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Review Ninja III: The Domination (1984): Even for a ninja film this is quite ridiculous!

genre: martial arts, action, fantasy

Ninja's are super deadly and are engulfed in mystery and mysticism. Most likely this is part of their ammo. They want to confuse you about their abilities so they can strike you when least expect it. It makes sense. However Golan Globus took this one step further and have added possession in the mix.

You read it right. In this third and final Ninja film in the Golan Globus Ninja Trilogy they decided to intensify the ninja craze by having a black ninja posses an innocent phone repair woman who happened to be near when he was killed by the police. This woman is named Christie and played by Lucinda Dickey famous for her role in the  Breakin' films. Apparently black ninja's are masters of black magic and are capable of transferring their spirits into other bodies. But instead of using this to his advantage he wastes this opportunity so he can take revenge on the police officers who have killed him. But in order to do so properly he often seems to need his gear and other weapons. I don't know about you but if you are able to control spirits and have telekinetic powers wouldn't you just will knives into someone? Or perhaps just make someone trip from the stairs? That way the effect would be the same but make it seem like an accident. But you guessed it. This black ninja is not particularly bright. He is pretty merciless though. He has no qualms whatsoever to kill people who aren't even in his way.

Who can stop this madman? Sho Kosugi of course. Only a ninja can defeat another ninja. Or rather in this case uttered by James Hong, " only a ninja can destroy another ninja "'. Fortunately for us Sho is in the mood for some combat even though it's not as much as I would have liked to. For the most part we are stuck with black ninja played by David Chung, black ninja channeled through  Lucinda Dicky and several stunt doubles. The action is good. Which should not come as a surprise since the fights are choreographed by Sho Kosugi himself. The special effects are reasonable or at least I should say are passable for even today.

Director Sam Firstenberg considered Ninja III to be a failure. Obviously when one is going to blend The Exorcist with ninja's you really have to come up with something good to make it believable. In hindsight the concept might be outrageous but it could have worked. And all it required was a director who would take the horror elements seriously. If they at least had tried to build up suspense, tension and creepiness next to all the ninja goodness you would have had the best of both worlds. I mean it would still be ridiculous but so much more rewarding.

Overall Ninja III: The Domination is a lot of fun from beginning to end. But only if you can appreciate the insanity that is displayed on your screen!

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