Joseph Lai has a lot to answer for. He was the man that filled the 80s with a million and one insane Ninja movies. Some of those films, such as NINJA THE PROTECTOR, NINJA HUNT, RAGE OF A NINJA and NINJA CAR BOOT SALE (I made that last one up) were amongst the most deliriously odd things ever committed to film. Haven't seen any of them? Don't, unless you are drunk, insane, or work in a comic shop. Well, go on then, watch them, but don't say I didn't warn you.
Here was a genre all by itself; Asian action movies intercut with footage of European and American actors in luridly coloured Ninja costumes, beating the hell out of each other (usually in a forest) and acting like superheroes. These Ninja movies made little sense, regularly defied all notions of physics and story, and were really quite brilliant. The fact that these films got released at all astounds me, and they remain a guilty pleasure of many geeks to this day.
Watching a film in which the major action sequences take place with a different cast and have little to do with the film itself is an odd experience, and I do wonder how many of these have been used as models for modern Hollywood flicks. They make about as much narrative sense.
I blame Joseph Lai and his merry band of demented, costumed action heroes, plots on secret documents and crime lords, explosions made of coloured smoke, music made on someone's watch and NINJA headbands for turning me into this seething mass of oddness. have you any idea what you did to my teenaged self? It's all your fault, Lai, and now I'm going to spin in the air and transform into a superhuman ninja and fly through the air, shooting fire, smoke and plastic shuriken at you.
Seriously though, you can't go wrong with guys in white/yellow/pink/red/silver ninja costumes beating each other to death with the same sound effect (BOOOCH) for every hit. These were grown men playing dress-up, with swords that shot smoke, magic teleportation powers, blunt swords and the acting abilities of a shoelace.
Quite simply, they were awesome, and you know it.
Plus, they kick the ass of pirates any day. Fact.