Ninja Champion (1985) Review

Time to catch up with those ninjas, right? Or, uh, eavesdrop on a conversation between George and his father-in-law. That’s cool, sure.

Actually addressing his father-in-law as “father-in-law”, just so we know that this older man is in fact his father-in-law, George tries to convince the man that it’s his job to investigate the murders in the diamond smuggling ring, even as an interpol agent. The father-in-law, presumably an interpol agent, assures that it’s George’s duty to work within the law, as we get some interesting shots of a massive fucking bird that I’m sure has some kind of symbolic significance.

stuffed bird in camera

man standing below bird wing

bird taking up space in frame

What’s the title of this film again? Oh, right, the next scene reminds me. Finally some ninja action, and not just ninja conferencing.

He, um, holds out a picture of a presumed target, facing away from him. Not sure why he refuses to look at it himself, or why this guy is a target.

He then cuts the pic of this guy (the last rapist?) with his sword and steps on it. Alright then.

As the opening of The Alan Parsons Project’s “Stereotomy” repeats over and over again, avoiding copyright issues, we see this dude have a grand ole time at an industrial park playing with a bo staff, just enjoying some ninja practice.

But white ninja has other ideas, and interrupts the peace. They begin to engage in a little fight, but white ninja manages to disarm the guy, which results in the man instantly donning his red ninja uniform.

Godfrey Ho will never explain the instant ninja-dressing powers in his films, will he?

So, they fight with much clishing and clashing and flipping and flapping. All that crazy ninja shit that we’ve been missing. It starts to get a little exciting.

But before it can get too exciting, it’s all cut short (literally) when red ninja gets sliced in the abdomen, which results in this pleading expression to the gods.

I thought maybe he got cut in half, but I think he just suffered from a bout of laziness, as he kneels while white ninja walks away. I believe this mysterious white man is the ninja champion we’ve been waiting for, because Godfrey Ho likes all of his ninja champions to be caucasian Americans. Just no camo outfit this time, surprisingly.

We don’t want to get too saturated on ninja action in this thing, though, as this story is supposed to have Rose as the centerpiece, so we catch up with her as she meets with George in a park. She talks about wanting to kill the last man on her list (apart from George), as she expects to be taken seriously in these “jazz hands” sunglasses. You better not even snicker, George. She might kill you then and there.

George offers to help her, of course, but Rose is such a sadist that she insists he back off so she can enjoy the only source of pleasure she has left, which is killing. I don’t think you should continue to try winning this woman over, George. It’s clearly not worth the pursuit.

She does ask for some money so she can complete her last kill, and she seems to have forgotten her vow to kill George as well, as they walk off together, arms locked.

Back at a hotel on their way to complete her mission, wherever it is, George spends more time trying to convince Rose that they should be together. The word “love” is said five times in less than a minute (yes, I counted). It works, however, as with most women her mind is easily altered by that word on a subconscious level.

George vows to resign from interpol and settle down with Rose after this is all over, and it’s all very nice and sweet, but we’ve still got one last rapist to butcher.

Where does Rose find our last victim? In that very ’80s nightclub where that party took place earlier.

He says he has a strange feeling about her, “like being tied up by a soft creature.” He’s not alone there. I get that feeling with every woman I’m around.

Rose says, “That must be me coming around you like a snake,” which actually cues this man to have some kind of bad acid flashback where a snake is wrapped around his neck.

He gets away from her and grabs a drink by the bar, and Rose asks what’s wrong. “It’s snakes. I can’t stand snakes.” Is this a never-explained character quirk that Rose can exploit? The man suddenly bends over in pain and says, “My stomach. It hurts. It must be the idea of snakes all the time.” All the time? You know, this is the kind of situation that calls for serious therapy, not booze. Seriously, what the fuck happened to this guy? I almost feel bad that Rose plans to kill him at this point.

Oh, I guess the snake stomach ache thing is quickly remedied by some necking and tit-grabbing, once they go up to his room.

He also rips her panties off and starts humping her right there without even unzipping his pants. Interesting style.

Meanwhile, George waits in the airport (why he is there is another thing Godfrey Ho doesn’t really explain), and tears up his tickets, throwing them on the floor before leaving, seemingly frustrated by Rose’s absence, even though she’s in the middle of taking care of her last assailant. Maybe I’m just too stupid to grasp Godfrey’s super-complex plot that requires minimal explanations.

George takes a walk outside somewhere, when two guys randomly jump-kick into his path.

He successfully fights them off,

but then two more guys jump-kick onto the scene, too, and I’m left wondering what the fuck this has to do with anything as George continues to brawl.

Then he teleports…

Um, uh, WHAT?

Then he pops in and out, jumping back into the fight to catch his enemies by surprise. Is there some kind of magical bent to interpol that we don’t know about? We certainly never got a hint that George possessed ninja-like abilities. Oh, and after this scene he will never display these powers again, by the way.

One of the guys tries to… make George thinner?

“I WILL give you that hourglass figure you’ve always wanted, goddammit!”

But then George pops his waist out (seriously) and releases the man’s grip before kicking his ass. He then proceeds to kick all their asses, even though he still doesn’t clearly display his “license to kill”. I’ll take teleportation abilities over the freedom to kill any day, though.

So, does Rose somehow use snakes to get to our final doomed rapist? Of course not. She injects his grapes with poison and tries to get him to eat them. Simple enough.

Wait… no she doesn’t. She removes the needle from the grape and places it on… something in her hands, and coats her lips with the stuff like Poison Ivy did in Batman and Robin. Did that amazing film take an idea from this one? Even a genius like Joel Schumacher needs to steal from an even bigger genius.

She bends in for a kiss when she walks over to him,

but no go.

“I don’t like the taste of lipstick,” he says. “I prefer it all natural.” Sure you’re not just closeted?

Turns out she did inject the poison into one of the grapes, and used the lip thing as plan A. Being the smart one she is, when Walter here tells her he’ll do anything for her, she just asks “anything?” and hands him a grape. Because that’s the logical approach.

“I tell her I can do anything she wants, and she just wants me to eat fruit? Fucking friend-zoned again.”

He does take it in his mouth, along with another, as Rose giggles with glee. He forces a kiss, and as they smash lips, Walter shoves the grapes into Rose’s mouth with his. She spits them out, and Walter explains that he thinks she used that trick with her first victim, even though there’s no way he could’ve known about the nipple thing since the guy was killed in the bath.

Walter turns the lights off, during which we hear some breaking glass and whatnot, only for the light to come back on and for Rose to appear stabbed. She dies right there.

So much for the triumphant revenge ploy. This woman is no Imperator Furiosa.

Time to wrap up the third act in Godfrey Ho tradition, right? If you don’t know by now, Godfrey Ho tends to end his films by taking a plot that builds up to a great crescendo, and then mixing all of the plot points together in a big wet sort of slop and plopping it all down as fast as possible before the last second closes in, leaving the audience both confused and overwhelmed once that “The End” card shows up in abrupt fashion. In other words, it’s genius and most people just can’t grasp how brilliantly he closes his films.

Anyway, back outside by Robert’s car, Walter’s female assistant tells him, “We’ve got the girl.” Robert holds his fat cigarette holder to assert his power. I bet this dude loves Freud.

“Hmm,” he contemplates for about half a second. “Kill her.”

So, the next shot is of a couple of goons wrapping Rose up in a body bag and stuffing her in a cylinder of some kind with labels. Then they laugh and walk away, because butchered women are hilarious and I’m too stupid to get it.

Time for some ninjas!

He has another photo of an unidentifiable guy, which he dramatically stabs on the ground in what looks like the same place as the last photo. I take it this signifies the anticipated death of the next ninja he’s targeting, in the exact same place.

As with the previous ninja the white dude interrupted, this target is enjoying his day as well, only instead of bo-staffing, he’s taking part in the popular sport of… ninja plate-spinning.

The opening of The Alan Parsons Project’s “Stereotomy” repeats once again as white ninja sneaks up to him.

This looks like it would drill a hole in your head, man.

The guy spots white ninja, tossing the plate at him, which the guy dodges. The plate spinner spins in the air a couple times and lands wearing his red ninja outfit.

The two do a lot of flipping and the occasional sword clashing, getting me amped up,

but before I can get too amped up, red ninja gets his ass handed to him.

Unlike the ninja before him, he actually dies, and the white ninja reveals himself to be interpol agent Donald!

He then just… walks away.

What follows is one hell of a confusing discussion between Walter, Robert and some other guy who brings them news.

“Looks like somebody’s delivered the diamonds to us already,” the nameless assistant guy says. Who delivered them? Oh, some guy named Mitch, according to Walter. Then they talk about how a guy named Maurice is the head of the operation, whoever the fuck he is, and that they’ll be independent once they tie up with Larry, whoever the fuck he is. They want to contact Larry and speak with Maurice before cutting Maurice out.

Without any further explanation, we then spend a full minute watching this dancing show as Robert sits and enjoys it, smoking from his tube.

Then his assistant lets him know “they” want to meet at “the bridge,” whoever they are. Robert leaves, takes a cable car up to this bridge, and he and his assistant meet this guy there.

They each raise some plaid flags in their front pockets, which signifies something good, according to Robert’s assistant when he says, “he’s got the right sign.” Then the bald dude actually tells them in sign language, which Robert’s assistant conveniently understands and translates, that the meeting’s on.

They follow him into a frigate, where they meet… R-R-Rose?

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