When my fellow blogger friend, Russ over at Dead End Drive in was hosting Alien Invasion Week and looking for some contributors, I decided to try and throw my name into the hat. However, I wasn’t just content with something that was your typical, run of the mill alien movie. I wanted something different; and that is when the beauty of Netflix Instant watch becomes your savior (or in some cases, your worst nightmare). The film I stumbled upon was a Japanese film titled, Alien Vs. Ninja. I figured people loved watching Alien Vs. _____ movies; henceforth the success of the Alien Vs. Predator franchise. By that logic an Alien vs. a Ninja should be equally entertaining even if it isn’t the famed “alien” from the AVP franchise.
Well, it so happens that Alien Vs. Ninja is not as exciting as one would think it would be. The film revolves around two great ninja warriors and their ninja counterparts as they investigate a large fireball that fell from the sky and landed in the forest next to their village. What they discover is an alien life form that is sent to earth to destroy man kind and life as they know it. In order to try and stop the slaughter of their own village and simply to stay alive, the ninjas must find a way to stop their new unstoppable foe.
I’ve seen a lot of low budget flicks in my time. Alien Vs. Ninja certainly is one of them. However, it handles it’s budget issues with a bit of class. It spends money on some special effects where needed and backs its mediocre product up with some “decent” cinematography and camera work for the caliber of film it is. Make no mistake- the makers of this film are not going for any high goals and trying to achieve Oscar dreams. They are simply trying to make a fun movie with Aliens and Ninjas meeting up.
Action sequences in Alien Vs. Ninja actually are better than I expected once the movie started rolling. With that being said, the film had its moments of uber cheese and some scenes that were down right ridiculous. There is a fight scene in this movie between an alien and a female ninja that is so overtly sexual that it is creepy (and worthy to be posted in the video to the left). While the makers of the film were trying to be humorous and action packed at the same time, this move comes off as slightly inappropriate and kind of awkward to watch. It’s so terrible you chuckle the first time you see it; You find yourself slightly embarrassed for all involved the second time you watch it. The fight scenes between the male leads take a much more serious tone. While they certainly also have their moments that force you to stretch the imagination they don’t seem as “stupid” as any sequence that stars the female ninja.
Where Alien Vs. Ninja goes wrong is that the film tries too hard to be funny. I kept feeling like I was watching an inside joke amongst the film makers . One of the supporting cast was an aging ninja who I guess was a weapons expert and an all around doofus. His dubbed voice made him sound like a buffoon; but it equally matched his actions as well. I guess the makers of this film wanted him to be comic relief. The problem is- it didn’t really work in this film.
I somehow found myself over looking gaping plot holes, a man in a rubber alien suit that looked like a dolphin head with a few extra blow holes and some grey vinyl pants as well as some stunt work that was beyond laughable. I quickly learned I was watching a film with a production quality that was slightly better than an episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for a mature audience mixed with a hint of bad dubbing and comedy from Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. Once I settled into that reality, I realized I actually had fun Alien Vs. Ninja. It’s terrible in all the ways you want an awesomely bad movie to be. I laughed, I groaned, I questioned why I was watching it and I settled into a movie that really shouldn’t have been on my radar in the first place. If you’re looking for Alien movies for an all time great “Alien Invasion” movie list I will be the first to say that Alien Vs Ninja shouldn’t even be on your list. However as much as I want to mock this film for all its faults, I found my way to the credits of this 80 minute flick with a love/hate relationship with it. I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone; but then again I wouldn’t run screaming from it if someone I know suggested it as a late night, bad movie get together film.