When five ninjas whose fighting styles are based on natural elements unleash their fury on a rival school, a lone survivor vows deadly revenge.When five ninjas whose fighting styles are based on natural elements unleash their fury on a rival school, a lone survivor vows deadly revenge.When five ninjas whose fighting styles are based on natural elements unleash their fury on a rival school, a lone survivor vows deadly revenge.
Directed by Chang Cheh, Five Element Ninjas opens as two kung fu schools go head to head to see who is the best. One team, who wear natty matching white outfits, are clearly the superior fighters, even beating the samurai brought on as guest fighter by the other side. As the defeated samurai commits seppuku, he throws his ring at his opponents, warning that when they see another ring like it, it will mean their death.
Sure enough, a note arrives soon after with a ring attached, a challenge from the five elements ninjas. The guys in white barricade their headquarters and send eight of their finest fighters to confront the ninjas. Two of their men go up against four Gold ninjas, who wear lamé outfits and use metal hats that fire blades from the rim; both meet bloody fates. The duo who face the wood ninjas (who disguise themselves as trees!) also die in gory fashion. Another pair battle Water ninjas, who lurk under the surface of a pond, ready to strike; they fare no better than their companions. A lone fighter faces the Fire ninjas, who wear red and are equipped with smoke weapons; no prizes for guessing how he gets on. The last of the eight is attacked by the Earth ninjas and their master, who appear from and disappear into the ground; he also dies.
Meanwhile, sexy female ninja Senji (Pei Hsi Chen) infiltrates the base of the white guys (who I think are called The Alliance of the Martial Arts World, but 'white guys' is quicker to type); she sends plans of their building to her ninja pals who launch an attack, killing all but Shao Tien-hao (Tien-Chi Cheng), who makes it to the home of a martial arts master who teaches him how to fight against the ninjas. Together with three equally adept pals, Shao Tien-hao goes looking for revenge.
With all manner of cool weaponry, and superbly choreographed fighting throughout, all taken to crazy extremes by director Cheh, Five Element Ninjas is a seriously enjoyable movie, with a satisfyingly brutal finalé that sees all of the ninjas being kicked, punched, sliced, diced and literally torn limb from limb by Shao Tien-hao and his buddies. Anyone who doesn't find this a whole lot of fun should forever be forbidden from watching any film with 'ninja' in the title.
- Jan 3, 2017