I sure did. Never have I seen a ninja movie as entertaining as Cannon Films’ 1984 epic. And I’ve literally had to wait 29 years to see it. I recall the 13-year-old more being intrigued by the black-and-white ads for it in the daily newspaper; remarkably, this Shout! Factory Blu-ray/DVD combo marks its first North American digital release. It was well worth the wait.
Sandwiched between her bravura work in the two Breakin’ films,
Lucinda Dickey commands the screen as Christie, an aerobics instructor
who finds herself suddenly imbued with ninja powers after she crosses
path with a “professional Japanese assassin” who crosses paths with
several police officers’ fatal bullets.
Christie is romanced by the hairy-backed Secord (Jordan Bennett), who’s one of the cops who shot said ninja and who’s the guy who eventually learns what vegetable juice mixed with aerobicized sweat tastes like. Overtaken by the dead ninja’s spirit, Christie unknowingly starts targeting the cops responsible, thereby complicating her new relationship with Secord.
Meanwhile, a high-kickin’ mystery man named Yamada (Shô Kosugi, Ninja Assassin) comes to town to stop her (him?), and somewhere, somehow, with no forewarning, Ninja III: The Domination suddenly becomes an Exorcist knock-off. I wanted to cheer.
With discussing a flick like Ninja III: The Domination, it’s tough to know where to start. My advice: Just start by hitting the “play” button. Directed by Sam Firstenberg (Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo), it’s a total trash treat, proving once more that the best worst things in life bear the production stamp of Golan-Globus. —Rod Lott