best friends is of Japanese descent so I guess I could ask him, but he is to Japan as I am to Africa, just not as far removed so he probably won’t be of much help. So I’m watching me some Anime, its adult themed to be certain but not full blown Hentai, though I have seen my fair share of that as well. It seems that whenever there is a sex act in any of these animations it’s rarely consensual and usually involves some kind of torture, pathology, or humiliation against women. Eventually, despite the fact these women are getting assaulted by some space demon, evil teacher, or some other figure of supreme male domination, they stop fighting the rape and just lay back and have a good old time. Or not. Sometimes the demon gets carried away, has a climax and the poor girl explodes. Literally blows apart. Wow. Japanese dudes! I need somebody to let me know where this whole thing originated and what in the hell does it mean? Now most regular Japanese feature films not made by Takashi Miike don’t have too much of this, just some of the animation. These thoughts jumped into my already convoluted brain while watching a rather bizarre piece of Japanese live action exploitation in ‘Ninja Vixens: Demonic Sacrifices’.

So there’s a whole series of these ‘Ninja Vixen’ exploitation movies that I have just become aware of and after watching ‘Demonic Sacrifices’ it’s unlikely I’ll be in any hurry to check out the rest of the series entries, but here goes with this one at least.

Lord Yukinaga is a kind exiled Samurai lord caring for the children of those who gave their lives so that he could live, along with his right hand man Lord something or another. Yukinaga has sent his two ace Ninja, young lovers Firefly and Goemon, to retrieve something called the Sword of Deus which will do something of which I’m not

quite sure. While these two are gone Yukinaga and the clan is attacked by another warlord and despite their promises to the contrary they kill all of the children. Yunkinaga begs God, as he has apparently converted to Catholicism along the way, to do something, but God normally isn’t one for taking orders and before Yukinaga himself is killed with an arrow through the skull, he curses God and vows to destroy all living creatures. This is the true definition of a ‘hater’.

When Firefly and Goemon return to the village they find everybody all deaded up and in a fit of rage Goemon slams the Sword of Deus into ground which magically brings Yukinaga back to life, but not the good kindly Yukinaga, but the supreme hating Yukinaga. Samurai master Hatori Hanzo who lords over his Ninja Vixens has observed all of this and enlist Firefly and Goemon to join him and his Vixens to stop Yukinaga who is busy raising other dead haters and is well on his way to killing every living thing ever. But Hanzo and his Vixens will have the last word on that. Believe it!

Amazingly, ‘Demonic Sacrifices’ was shot on straight video tape. Not HD, not 24p, not XL-1 movie mode, but straight video. I haven’t seen a straight video feature film in an awful long time. Mind you this film was made in Japan where all this fancy camera technology originates in the first place. I mean considering the money they spent on costumes and cheesy special FX in this thing, I’m kinda surprised they didn’t go down to Japanese equivalent of Circuit City and pick up some kind of fancy film like video camera. But you know what? If your film is good, it doesn’t matter what you shoot on and ‘Demonic Sacrifices’ could have been shot Arriflex Panavision Kodachrome 70mm and it still would have sucked ass. As a narrative, it was completely baffling, made very little sense, was nearly impossible to follow and completely disjointed in its presentation. As a fantasy piece it had some of the cheesiest, lamest and amateurish special F/X ever seen in any movie garnering wide distro. As an exploitation film, which lets be honest is the reason anybody would even think of renting this thing in the first place, including me, there was amazingly little nudity or exploitation. I mean, watch some 1970’s women in prison flicks people if you’re confused about what exploitation is supposed to look like. There were two ‘sex’ scenes, but one involved one of the Vixens getting raped and choked to death, and the other involved a dude having sex with his mom. Oh my.

But guess what, the fight scenes were pretty damn good, moved lightning fast, the actors looked like they knew what they were doing and the sword play was pretty sweet. And this is with the complete and total absence of wires and fancy expensive camera tricks. Again it holds true, the worst Asian martial arts film is better than even the best American martial arts film, and I don’t even know what the best American martial arts film would even be. ‘The Octagon’? ‘Gymkata’? Hell, I don’t know.

So this is episode 9 of the Ninja Vixen lore. One would assume that they have only gotten better as time goes on so it’s looking like my Ninja Vixen experience ends here. Exploding women. Hit me back Japanese dudes.

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