Want glorious 70's kung fu? You cannot go wrong here!
Damien Drake | Scottsdale, AZ USA | 10/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Director Chang Cheh made over a hundred films many of which are hailed, by those who know this stuff, as kung fu classics. Famed action director John Woo was quoted as naming him as a major influence and when you see this classic it's easy to see why; When the action starts, it's breathless, over the top and doesn't stop. A SPOILER FREE SYNOPSIS: Some nasty ninja have killed our hero's martial arts teacher. With the aide of a new teacher and some new fighting buddies our hero takes on the "Five Element Ninjas" (Gold, Fire, Water, Wood & Land).Bottom Line: It's exciting, it's violent and if you like kung fu it's impossible to only watch this movie once. For more Chang Cheh brilliance try 'The Kid with the Golden Arms' or '5 Deadly Venoms'."
Worth it for the ninja battle in the swimming pool alone!!!
morgoth | omaha, NE | 10/20/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"So Alexander Lo Rei plays an American cop with his normal on screen partner, Eugene Thomas. The Five Element Ninja has set him up and now he has to become the super ninja. Having tons of training before as a ninja and with the great Jack Long as his master, he is more than ready to take on all comers.
This movie was so freaking weird, but HIGHLY enjoyable. Name me the last time you you saw a guy breakout of the poice station in a great ninja flick. Alexander plows through a ton of cops and faces plenty of ninjas in this classic. Directed by the same guy who did 'Ninja Hunter', Wu Kuo Jen, we get all the areas of 80's exploitation. The ninja could not have been much better. Jack Long is sadly in his weakest role I have seen but it is still nice to see him none the less. One thing in this movie surprised me beyond belief. Doris Lung, a fighting beauty from 'Master of the Flying Guillotine' and 'Along Comes A Tiger' stars as Lo Rei's boyfriend. Her dad ends up becoming the main point of the plot but the plot is not what we are worried about, right? Doris Lung has a 5 minute sex scene that actually is a notch over soft core. I had always dreamed of seeing my favorite female stars like Li-Li-Li and Brigitte Lin in a scene like this but now I am not so sure. You will get all of Doris that you wanted and maybe a bit more but it really just seemed wrong to me. Also this is her last listed credit. It is very interesting that in Hong Kong cinema, an actress will NEVER expose herself except maybe a little but of the booty. Let's just say that if she worked again after a movie like this, she would have been the first. Alright, now the sex scene actually helps set the tone for the rest of the movie. Pretty grim and real(except the ninjas of course). William Yen is one of the 5 ninjas and gets in a bit of comedy at the end but other than that this movie is all about the desperation and the blood and guts of Lo Rei. And of course the major cheese plays a major factor.
The final fight is basically just a ton of super human flying kicks. Only thing is is that these guys are really doing it. Think of that super kick that Hwang put on Jackie's throat in 'Drunken Master'. Too bad Hwang isn't in this but Lo Rei does pull out possibly the greatest scissor kick ever to appear on screen. Way better than the one he does into the water in 'Shaolin Vs. Lama'. The finale still could have been better but is very fun just like the rest of this movie.
Picture quality is full screened of course and while the print isn't really scratched up at all, it is very faded. Another crappy picture for a good movie. Also the dubbing is really bad. Eugene Thomas has a horrible voice-over just like all of his movies."