One of those ultra violent, banned and notorious 80s ninja movies, Revenge of the Ninja is the kind of a movie loses some of its charm with the hi-def transfer, compared to the good old grungy VHS; The super clean transfer reveals all the clumsy makeup, effects and wobbling sets without remorse – which doesn’t exactly work out for the movie’s advantage.
Now, almost 40 years after the movie was first released, all the fuss about the movie being too violent and getting banned feels hard to fathom. What is seen here is not particularly gory or cruel, and the effects are a far cry from convincing and come across more comedic than upsetting.
The choreographed fights are ok, but nothing special enough to set the movie apart. It does get a bit better (and sillier) towards the end, and it is the outrageous end showdown that kind of makes it worthwhile to watch it through. Like the case is with many martial arts movies, Revenge of the Ninja has a very limited appeal to those who are not fans of the genre.