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Silver Dragon Ninja! Oh, no!!

by Caroline Seawright

 

According to the movie, Silver Dragon Ninja:

The Ninjas were originally meant to do good. They were a symbol of sacrifice, strength and power. Their powers were to save men, not to destroy the world. This is the story of the white ninjas vs the black ninjas. The black ninjas had one aim - to conquer the whole world and to gain total global control. They believed they must succeed or otherwise pay the ultimate price.

This is the blurb to a movie that my RPGing friends pressed on me (well, warned me not to watch in such a manner as to make me want to watch it).

It starred Harry Caine, Sam Yosida, Jim Gross and Guy Sampson. Directed by Don Kong. No-one I've ever heard before.

I did a search for this movie from Google, and the only sites that even mention this movie are all sites that are trying to sell it... mostly with the same blurb, calling it a 'fast paced action' movie that is also 'in colour'.

It's 85 minutes of pure laughter. Laughter AT the movie, not with it. It seems like it was meant to be a series movie, kind of like Evil Dead I, but it failed miserably.

Part of the reason why it failed, I guess, would be due to the fact that it was:

  • done in the 70s
  • badly dubbed
  • obviously fake swords
  • a bad plot... or lack thereof.
It's one of those movies where if you don't laugh, you'll end up crying - it really is that bad!

The clothing is really bad. You could quite easily apply the Cat's (from Red Dwarf - Timeslides) comment to the fashion sense in this movie: "Look at that collar! You could go hang gliding!"

The dubbing. Now that's something you can sit around and mock during the whole movie! Come on! A Hong Kong police officer (one of the main characters) speaking with a very broad Australian accent?! The other accents are just as bad, but the Australian one is the worst! Then there's the lack of lip sync... in some spots, the characters move their lips, and nothing at all has been dubbed!

I'm into anime and I've seen a lot of dubbing in my time. Good dubbing, bad dubbing, fan dubbing... and let me tell you, this was like sitting through bad fan dubbing! But it's sold in shops!!

Then there are the scenes where the ninjas are doing their ninja stuff with swords. The ninjas wave their swords about as they twirl and pretend to be razor death... but the swords wobble. The tips of the swords wave back and forth like a field of wheat in a howling gale! Come on, couldn't they have found something a little harder to use than what looks like pieces of silver cardboard!?

And to top it all off? The plot! You've heard of movies with plot holes big enough to drive a truck through, but this takes the cake! It looked like a ninja movie and a police movie, stapled and glued together. The first 10m and the last 10m of the movie have ninjas running around doing ninja stuff. The middle? A pure and simple cop movie, with a couple of evil ninja popping up, and running off again to report to their boss.

Then there's the way the characters seem to magically transport themselves from Hong Kong to another country, and back again... maybe it was just me not paying attention, but I have no idea how on earth the people in Hong Kong suddenly got into gang warfare in another country. Or why the police woman managed to be a sales assistant at the shop where the bad guy just happened to be, nor why she went psycho (as I'd probably do) after getting raped by the bad guy, and then turning up the next day like nothing had happened... and letting it happen again. And again.

Oh, I can't forget the people who are in the movie for a couple of moments, who then get killed off! The main cop's kid (he had a kid!?) who is there, playing with a car... then gets blown up by the evil ninja! Then later on, the cop's wife (amazingly, she had been in the movie a little while before) is having dinner with a kid (Huh? Wasn't he killed off??) and then she ends up getting killed. And the worst? The guy at the start - the second of the two good (white) ninja - after waving his wobbly sword around for a while, and gets told 'No-one can beat you!' by the main white ninja... he disappears for 90% of the movie. He turns up at the end, and is promptly dispatched by lackey ninja, in a matter of seconds!

The main good ninja, though, is laughable. He's at the start doing some ninja stuff, and at the end doing some fighting. What does he do through the whole movie? He talks on the telephone to people! He answers the telephone with 'Silver Dragon Ninja speaking!' What? Is he listed in the White Pages as 'Silver Dragon Ninja', but the evil ninja can't find him even so? (Oh, and when he's in his white ninja outfit, he wears an upside down Mitsubishi logo on his head band!!! The anti-Mitsubishi ninja!)

The two "plots" - the ninjas and the police story - didn't seem to have anything in common at all, either... there was a bad guy ninja, and a leader of a gang... the good ninja dealt with the bad ninja, and the cop dealt with the gang leader. I don't think the plots ever met, actually... oh, the ninja talked on the phone to the police woman who was raped. That was it, I think...

I asked my boyfriend to describe this movie to one of his friends. This is what he had to say:

Think of the worst movie you've ever seen. Then make that 1000-fold worse. Add really bad dubbing. That's Silver Dragon Ninja.

I have to agree with him.

But it's still a movie that you have to see, at least once in your life time, if you're into martial arts movies. It'll be a hoot for you and your friends, I'm sure!

Silver Dragon Ninja - I'm not even sure if it was a Hong Kong movie, or a European one, or even American. If you find out, let me know!

Oh, yeah - the movie taught me one thing about how to be a ninja! You have to have the ability to raise your right arm in the air and make a fist, and keep it there the whole time you are kneeling or talking to your master. A skill I know I must master if I ever want to be a lackey ninja to a maniac who wants to take over the world!


© Caroline 'Kunoichi' Seawright 2000 - present

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