by Shae Konnit
Ninja Vengeance is almost like a fever dream of a film, helped in no small part by the incredibly poor lighting.
This weird tale of an amateur ninja, on his way to a ninja convention, saving a small town from corruption and the KKK, has featured on Red Letter Media’s Best of the Worst, but I saw it years ago when Bravo was still a channel.
The most memorable scene was a battle round a bonfire, with our ninja hero rolling around and tripping up klansmen as they shout “Come on, come on, let’s get him! Aww, shhhhit!” over and over.
I watched it again last year when it appeared on Netflix, and I was struck by a revelation which suddenly changes the tone of the whole film and makes it that much better…
This was from a whole range of martial arts movies where they cut production costs by having no proper fight choreographers and the bare minimum of training for the actors; if you can do a roundhouse kick then that’s all you need; so our “ninja” looks like a flailing idiot.
But… What if that’s really all he is? What if his sensei was a scam artist who’s been taking his money all this time, and just teaching him some garbage he saw on TV?
What if our hero is not a ninja at all – he’s just *convinced* that he is?
With that in mind, I say it’s worth another look.