Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 8th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, 1982
Directors: Bruce Le, Joseph Kong
Cast: Bruce Le, Jang Lee Hwang, Casanova Wong, Harold Sakata, Bolo Yeung, Fabienne Beze, André Koob, Monica Lam, Jean-Marie Pallardy, Corliss Randall, Dick Randall
DVD released: February 17th, 2009
Approximate running time: 81 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Code Red / Rare Flix / Media Blasters
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99 (Only sold as part of Rareflix Triple Feature Volume 3)
Ninja Strikes Back was co-directed by and stars Bruce Lee clone, Bruce Le who’s other notable films include Bruce the Super Hero, Bruce Lee’s Fist of Vengeance, Challenge of the Tiger and The Clones of Bruce Lee. Bruce Le originally began his career working for the Shaw Brother’s under his real name Kin Lung Huang. While working for the Shaw Brother’s he appeared in films like Rivals of Kung Fu and The Super Inframan. Ninja Strikes Back was co-directed by Joseph Kong who collaborated with Bruce Le on numerous other films.
The plot for Ninja Strikes Back doesn’t stray far from all the cliches one would expect while watching a martial arts film. The one main twist is that the film’s star / hero Bruce Le starts off on the work side of the tracks and tries to get his life back on track, only to be draw back into the corrupt world he tried to abandon. In between kicking ass, Bruce also spends time hanging out at the beach with a few topless babes. The plot also includes the obligatory friend who betrays the lead character. All in all this film really is all about the action. So don’t expect any intricate twists and turns or character development.
The cast features a few notable performers in secondary roles like Bolo Yeung (Chinese Hercules), Jang Lee Hwang (Game of Death 2) and Harold Sakata (Goldfinger). One of the more amusing aspects of this film is that whenever Harold Sakata’s character appears James Bond music play and there is even a scene where he throws his hat like a weapon, just like he had previous in the James Bond film Goldfinger. Two other minor roles of note are Producer Dick Randall in the role of an American ambassador and French erotica director Jean-Marie Pallardy. Ultimately Ninja Strikes Back is an enjoyable martial arts film that retreads familiar ground.
Ninja Strikes Back is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Colors look nicely saturated, flesh tones look natural and black levels remain strong throughout. The source used for this transfer is in great shape with only a few minor blemishes that are never intrusive. Reportedly this transfer was sourced from a film print and it definitely looks miles ahead of any of the other RareFlix titles that have been released to date. Unfortunately the transfer is interlaced and has not been flagged for progressive playback.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. There are some minor instances of background noise and a few times where the audio levels fluctuate. Overall despite these flaws the audio is more than adequate presentation for this film.
The only extra for this release that is pertinent to the main feature Ninja Strikes Back is an extensive photo gallery with cover art and stills. Other extras include trailers for other RareFlix and Media Blasters titles that are available on DVD. The Media Blasters trailer trailers gallery is not organized and it is disappointing that each trailer cannot be accessed individually. Ninja Strikes Back is only available as part of Rareflix Triple Feature Volume 3 which also comes with Revenge of the Bushido Blade and Lady Street Fighter. Overall Ninja Strikes Back gets a well rounded DVD release.