directed by Mark Bessenger
runtime: 87 mins
Sometime around 2006 I was in college and there was this seemingly random resurgence in the fascination with ninjas and pirates. The world was forced into taking sides. I imagine many an undergrad getting laid after relating to their intoxicated coeds about ninjitsu’s superiority to swashbuckling or vice-versa. (SMOKE BOMBS OVER SCURVY! LANDLUBBERS FOREVER!) Many chose the ninja side blindly without having ever seen Enter the Ninja, Return of the Ninja, or Ninja III: The Domination, not to mention any Godfrey Ho films. But that’s okay! The philistine crowd still had 3 Ninjas and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What does this have to do with this shot-on-Super 8-relic of Chicago? Nothing! I’m just padding my review with a hearty reminisce.
Throats get slashed by a roundhouse kick from a spurred boot. Am I a raccoon? Because this is a trash snack! Our journey begins…
A living ninja by the name of Jack in gray denim jeans proposes to his brat of a girlfriend, Maggie, in a rowboat. He even has an engagement ring for himself. Once back on shore, his friend Orlan (who is wrapped up in some shit) begs for his help. A large man in an orange bandana arrives to fight with nunchucks.
There’s a tussle, but then Spithrachne arrives and Jack is murdered to death.
After the funeral, a distraught Maggie throws her ring at Orlan and wishes he was in that wooden box instead of Jack. Orlan seeks out Brother Banjo – a black tennis enthusiast. (what were you expecting? Raven feathers and voodoo grease paint?)
Orlan is such a shitbag that he has Jack resurrected as a ninja zombie so he can still get help out of him. The engagement rings become control rings and whomever wears the second ring has the control, so Orlan does exactly that (it’s okay, he gets tortured later! (With hot pokers and leeches!!)). With Jack by Orlan’s side, perhaps he can get out from under the thumb of the Red Spider Gang.
The Red Spider gang is basically the foot clan and it’s leader, Spithrachne, is Master Shredder. He sits in a black widow throne with his dumb spider facepaint and makes Orlan eat giant spider eggs. Another day in the life.
Along the way, the Urn of Prometheus acts as their big dumb object, and Ninja Zombie Jack tears off someone’s arm and beats them with it. I roll in the trash like a dog in shit!
NINJA ZOMBIE employs a surprisingly masterful balance with its comedic beats, having just enough to make it fun without being overly silly. There’s a wonderful scene with old beer-guzzling ladies watching a gay version of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Think I’m kidding?
Swords and karate chops comprise the slowly executed fight scenes, but if they weren’t having fun then I’m Miley Cyrus.
On that horrifying note, support AGFA, they’ve done it again, folks. Bringing those forgotten or lost schlock oddities up from the grave one weird ninja zombie at a time. NINJA ZOMBIE gets a well deserved—
Stay slime, and be rad at all times!