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Review Pray for Death (1985): Very underrated!

genre: martial arts, action, crime

The Ninja franchise produced by Golan Globus for some reason are better appreciated and recognized. However Pray for Death rarely gets mentioned as one of the better Sho Kosugi titles. And it definitely is one of the better ones he is in. I mean it literally begins with a black suited ninja (Sho Kosugi) defeating other ninja's. It even has a Bondesque title sequence. How can you go wrong after that? 

Sure one could say that the plot and acting is average. So what? It serves it's purpose. Meaning it does enough to create sympathy for the good guys and disgust for the bad guys. And let me tell you. The villains in this film are among the most vile and reprehensible.They are incredibly hard on Akira Saito (Sho Kosugi) and his family. All for some necklace that got stolen by some dirty cops who put the blame on the new owners (Saito family) who have nothing to do with it. Limehouse Willie even rapes Saito's wife after he has killed her. Let that sink in. Up until this moment Saito remained relatively calm and composed. But of course after this he has all the right to dish out the much deserved revenge. All Saito wanted was to be happy and fulfill the dreams of his wife and himself. Now almost everything got wrecked because of that no good nothing Limehouse Willie. Kosugi's English might not be that good. But his pain and anger did resonate with me wholeheartedly.

So does the ending deliver? Yes and no. More than enough ninja goodness. And some of the violence certainly is cathartic. The end fight with Limehouse tough is slightly unbelievable as it is clear he can't fight. His stunt doubles can. I wished it would have been more like the opening sequence. 

However on the whole Pray for Death delivers. So certainly one to check out. 

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