Enter the Ninja
|Enter the Ninja|
Film poster designed by Design Projects, Inc.
|Directed by||Menahem Golan|
|Produced by||Yoram Globus
|Written by||Dick Desmond|
|Story by||Mike Stone|
|Music by||W. Michael Lewis
|Edited by||Michael J. Duthie
|Distributed by||Cannon Films
|October 23, 1981 (USA)|
|Budget||$1.5 million (estimated)|
Enter the Ninja is a 1981 martial arts action-thriller directed by Menahem Golan and starring Franco Nero, Susan George and Sho Kosugi. Production was started in the Philippines with Emmett Alston directing, but when Charles Bronson refused to allow Menahem Golan to direct Death Wish II, Golan, a co-principal of Cannon Group which was producing both movies, took over directing duties of Ninja, replacing Alston.
After completing his ninjutsu training in Japan, Angolan Bush War veteran Cole (Franco Nero) visits his war buddy Frank Landers (Alex Courtney) and his newlywed wife Mary Ann Landers (Susan George), who are the owners of a large piece of farming land in the Philippines. Cole soon finds that the Landers are being repeatedly harassed by a wealthy CEO named Charles Venarius (Christopher George) in order to get them to sell their property because, unbeknownst to them, a large oil deposit is located beneath their land. After beginning to thwart Venarius' hired henchmen's attempts to bully and coerce the Landers into the selling of their property to Venarius, Cole eventually finds himself facing an old rival from the days of his training – Hasegawa (Sho Kosugi), who was hired by Venarius as an assassin to eliminate Cole. In the midst of these events, an affair occurs between Cole and Mary one evening.
- Franco Nero as Cole
- Susan George as Mary-Ann Landers
- Sho Kosugi as Hasegawa
- Christopher George as Charles Venarius
- Alex Courtney as Frank Landers
- Will Hare as Dollars
- Zachi Noy as Siegfried 'The Hook' Schultz
- Constantine Gregory as Mr. Parker (as Constantin de Goguel)
- Dale Ishimoto as Komori
- Joonee Gamboa as Mr. Mesuda
- Leo Martinez as Pee Wee
- Ken Metcalfe as Elliot
- Subas Herrero as Alberto
- Alan Amiel as Maroon Ninja
- Doug Ivan as Maroon Ninja
The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics at the time of its release. Considering that all the action stunts in the film were practical and done with specially-choreographed fight sequences, the film was shot with potential dangers. Some critics would point out its occasional campy tone while some praising the production values of the relatively low-budget film.
During recent times, it is criticized for having "cheesy acting" and receives negative reviews at the moment. Despite receiving countless of negative reviews these days, a few critics have managed to appreciate the film and the film has garnered a "cult following". This was the original ninja movie that started the "80's craze". The film was followed by two sequels, the second receiving the best reviews in the series and the last receiving the worst reviews.
Revenge of the Ninja, released in 1983, followed afterwards, with none of the cast returning except Sho Kosugi. Sho Kosugi who would also return in the third 'Ninja' film, Ninja III: The Domination (1984), released a year after.
Home video releases
The movie had been released on VHS and Beta during the 1980s, but an official US DVD release had long eluded the masses until MGM issued as part of its Limited Edition Collection (a series of manufactured-on-demand DVD-Rs) in October 2011. The film had also been distributed on DVD in the UK by Lighthouse (2001) and Optimum Entertainment (2011). In 2015, the film was released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber.
- "Enter the Ninja FINALLY coming to DVD via MGM’s Limited Edition Collection". InsomniacEntertainment.com. October 5, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
- Enter the Ninja at the Internet Movie Database
- Enter the Ninja at AllMovie
- Enter the Ninja at the TCM Movie Database
- Enter The Ninja at Facemelting Films