Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 31st, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1985 (Nine Deaths Of The Ninja), USA, 1984 (Killpoint)
Directors: Emmett Alston (Nine Deaths Of The Ninja), Frank Harris (Killpoint)
Cast: Shô Kosugi, Brent Huff, Emilia Crow, Blackie Dammett, Aiko Cownden (Nine Deaths Of The Ninja), Leo Fong, Richard Roundtree, Cameron Mitchell, Stack Pierce, Hope Holiday (Killpoint)
DVD released: August 29th, 2006
Approximate running time: 94 minutes (Nine Deaths Of The Ninja), 89 minutes (Killpoint)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed (Nine Deaths Of The Ninja), 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Killpoint)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo (Both Films)
DVD Release: BCI Eclipse
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $12.98
Nine Deaths Of The Ninja: Terrorists kidnapped a group of tourists and a congressman who where vacationing in Manila. Apparently they are pissed off that the drug enforcement officers have been making their job harder. So they demand that all their jailed comrades are freed and that all drug enforcement officers withdraw from eastern Asia immediately or they will start killing the hostages. Never one to give into terrorists threats the U.S. government deploys a team of special agents to free the hostages and eliminate the scum from the face of the Earth.
9 Deaths of the Ninja suffers from not enough action and its lack of ninja’s that it promises. The film does have an impressive array of midgets who all participate in the best action sequence in the whole film. The films is directed is the most pedestrian way as the director acts like he has noting better to do then just point his camera. To the director’s credit the cheesy opening credits with actor Shô Kosugi posing and swinging his samurai sword in fog while lovely ladies dance around is the directors’ most inspired work I the whole film. The tongue and cheek humor in the film is flat and never comes close to hitting the mark.
The cast is filled with many known B film veterans like Brent Huff of Just Jackin’s Gwendoline fame plays you’re a typical lead. Actor Blackie Dammett plays a doctor strange love like Nazi character and he is probably known for his famous son Anthony Kiedis then his acting. Then there is ninja master extraordinary Shô Kosugi who also has several members of his family in the cast. Every action film needs a beautiful leading lady and this film is graced by an actress named Aiko Cownden who unfortunately didn’t make any other films after this one. This film has all the action movie clichés and it totally revels in its badness and if you still haven’t been sacred away from this epic adventure then you are a braver man then most.
Killpoint: A National Guard armory is robbed by a man named Joe Marks (Cameron Mitchell) and his posse of thugs who plan of selling the weapons to all the gangs and criminals of Los Angeles. The city is quickly besieged by violent rampages that leave no witness’ alive. A Los Angeles cop Lt. James Long who wife was recently raped and murdered teams up with FBI agent Bill Bryant (Richard Roundtree). Together they must find out who is behind this sinister plan and take them out by any means necessary.
Kill Point like many action films from this era is filled with senseless killing sprees that are just time fillers and nothing more. To this films credit at least most o these killing sprees have motives behind them. The direction is by the numbers and the acting is also pretty bad all around. Actor Richard Roundtree had seen better days earlier in his career with the Shaft films and this film has his upholding the law once again. I guess if it isn’t broken why fix it.
Then there is cult icon Cameron Mitchell who plays the lecherous crime boss Joe Marks. Mitchell is flamboyant and sleazy as he plays Marks almost gleefully like he is the only one in on the joke. Someone should have told him that we aren’t laughing with him, but at him. Lt. James Long is played by Leo Fong and if anyone doubts his intensity just watch the montage of him working out and thinking about his raped/murdered wife. The montage is inter-cut with several Sergio Leone like close up’s of Leo Fong’s menacing stare. Unfortunately Fong looks meaning then he is and his skills as a marital artist leave a lot to be desired. So what the verdict if you are still reading then there is a good chance you may enjoy these enjoy this film because you are gluten for bad cinema.
9 Deaths of the Ninja is presented in a letterboxed widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The image looks clean and black levels and colors look good. There is some mild edge enhancement and the image looks softened or flat at times.
Kill Point is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Outside of some minor print damage colors and black levels looks above average. There is some mild edge enhancement and the image looks fuzzy as it lacks sharpness.
Both films come with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The dialog is easy enough to follow and there is some noticeable hiss present on both films audio. Overall both mixes are adequate just don’t go expecting to blown away with dynamic range during explosions and rapid gun fire.
Extras for each release consist of trailers which are Low Blow, Hell on Wheels, Hot Target, Scorpion, Top Cop, The Hostage, 9 Deaths of the Ninja and Terror in the Jungle.
The 1980’s was a fertile breeding ground for the action film and BCI Eclipse Maximum Action double feature pairs together two of this era’s lesser known and more forgettable films.