Japanese man enters a cave near a golf course, where he finds a coffin-like receptacle
filled with weapons, and a set of ninja robes. He changes clothes and arms himself. On the
course, a group of security guards is looking for a ball lost by their employer. The ninja
reveals himself, and attacks the guards, slaughtering them with his sword and throwing
stars, and finally killing their employer and his female companion. The police arrive. The
ninja cuts a swathe through them. Finally, a group of cops surrounds him and opens fire.
One officer inspects the "body", but the ninja leaps up and kills more cops
before being literally filled with bullets. Then he throws something down, and vanishes in
a puff of smoke
. When the cops disperse to look for him, the ninja crawls up out of
the ground and staggers away. Nearby, a telephone company technician, Christie Ryder
(Lucinda Dickey), sees that someone is hurt and goes to help. The ninja grabs her, forcing
her to hold his sword. Christie has a vision: the policemen firing the fatal shots, the
. The ninja dies, leaving Christie with his sword. Later, at the police
station, Christie denies knowing anything about the ninja, claiming that he was dead when
she found him. A young policeman, Billy Secord (Jordan Bennett), is smitten by Christie,
and tries to talk her into a date. Christie looks back at him and suddenly has a vision:
Billy was one of the policemen who shot the ninja
. Brusquely, Christie rejects
Billys offer and hurries away. At her apartment, Christie unloads her gear
and the ninjas sword. Billy phones, but again Christie refuses a date. Billy
persists, joining an aerobics class that Christie is teaching. Outside the gym, four men
are harassing a young woman. Christie intervenes, and finds herself in danger. Suddenly,
she explodes into action, beating up the men. Billy watches in astonishment. As Christie
tries to flee the scene, he grabs her, telling her that he is arresting her; but this is
merely a ploy to get her into his car. The two have an argument that becomes something
else, and end up sleeping together at Christies place. Christie is woken by a
strange wind surging through the apartment, and by mysterious glowing lights. She opens
the closet where she hid the ninjas sword. It is filled with light. The sword comes
floating towards her. She grasps it, and has another vision of the dying ninja
one-eyed Japanese man named Yamada (Sho Kosugi) is met at the airport by three Japanese
monks, who tell him that there is bad news. Billy drives out to see Christie, to tell her
that he has to break their date. She sees the other policeman in his car, Case (John
LaMotta), and has another vision: Case was one of those who killed the ninja. When Billy
phones her later, Christie tells him that she is feeling "really weird". No
sooner has she hung up than the apartment fills again with mysterious light
Christie enters the cave by the golf course, donning ninja robes and arming herself. She
makes her way to Cases house and breaks in, attacking the policeman, and finally
Comments: You know, I
was initially a bit ambivalent when "Ninjas" was selected as this
Roundtables theme. On one hand, since I havent seen a lot of ninja films, I
was pleased to have the opportunity of expanding my horizons. On the other, I was worried,
in my ignorance, that Id have trouble finding a film that had enough supernatural or
science-y elements to qualify it for inclusion on this site. As I soon learned, my fears
were ill-grounded. My search for appropriate subject matter led me through the one-two
knockout punch of Born A Ninja and Ninja Commando two martial arts
films that make Kill Squad look
like Citizen Kane and the bizarre and disturbing Ninja Wars (featuring the
magic of "puke fu"!). Then I watched Ninja III: The Domination, and from
the moment a ninja made some guys gun explode by firing a blow-dart into it, I knew
Id found my film.
As it almost goes without saying, Ninja
III was produced by Cannon Films. (You might recall that Cannon was also responsible
for the abomination America 3000, which Keith Allison inflicted upon me during the
"Secret Santa" Roundtable. I guess its natural that the company would be a
recurrent feature of these enterprises. Lets face it: whatever the subject matter,
its pretty certain that theres a Cannon film to cover it.) The company kicked
off the eighties ninja craze when it released Enter The Ninja, a fair-to-middling
action film almost scuppered by the wholly inappropriate casting of Franco Nero as the
heroic "white ninja". And in fact, it was the films "black
ninja" that everyone came away talking about Sho Kosugi. His success made
Cannon star him in a sequel of sorts, Revenge Of The Ninja, in which he played the
traditional good guy pushed too far, and got to do copious amounts of ass-whupping. Ninja
III followed swiftly, but unfortunately for Shos hopes of a long-term career as
Americas first Asian action hero, the previous year an absurd little film called Flashdance
had achieved a wholly undeserved success. Never slow to capitalise on someone elses
bright idea, Cannon rushed into production a knock-off called Breakin (and
followed it immediately by a film sacred to all true B-movie fans: Breakin 2:
Electric Boogaloo). Then someone in the company truly had a brainwave: why not combine
these two trends? "Hes a ninja who whups ass for a living! She
teaches aerobics! Theyre on a collision course to wackiness!!" Incredibly, the
Cannon powers-that-be actually thought that this would be a good idea; and so poor
Sho found himself co-starred with dancer-actress Lucinda Dickey, who as my video
cover chose to put it was the STAR of BREAKIN!! (actually, my
video cover also insists that she was the STAR of FLASHDANCE, despite the
IMDbs opinion to the contrary), in a thoroughly idiotic tale of ninjas, evil
spirits, and big-haired women in legwarmers, all set to some of the crappiest
pop-synthesizer music it will ever be your misfortune to hear. And as if that
wasnt grotesque enough, they also stirred a healthy dollop of The Exorcist
into the pot, just to top things off.
You know sometimes I really miss the
We open on a golf course in the early
morning. An Asian man enters a handy cave, where he finds an even more handy sarcophagus,
filled with all the usual ninja accoutrements: swords, blow-darts, arrows, and throwing
stars of all shapes and sizes; and of course, some of those cool ninja robes, which he
swiftly dons. Out on the golf course, some guy is puttering around in a cart, accompanied
by a female companion, and a set of bodyguards whose numbers will mysteriously increase
over the next few minutes. The guy under guard plays a shot, and loses his ball, calling
out for his guards to help him find it. One poor schmuck does, only to find himself
confronted by our mysterious ninja. "Hey!" he exclaims indignantly, as the ninja
picks up the golf ball and crushes it in one hand as easily as if had been a ping-pong
ball (not surprising, considering
.) And then its time for biffo! The ninja
beats up two of the security guards. Two more charge in, pulling their guns. The first one
is dispatched with a throwing star, the second, in the moment that made me fall in love
with this film, has his weapon blow-darted. BLAMMO!! Still more guards come a-running,
brandishing their firearms. Much good mere guns can do them, however, as the ninja mows
them down with sword and throwing stars. This (finally) is the cue for the golfer and his
companion to exit the scene. One slight problem: ever tried to run away from
someone in a golf cart!? Yup. Our ninja catches them with one mighty bound, lifting the
back wheels of the cart off the ground. The two are swiftly cut down.
Security arrives on the scene, and the police
are summoned. Our ninja, who has done pretty well up to this point, chooses the somewhat
puzzling evasionary tactic of standing out in the open so all the cops get a good look at
him, then running right down the middle of the road instead of hiding in the bushes. Since
police cars prove a bit speedier than golf carts, this isnt entirely successful; so,
turning from flight to fight, the ninja leaps onto the roof of the car, driving his sword
down into one cop, and punching the other in the face. He also throwing-stars a couple of
motorcycle cops. A helicopter appears. The ninja scrambles up a handy palm tree, and
boards the chopper from underneath, working his way through the occupants. One poor
bastard cops a throwing star launched from the ninjas toes! The final victim
clutches at his killer as he falls out of the chopper, and the two plunge into a
water-trap located, conveniently enough, directly below them, while the chopper itself
crashes fierily. Still more cops arrive. One of them sees a reed moving suggestively along
the edge of the water, and leans in real close for a better look. Whop! Blow-dart! The
ninja makes a run for it as still more cops arrive. A number of them surround him,
pointing their guns at him, and a couple of them actually shoot which has little or
no effect on their victim. Tragically, we then discover that not one of these cops
understands Kens Rule Of Guns©: they all close in around their quarry in
a nice tight circle, allowing him to dispatch about eight of them with one stroke of his
sword. Even more cops arrive; some of them are immediately slaughtered. A handful
of them, however, turn out to have enough sense to shoot from a distance, and they
collectively pour about three hundred rounds into the ninja. This does, somewhat
unexpectedly, have an effect: the ninja in slow motion, of course - is hurled up
and back, legs flailing, just like hed slipped on a banana peel. Who knew that
getting shot three hundred times looked like that!?
We also, in the course of the scene, get a
nice clear look at each of the cops responsible for the fatal shooting all but one,
who has the light behind him. Remember this, folks: its significant.
The ring of cops moves slowly forward. One of
them goes to inspect "the body". Surprise! The ninja isnt dead! A couple
more cops get whacked before their colleagues empty what should have been their already
empty guns into the ninja, adding about another four hundred shots to the initial three
hundred. And hes still kicking! He hurls something to the ground that
explodes, and vanishes in the traditional puff of smoke. Various chucklesome exclamations
of "Hey!" and "Whered he go!?" follow, until the puzzled cops
decide to "split up and look for him". No sooner have they gone than the earth
stirs, and the fatally wounded (yeah, youd think!) ninja crawls out of the ground
and staggers away.
And now some truly awful music starts on the
soundtrack ("I got a fever runnin through my heart and so-oulll
and its time to meet our heroine. Did I mention that Lucinda Dickey probably
wasnt in Flashdance, despite what the video case said? Well, we can only
assume that Golan and/or Globus thought she should have been, because that give her
an introductory scene that, uh, bears a passing resemblance to the revelation of Jennifer
Beals identity in that particular work of art. We get a close up of some
heavy work-boots, and thickly gloved hands strapping a pair of those pole-climbing spikes
around the wearer of the boots ankles. Then we see the overall-ed figure skillfully
climbing a telegraph pole. At the top, it pauses, and whips off its hard hat. Its
shoulder-length hair flies free as it tosses its head, and the audience gasps en masse
(does three people count as en masse?), "Why, its a girl!"
Oh, yes, indeedy. Our Heroine works for her friendly neighbourhood telephone company.
("She is a linesperson for the countyyyy
.") Back in the fifties, of
course, women only got introductory scenes like that if they were doctors or scientists. I
guess youd call this "progress". Pausing in her work to enjoy the view
(which rather improbably doesnt include thousands of policemen, paramedics
and reporters pouring onto the scene), Lucinda looks down and sees our indefatigable ninja
stumbling through the bushes. Climbing down to see if she can help (and after a false
scare scene involving a rabbit, there to reassure the viewer that Lucinda is Just A Girl,
in spite of any competence she might have displayed), Lucinda is suddenly grabbed by the
ninja, who throws her to the ground and climbs on top of her. Typical bloody male. Seven
hundred bullets in his body, and hes still only got one thing on his mind!
Oh. Beg his pardon. Hes trying to strangle her. Lucinda does the old "dirt in
the eyes" trick and runs away, only to stop and look back when the ninja shouts the
Japanese equivalent of, "Hey, you!" I think were supposed to believe that
the ninja has exerted his Awesome Powers upon Lucinda, but as it plays, were more
likely to believe that Lucinda is a Complete Moron. We get close-ups of the ninjas
eyes (wow! ninjas sure do wear a lot of eye makeup!), and Lucinda stumbles over and
kneels before him. He holds up his sword, and she closes her hands about his, and the two
share a vision that of the ninja doing his slow motion banana peel trick. And with
that, our ninja finally keels over. Lucinda is left clutching the sword, staring
off into space with a blank expression on her face (I mean, you know, more so). A
Mysterious Wind blows her hair back, and she has another vision, this time of the circle
of cops who emptied their guns into the ninja, one of them still seen indistinctly because
of the light.
And so it came to pass that a humble,
hard-working county employee became possessed by the spirit of an evil ninja or if
you will, "dominated". Oh, and by the way: we never do learn what the heck that
opening sequence was all about.
We then cut to a typical big city police
station typical inasmuch as the first thing we see there is a prostitute with a
sour expression being hustled through the room. Lucinda is being questioned by the
inevitable black lieutenant, and insisting that she cant tell him anything, that the
ninja was dead when she got there, that she didnt see any weapons. The lieutenant,
his attitude rather more casual than youd expect, considering that about 80% of his
men have just been butchered, explains patiently that, "This man murdered a very
Ahh, so thats who the guy on the
golf course was! But since when do mere scientists rate a dozen bodyguards, no matter how
"important" they are? And really, "a very important scientist"!? Funny
how scientists in films are always "important" and "famous",
isnt it? I guess its to make up for their utter lack of importance in real
"This man murdered a very important
scientist," says the lieutenant, "killed security guards, policemen
know nothing about him!" You know, I have my professional pride, and all, but somehow
I find it hard to believe that a policeman would describe the opening events of this film
in precisely that way. This speech apparently strikes a young cop standing nearby as harsh
and brutal, as he wanders over and suggests, "Give her a break, Lieutenant!" He
then hands Lucinda a can of Coke, the brand name, coincidentally, Im sure, turned
directly towards the camera. The lieutenant chooses to act upon his subordinates
advice, and lets Lucinda go (!!). As he moves away, Lucinda hands the Coke back to the
young cop, telling him brusquely that, "I dont do soft drinks!"
(Gee, maybe this was actually sponsored by Pepsi!?) She then walks away, and he gallops
after her like an oversized (or oversexed) puppy, suggesting alternatives: "Coffee?
Whiskey? A daiquiri? Pizza? Tacos? I have some candy!" He tries to whip this out of
his pocket (at least, I hope thats what hes doing), and ends up
spilling it all over the floor. Wah-wah-waahhh! Charmed in spite of herself (and in
spite of all taste, intelligence and logic), Lucinda looks back at him. The light is
behind him, and suddenly she freezes. She sees the slow-motion banana peel trick for a
third time, then the circle of cops. Gasp! He was one of THEM!!
Lucinda comes to. Shes upset, though
she cant quite remember why, and hurries away. The cop runs after her, offering to
drive her home. "Look, I dont date cops, okay?" she snaps, unwisely
pointing a finger at him. The cop grabs her hand, introduces himself as "Billy
Secord" - then tries to kiss her hand. A rightly repulsed Lucinda frees
herself and runs off, leaving the cop to gaze after her with his tongue lapping out of his
mouth. "God, is she beautiful!" he murmurs, which carries this film deep
into the realm of the Informed Attribute©. I mean, Lucindas
okay-looking, but to suggest shes gorgeous enough to induce an instant and permanent
passion is pretty damn silly. (Then again, forming an instant and permanent passion based
on anyones looks is pretty damn silly
Lucinda unloads her work van outside her
apartment, and we see that gasp! shock! she has the ninjas sword. As
per usual in movieland, her apartment is impossibly huge. Its also decorated in a
style best described as "retina-burning", and filled with objects that Im
sure were just the height of cool in 1984, including one of those huge, chunky
mid-eighties video games, with which Lucinda is currently occupied. Shes changed her
clothes. Did I mention that Lucinda should have been in Flashdance? Check out her
qualifications: she looks absolutely stunning in one of those teeny, open-cut
leotards, with an equally teeny crop-top beneath it, huge white legwarmers, and yes!
one of those twisty, across-the-forehead head bands! Lucindas roommate (or
rather, "friend", I guess: she never reappears), who is lounging nearby on a
hideously ugly couch, is similarly attired. The phone rings, and the friend beats Lucinda
to it. Surprise, its Billy Secord! To Lucindas horror, her presence is
confirmed, and she is forced to speak to him, brushing him off by insisting,
"Ive got an aerobics class!" (Tell me, guys: is that better or worse than,
"I have to wash my hair"?) Hanging up, she wanders off to get her gear, and the
other girl suddenly notices the ninja sword thats been sitting six inches from her
elbow through the whole scene. (And it is here, ladies and gentlemen, twenty-five minutes
in, that we finally learn Our Heroines name: its "Christie". Well,
too late, To me, shes "Lucinda".) Lucinda snatches the sword from her
friend and hides it in a closet, and the two of them set out.
Cut to the local gym, where we see that our
multi-talented heroine doesnt just do aerobics: she teaches! The
camera lingers for some time on the legs and butts of Lucindas class, then pans
across to some nearby exercise equipment, where we see that the class is being perved at
by what can only be described as a Gang Of Creeps. (Classic B-movie hypocrisy: these guys
are "creeps" for doing precisely what the director and the cameraman and, by
extension, the audience is doing!) The camera pans back, and we ogle the girls butts
for a while longer. Now, as youll have gathered, weve spent some time looking
at Lucindas class, and youd think we would have noticed if there was a man in
the middle of it. Well, we havent seen one so far, but yup, suddenly, there he is:
Billy Secord! (Strange that he seems to have no work to do, considering that about 80% of
his colleagues were slaughtered that morning, and all.) Obviously, Billys way of
attracting women is to make himself look like as big a jerk as possible at all times:
"Hey, if I humiliate myself enough, shes bound to respect me!"
(Well, Ill give him this: hes pitching to his talents.) Billy smiles at
Lucinda in a way Im sure is meant to be "goofily charming", but which
frankly made my skin crawl; and she just cant help smiling back. (It
obviously hasnt occurred to her that he has: (i) looked up her address; (ii) driven
to her home; and (iii) followed her to the gym. Or to put it another way that
hes stalking her!) Her immediate response, however, is to turn up the heat on
her class, forcing them into a frenzied burst of activity. And here it comes, my first
bad-movie-Simpsons-moment, namely Homer working out at a gym secretly, and Rainier
Wolfcastle helping him out by "shouting slogans at him". "Go! Go!"
Lucinda cries. "Cmon, you guys! Youre doing great! Yeah! Make it burn!
Make it burn!" (I guess I shouldnt sneer. Lucinda clearly believes in "no
pain, no gain", a philosophy demonstrably shared by the B-Masters Cabal; although on
the whole we prefer mental suffering to physical.) This is too much for Billy, and he
collapses. The class disperses, and Lucinda stands over the young cop, saying with
reluctant admiration, "Not gunna quit, are you?" "Im a stubborn kind
of guy," he responds, staggering to his feet. He asks her out for coffee. She brushes
him off again, but you can tell shes starting to crack.
Lucinda leaves the gym. To her horror, the
aforementioned Gang Of Creeps is hassling one of her students. In fact, theyre
rather more than hassling her: they seem to be on the verge of raping her in broad
daylight in front of about two dozen witnesses. Not that theyve any need to worry
about those "witnesses": these "heroes", male and female, spend the
whole scene standing around in a semi-circle muttering about how terrible what those
Creeps are doing is, but not lifting a finger to help. Fortunately, Lucinda has other
ideas. She forces her way into the fracas, freeing the girl, who runs off, and naturally
finding herself in the role of "potential victim". The Creeps push her around,
threatening her with various Fates Worse Than Death. (One of the "witnesses"
does voice a protest, to which one Creep responds with a casual, "Up yours!")
Finally, a big, black Creep (hey, theyre E.O.!) lifts Lucinda onto some metal
scaffolding. Big mistake. She springs into action. BIFF! POW! SOCKO! She kicks, she
punches, she wields metal bars, she does gymnastics, she cries, "HIIII-YAH!!"
(In fairness, I should mention that Ms Dickey seems to be doing most of her own stunts
here which is patently not the case later in the film.) The witnesses wave their
fists in the air and shout "Hoo-ray!" while Billy gapes in blank astonishment.
(Oh, and by the way: just where were you, Officer Secord, while two women were
being assaulted and threatened with rape?) Having flattened the last Creep, Lucinda grabs
her stuff and tries to run away, but Billy grabs her and arrests her!
But not to worry. Turns out that
"arrest" stuff was just a ploy to get her into his car. Lucinda reacts as you
might suppose, calling Billy "Officer Secord" in the most insulting way.
He stops the car. "You know, I am sick and tired of hearing about how you
dont like cops!" he says bitterly. Well, theres a simple remedy for that,
I would have thought, but he doesnt take it. Instead, he continues to complain about
her cold behaviour, and really, who can blame him? I mean, theyve known each other
nearly two hours; hes humiliated himself for her twice, stalked her once,
and shown her how much he loves her by arresting her; and yet she still isnt
on her back with her legs spread! What, is she frigid or something?
Tragically, no, she isnt; and the next
thing we know theyre at Lucindas apartment. Billy wanders around clutching a
can of V8 juice, and more godawful music plays on the soundtrack. ("Baby, take a look
at me/Theres something that Ive got to know/Are you gunna take a chance with
me/Or just a game of stop n go
.") Lucinda emerges from the
bathroom, clad in a towel. She glides past the gaping Billy, drops the towel (she has a
pair of white knickers on under it) and dons a shirt. (This is shot from behind, so you
dont see anything. Surprisingly, there are no boobs at all in this film,
despite numerous opportunities. End community service announcement.) She then pushes Billy
back onto her couch, straddles him, and kisses him passionately. And then---jeez, how do I
describe this? She takes the can of V8 from his hand (its label, coincidentally, Im
sure, turned directly towards the camera) and pours it over her neck and (covered)
You know - I cant, offhand, think of
anything less seductive than that
Anyway, it seems to work on Billy. Lucinda
leans back, lowering herself onto the floor and pulling Billy down on top of her. And then
various activities take place.
Later, as the two lie in Lucindas bed,
a Mysterious Wind suddenly blows through the apartment, and Unexplained Lights begin to
glow. (Well, not all of them are unexplained: the apartment is decorated with neon
"sculptures".) Lucinda finds herself drawn to her closet, and opens the door.
The inside of it is glowing with white light, and the ninja sword is unsheathing itself.
In a display of wire-work the like of which has not been seen since Plan 9 From Outer
Space, the sword floats towards Lucinda. She takes hold of it. Freeze. Vision.
Dying ninja. Billy finally wakes up and comes towards her, and----
EEWWWW!!!! Oh, man, this guy is HAIRY!! Woolly
mammoth hairy!! ROBIN WILLIAMS hairy!! Ugh, gross!!
. Uh, anyw
. Nnnno, Im
sorry, youre gunna have to excuse me for a few minutes. All of a sudden, I really
need some alcohol. Excuse me
. [*sip, sip*] Thats
better. Billy is impressed with the sword, and wants to know where Lucinda got it.
"Its Japanese," she replies, an answer which seems to satisfy the
curiosity of this master detective, who sees no connection at all between the slaughter of
about four dozen of his colleagues by a ninja (an event which really doesnt seem to
have bothered him much), his girlfriends presence on the scene, and the sword she
likes to wave around in the middle of the night.
Cut to the airport. Enter Sho! Yay!! (His
character is called "Yamada", but "Sho" will do.) Hes dressed
very spiffily, and boasts a matching eye-patch over his left eye (like that woman in that
Mexican soap opera); and hes met by three Japanese monks. They exchange ominous
greetings, and walk away, and as the camera follows them we see that Sho was apparently
the only person on his flight
. Cut to Lucinda on the job. Er - I mean working.
Billy pulls up in a police cruiser and tells her that hell have to break their date.
Climbing out of a, uh, personhole, she assures him cheerfully that thats okay
only to have the smile wiped from her face when she sees who else is in the cop car.
Its one of THEM! Freeze. Vision. Gunshots. Billy explains that he has to take
"Case" home, and drives away. Lucinda leaps into her van and follows
Later, in Lucindas apartment, we get another graphic demonstration of why she really
should have been in Flashdance: shes a maniac! Maniac! As she throws
herself around, the phone rings. Its Billy. Lucinda is in a state, and tells him
that she feels "really weird". (So we assumed from your dancing, Lucinda.)
Billys helpful advice is that she "wear something loose" hell
be home before morning. No sooner have they hung up than those Mysterious Lights reappear.
Then Evil Fog explodes from the video game! (Its "Bouncer", if you care.)
Lucinda tries to run away, but the powers of the video game are too much for her: the
thing swivels around, keeping her in its sights! The next moment, its hypnotising
her with its deadly animated red beams! Then that darn sword starts glowing, and soaring
(jerkily) around the apartment. Lucinda takes hold of it, and the Mysterious Lights
. Next thing we know, Lucindas in the cave by the golf course, where we
discover that the Sarcophagus Of The Ninjas has somehow replenished itself. She dons those
snazzy robes, and arms herself. At Cases house, the cop is playing pool by himself.
Lucinda sneaks around (I guess you could say shes casing the joint, ha, HA!)
and finally breaks in. HIIII-YAH!! Case tries to defend himself, first with a pool cue,
then by chucking the balls at her. Lucinda catches one of these, crushing it with her bare
hand gee, just like the ninja! She then closes in on the unfortunate Case
The next morning, Billy watches as Cases body is taken away. Despite the fact that
its barely dawn, the usual crowd of gawkers is milling around, and among them we see
Billy goes to Lucindas for breakfast,
and, oh, eewwww, hes got his shirt off again! MY EYES!! MY EYES!! (Although
to be fair, I should mention that he does keep his singlet on, which I guess comes
under the heading of "small mercies".) Lucinda confesses that
"somethings wrong": she has premonitions; blackouts; she finds objects in
the apartment that she doesnt recognise; is covered with bruises she cant
remember getting. "I feel like theres someone making me do things I dont
want to do," she reveals. "You should do something about that," Billy
responds in all seriousness. Lucinda, being possessed, and all (sorry, I mean dominated),
goes through the usual Regan MacNeill barrage of medical tests, but we cut directly to the
chase: her doctor telling her theres nothing wrong with her, physically or
psychologically aside from her exceptional ESP. Oh, and her sudden interest in
Lucinda goes to the police station, looking
for Billy. She doesnt find him, but she does find one of THEM! Freeze.
Vision. Gunshots. Banana peel. The cop in question is arm in arm with two, uh, ladies
of doubtful virtue. (They meet him in the police station!?) The three retire to a
nearby health club, where they lounge in a hot tub. Enter Lucinda, cunningly disguised as
a towel girl. Drawing near, she drops her short robe (whered she get that?)
revealing a sexy black one-piece (ditto). She wades into the tub, and one of the
"girls" takes exception to her presence. "Beat it, bitch!" Lucinda
takes no notice, but throws herself at the cop. The two kiss passionately, while the
disgruntled girls draw back and whine complaints at one another.
You know, there are a lot of bad
actors in this film, but these two take the cake and they dont even get
nekkid to justify their presence! Imagine this dialogue, if you will, delivered with a
complete lack of intonation:
#1: "Lets split."
#2: "Nah, I wanna watch."
#1: "This guy is a real jerk."
#2: "Boy, you said it."
At this point, while still kissing the cop,
Lucinda unsheathes a poison spike from within her ring, and presses it into the back of
her victims shoulder. He bucks and moans, but she keeps kissing him.
#1: "Lets get outta here."
#2: "Whats she doing to him?"
#1: "I dont know, but the bastard sure seems to be enjoying it, doesnt
The cop collapses in convulsions, alerting
these two Einsteins to the fact that something actually is wrong. Too late for
them! Lucinda "rings" #1, and strangles #2 with her own hair. Some time later,
Sho wanders in. (Great health club, this. No other customers, and apparently no staff,
either). He crouches beside the hot tub, and wipes some blood off #1s body with his
finger tips a good trick, since its been lying in a bubbling hot tub for the
past hour or so. Billy enters Lucindas apartment, Shes working out (and giving
us another demonstration of why---well, you know!), and doesnt seem to hear
him even when thank you, Billy! he shuts off the music. He shakes
her, and she comes to, telling him that she "tries to fight it" but doesnt
know what "it" is. "Theres an officer in the Asiatic Division
(!?)," Billy says reluctantly. "He tells me theres a guy downtown the
local Japanese swear by
"It is wise of you to come, oh young
ones!" pronounces the guy in question, as Billy "crosses his palm". He
takes the two of them into his back room, and insists on chaining Lucinda up between two
poles, wrists and waist, "in case the spirit gets angry". He then makes her
smoke a pipe, and begins to chant as he sounds a gong. The Mysterious Wind makes an
appearance, and so does the spirit and whaddya know: it is angry! Or at any
rate, Lucindas suddenly speaking with re-verb, and shouting "Fool!" a lot.
She then breaks into Japanese, which goes on for some time, sans subtitles. (I
dunno maybe shes telling the spiritualist that his mother %#&@%
&!&@% in hell. I need Nathan or Keith to help me out here
.) The spiritualist
backs away, having bitten off rather more than he can chew: seems he can contact
spirits, but he aint so hot on the whole "exorcism" trip. As he and Billy
argue, Lucinda tears her wrists free, snarling and howling the while. Billy leaps in and
tries to tie her up. She responds with more cackling and howling, and by levitating the
spiritualist. She then, uh, spins.
Im not sure words can convey how dumb
this looks, but Ill try. Remember I told you Lucinda was chained around her waist?
Well, she starts rotating forward in a kind of perpetual somersault. Why? Who knows?
(Well, okay, because Linda Blair spun her head in The Exorcist, if you want to get
technical.) The model (or should I say dummy) work is really obvious here,
and not at all disguised by the dubbing in of Lucindas own voice: "Billy, help
me!" She finally stops, announces (re-verbally) "Nothing can stop me!" and
passes out. The spiritualist breaks the bad news that she is "possessed by a Black
Ninja!" and further informs Billy that "only a ninja can kill another
ninja!" I guess he means spiritually, because those seven hundred bullets did
finally work, after all.
Sho, coincidentally enough, is busy breaking
into the morgue where whats left of the Black Ninja is lying. This enterprise
requires him to beat up three security guards, two cops, and a couple of morgue
attendants. All in a days work, I guess. (We notice that Shos throwing stars bounce
off I guess because hes a "good ninja".) Sho examines his
rivals body, and cue flashback! We see Sho held prisoner while the Black
Ninja murders an old man Shos father, we assume. The ninja follows this up by
hurling a throwing star into Shos left eye and laughing! The bastard!
Anyway, so much for backstory. Sho grabs the ninjas body and takes it to a temple
located conveniently on a nearby rocky outcrop. Meanwhile, Lucinda is sitting on
Billys desk, trying to get him to tell her what happened with the spiritualist. We
see that Billy seems to have been promoted from the Uniformed to the Plain Clothes
Division and all it took was the slaughter of most of his co-workers. Two
still-uniformed cops wander up (if I were them, I would be really pissed that this
dork got promoted over me) and yes! - theyre two more of THEM! Freeze.
Vision. Gunshots. Banana peel. "I know the ladys beautiful [sic.],"
one of the cops says to Billy, "but dont forget the funeral." "Yeah,
Ill try to make it," Billy replies offhandedly, obviously deeply anguished by
the bloody deaths of his friends and colleagues. "Anything new?"
"Theres speculation that the killings are linked to that professional assassin
we wasted at the golf course last week," replies the second cop, helpfully reviewing
events just in case theyve slipped Billys mind which, from his
attitude, they may well have done. This cop, too, seems remarkably unconcerned, seeing
that the people involved in killing the ninja are being knocked off, one by one. The
second cop breaks the news that the ninjas body has been stolen. You know
Im really impressed with the way these guys discuss their case in front of their
Lucinda is relaxing in her apartment when it
suddenly comes to life. The table rocks. The blinds drop. The exhaust fan thingy on top of
the fridge starts to spin (making the whole thing look oddly like the TARDIS). The bin lid
flaps. Spooky! Suddenly, the cupboard under the sink flies open, and that Evil Foggy Light
pours out. "No, you dont! Not again!" cries Lucinda, and slams the
cupboard doors. That fixed it! Lucinda tries to run into her bedroom, but the EFL
is in there too! so instead she lies down on the couch. How dramatic. The blinds
drop (hang on, I thought they already did!?), a light glows and explodes, locker doors
open and shut, and the fridge (with the thingy on top still spinning) suddenly charges
across the apartment to block the door. Chattering, laughing voices fill the air. Lucinda
reaches for the phone, but it leaps from her grasp. The doors of the closet where the
sword is kept fly open, and more EFL pours out, as does the Mysterious Wind. Lucinda
struggles against it, forcing the doors closed---
---and then she makes her final, defiant
stand; proving, as if anyone still doubted it, that she really, really should have
been in Flashdance: she turns on some music and makes a gallant attempt to exorcise
her invading spirit - by dancing! (Wow she really is a maniac! Or at
least a complete doofus.) The sword comes hurtling out of the closet, and for a moment
Lucinda seems doomed. But, no! the sword has other ideas: it smashes Lucindas
sound-system. YES!! The Mysterious Wind then picks up, and Lucinda, along with a number of
her possessions, is swept along the floor and into the closet in a scene that is in no way
reminiscent of what happened to Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters, honestly.
Billy does make it to the funeral, but
we see that he hasnt bothered to put on his dress uniform, or anything. And
hes late. What a class act. Outside the cemetery, he finds Lucindas van, a
throwing star on the front seat. Sure enough, ninja girl is lurking in the bushes, all
robed up. She climbs a tree near to where the service is being conducted. In the middle of
the twenty-one gun salute, Lucinda shoots an arrow. THUNK!! One less of THEM. A wild panic
breaks out, as these hardened professionals stampede around, and basically start firing at
random into the air. Lucinda shoots another arrow, but hits the wrong cop. Rats! Third
times the charm, though. THUNK!! Lucinda climbs down a rope, and takes out a couple
of motorcycle cops for good measure. She then runs away down the middle of the
road, naturally while another cop fires at her from a pursuing car. She leaps up
into a tree, but the cop shoots the branch shes hanging onto (accidentally, of
course), so she drops onto the car. She beats up its occupants and runs away. One cop
pursues her back into the graveyard, and attacks with his baton. He misses her and hits a
headstone, which promptly disintegrates. Again this film challenges Plan 9!
A whole garrison of cops now descends upon Lucinda, but fortunately for her, none of them
are carrying guns. A general melee ensues, with Lucinda kicking some impressive butt,
crying "HIIII-YAH!!" all the while. One cop is sent flying into another
headstone, which also crumbles into powder. A few cops finally do arrive carrying guns,
but theyre lousy shots anyway, so why did they bother? Lucinda evades them and seems
to have made her escape when she comes face to face with Sho!
Lucinda takes off, doing a flying leap
somersault over a barbed wire-topped wire fence. Sho follows suit, only stopping to lay
his jacket over the barbed wire first. Huh! What a wuss! The two run into a house
which is either abandoned, or only half-built, or half-built and abandoned, and an
enjoyable game of cat and mouse follows, with lots of sword flailing, even more kicking,
and numerous cries of "YAAH!!" Sho gets a shard of wood embedded in his gut at
one point, but he doesnt let a little thing like that slow him down. Finally,
they face off, Lucinda with a sword, Sho with his bare hands. Naturally, he wins.
He disarms her, then rips off her hood. At that moment, the cops arrive, sirens blaring.
Sho hesitates, then lets Lucinda go before surrendering himself.
Now, you might be wondering where
Billys been all this time. I know I was. He does finally arrive on the scene,
pulling up in his little sports car. (Behind him, we see Lucindas "Metro
Telephone" van drive off.) Billy sees Sho being handcuffed. Puzzled knowing
what he knows, and all he asks to speak to Sho, and slides into the car beside him.
"I was waiting for you," Sho says without preamble. The two agree to join
forces. Sho tells Billy that he must bring "the sword and the girl" to "the
old temple on the hill", that he will meet them there. Billy casts a doubtful look at
his handcuffs. "Dont worry," says Sho with a smirk. Sure enough, as
hes driven away, he has a "coughing fit". With his hands over his face, he
manages to pull a tiny blow dart from under his eye-patch. Heh, cool! Exit Cop 1. Cop 2
gets a poisoned jab, and Cop 3 (lucky boy) just gets beaten up. At the apartment, Billy
enters with his gun in hand. He opens the cupboard and is looking at the sword (just grab
it, you dork!) when Lucinda appears. He points his gun at her. "You did it,
Christie!" he chokes. "Theyre all dead! I saw everything!"
Well nice to know he had a good view from that safe distance of his. Billy produces
some handcuffs. Hurt and bewildered, Lucinda whispers, "I love you!"
Then--- Freeze. Vision. Gasp! Hes ONE OF THEM!! Unfortunately for Billy, in
his eagerness to get the cuffs on his girlfriend (no worse than a V8 fetish, really),
hes also forgotten Kens Rule Of Guns©. Lucinda disarms him and
knocks him down, then grabs the sword. "Christie, no!" whimpers Billy as
she moves towards him. Christie, YES!! DO IT!! DO IT!! DO IT!! And she does----
----only to pull up an inch short. Dammit.
Snatching up the rest of her gear, Lucinda takes the sword and runs. Billy chases her.
Youd think a sports car could catch a telephone company van, wouldnt you?
Well, it would have, except that along with all his other talents, Billy is a crap driver;
so he crashes. Meanwhile, Sho is at the "old temple", where a group of monks are
training. Lucinda also shows up. When she enters, she finds Something covered in sheets of
red silk: it is the body of her ninja. Enter Sho. Lucinda pleads for his help. He
explains that he has to force the spirit out of her, so that it will re-enter its original
body, where it can be killed. Failing that---well, hell have to kill her.
Fair enough, agrees Lucinda, and they get to it. Surprise, surprise, "forcing the
spirit out" involves the two of them whacking at each other with swords. Sho quickly
gets the upper hand, and reflects light from his sword into Lucindas eyes. She
faints, her body glows, and the "spirit" leaves her, re-entering its original
body and reanimating it. And the fights on again! Sho eventually cuts his adversary,
who retaliates with a howl that makes all the monks in the temple cry out in pain,
covering their ears. The Black Ninja also unleashes an (animated) fireball, which engulfs
some of the monks. Next thing we know, theyre possessed! They grab some of those
pike-y things and attack Sho in a group. Naturally, the result is some severe
monk-whupping. At one point, Sho ends up fighting while standing on what looks like a
gymnastics beam. (Wheres 1984 Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast Kurt Thomas
when you need him?) And in fact, this whole temple is filled with gym-like equipment (?),
and a chase over some climbing nets follows. Sho ends up cornered, and must disperse the
remaining monks with a smoke bomb.
And then Billy shows up, too late to be of
any use, as usual. He finds the unconscious Lucinda, and pulls off her hood. The prominent
black eye shes been sporting through the past few scenes has completely vanished, so
I guess that means shes not "dominated" any more. The two get all smoochy.
Meanwhile, Sho and the Black Ninja are battling to the death on the cliffs that surround
the temple. Sho is disarmed, and must evade his enemy, finally resorting to catching his
sword between his hands. Billy and Lucinda see this. Billy goes to shoot the Black Ninja,
but Lucinda stops him. The next instant, Sho sends the Black Ninjas sword flying
through the air. It lands neatly at Lucindas feet, and without hesitation, she picks
it up and charges. HIIII-YAH!! Black Ninja shish-kebob!
Howling, the Black Ninja puts his fingertips
together and spins, drilling himself into the ground. The next moment earthquake!
Sho throws his grappling hook at a nearby tree, and just as well, because the ground
beneath his feet splits open and he plunges down the crevasse, dangling on a rope. As he
struggles to climb up the rock face, Billy and Lucinda run over, then stare down at him
without lifting a finger to help. Suddenly, the Black Ninja reappears! He attacks Sho from
beneath, pulling at his legs. Sho frees one hand and pulls out a knife, which he slams
into the top of the Black Ninjas skull. And that, finally, is that. Billy and
Lucinda both make "eewww" faces, even though they couldnt possibly
have seen what happened from where they were standing. They draw near to the edge and
watch Sho climbing up, again without attempting to help. Sho brushes himself off,
exchanges a significant look with Lucinda, and strides off into the sunset. Really. And
then Billy and Lucinda fall into each others arms and get smoochy all over again.
And I start making "eewww" faces of my own. The End.
"My mother does WHAT!?"