Jump to content
AlmostAGhost

Episode 241: Ninja III: The Domination

Recommended Posts

I just want to know what that scientist could have been working on that he required that level of protection.  I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that no one working on the Manhattan Project or Apollo Mission ever had that kind of security detail.  This movie centered on demon ninjas but yet somehow there was a more interesting story somewhere off screen.

This movie went a long way towards fighting the stereotype of the the silent ninja during the fight in the dilapidated house.  The sound mixer turned all their knobs up to 11 for the floorboard creaking in that scene.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
22 minutes ago, CaptainAmazing said:

Uh...

vGHz4aB.jpg

Can’t find it on Google either.

 

EDIT: The correct fundraiser Appears to be here.

Thanks for noticing and correcting!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Two things struck me watching this cinematic masterpiece. 

First, I was elated to see character actor supreme (439 credits!) James Hong as Miyashima, the Exorcist. And my first thought on his performance was "Oh, he's channeling David Lo Pan from 'Big Trouble in Little China'". But, much to my surprise, I look up the production date of this movie and it's 1984 meaning it was made two years before "Big Trouble". So I guess from now on, when I watch that movie, I'll have to think "Oh, he's channeling the exorcist from 'Ninja III'".

However, I think the most exciting thing to me in this movie was the appearance of the arcade game "Bouncer". For those who aren't 80s arcade nerds, "Bouncer" is pretty famous as a lost arcade game. It was developed by a small company, Entertainment Sciences, and it was quite advanced for the time--"high" resolution graphics, novel gameplay, new technology, see some gameplay here--and tested out in California. You play a bouncer at a bar tossing drunks, flashers, and other bad guys out of the bar. It was on display at a video game convention in New Orleans in 1983 and its appearance in "Ninja III" is probably product placement. But in the end, the high cost of the game and legal disputes between the developer and the company contracted to build it led eventually to all the known parts, boards, etc. being destroyed. It is thought that three working versions might have survived (one of which is the cabinet in "Ninja III") but only rumors of those machines exist (i.e., "a friend of a friend knows someone with one").

For more info on "Bouncer", there is a website dedicated to it (with a long story about one man trying to find one) as well as a Youtube video about it, including a compilation of all the "Ninja III" appearances of the cabinet: 

 

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, Fortran said:

Two things struck me watching this cinematic masterpiece. 

First, I was elated to see character actor supreme (439 credits!) James Hong as Miyashima, the Exorcist. And my first thought on his performance was "Oh, he's channeling David Lo Pan from 'Big Trouble in Little China'". But, much to my surprise, I look up the production date of this movie and it's 1984 meaning it was made two years before "Big Trouble". So I guess from now on, when I watch that movie, I'll have to think "Oh, he's channeling the exorcist from 'Ninja III'".

However, I think the most exciting thing to me in this movie was the appearance of the arcade game "Bouncer". For those who aren't 80s arcade nerds, "Bouncer" is pretty famous as a lost arcade game. It was developed by a small company, Entertainment Sciences, and it was quite advanced for the time--"high" resolution graphics, novel gameplay, new technology, see some gameplay here--and tested out in California. You play a bouncer at a bar tossing drunks, flashers, and other bad guys out of the bar. It was on display at a video game convention in New Orleans in 1983 and its appearance in "Ninja III" is probably product placement. But in the end, the high cost of the game and legal disputes between the developer and the company contracted to build it led eventually to all the known parts, boards, etc. being destroyed. It is thought that three working versions might have survived (one of which is the cabinet in "Ninja III") but only rumors of those machines exist (i.e., "a friend of a friend knows someone with one").

For more info on "Bouncer", there is a website dedicated to it (with a long story about one man trying to find one) as well as a Youtube video about it, including a compilation of all the "Ninja III" appearances of the cabinet: 

 

 

Darn.  You beat me to it by literally a few minutes (shouldn't have made lunch first).  I too am surprised that as a gaming enthusiast Paul (go 3DO!) didn't bring it up.  I hope Paul includes this in the C&As because the best hope of finding one of the possibly three remaining copies of this game is the (uncredited) Special Effects guy who worked on this movie and the hope he didn't throw it in the trash or sell it for $20 at a garage sale.   Maybe he'll listen to your podcast ("Hey, I worked on that!  I'll give it a listen.") and get in touch with the owner of the Turbosub website.

To make an analogy for Paul relative to Unspooled, finding a copy of this game would be the film equivalent of finding Orson Welles' original cut of the Magnificent Ambersons.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Does anyone have a picture of the baby doll monster they referenced in her bathroom? Tried to search, but couldn't find what they were referring to?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, ChunkStyle said:

I just want to know what that scientist could have been working on that he required that level of protection.  I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that no one working on the Manhattan Project or Apollo Mission ever had that kind of security detail.  This movie centered on demon ninjas but yet somehow there was a more interesting story somewhere off screen.

 

Maybe you answered your own question, and the scientist was researching on demon ninja! Suddenly, we're sharing a universe with that other movie that featured university research professors studying paranormal-- Ghostbusters! And now we can finally have that cinematic crossover with Ghostbusters vs. demon ninja and assorted Japanese ghosts and monsters! 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, Nick T. said:

I appreciate the sentiment and support the cause as well. I’ve been speaking out on police conduct for 25+ years. In fact, my family and I got one cop fired for misconduct  through a lawsuit (long story). However, one thing I think many people forget is that blacks/African-Americans (not really sure there’s any consensus on what term is more appropriate) is that they compose only 8% of the population. People always talk about under representation, but I’d bet much more than 8% of new releases have a black lead or co-lead. The point being is that there are just a lot more white and Latino folks around. Asians, black, etc. are a tiny demo in comparison.
My point really being that what people often tend to think of as a lack of proactive efforts at inclusion are simply down to sheer numbers.

 

I get how some might be listening for a break from this 24/7 situation might not like it, but I feel/hope that, due to the type of person this show attracts, the mass majority will be  and understand they can just fast forward past it if they don’t want to hear it. 
 

PS - I listened to the Stealth episode with the little Key & Peele guy. Bloodsport is my favorite HDTGM episode and Nicole was hilarious in that. Her guest appearance on The Meg was amazing too. She’s been a great regular. Can’t wait until the Arclight gets that special “Nicole Buyer will be yelling at the screen during this viewing” feature Jason suggested.  

 

10 hours ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

I didn’t mean to be like “you guys aren’t doing enough” but I was trying to think of something actionable that the podcast could undertake. I am sure the 8% is correct where you are. In LA it is 11%. Let’s round down to 10. They have done 241 movies. I would argue they shoot try to have had 24 Black guests or thereabouts? And I don’t meant to say they have not because I can think of Nicole, Tawny Newsome, Hannibal Burress, Colton Dunn and Rhetta off the top of my head. I think they have had a fair number but maybe not 24. I could look at the list of guests on Wikipedia but I am lazy. 

Was just trying to be helpful not critical. 

 

Sorry i I have little to say about the film. I didn’t watch it. I do love the music in that clip. And I really hope we get “How Did We Get Scheer” category or supercut in the Howdies. I posted some time stamps of other examples in the Howdies thread if anyone knows how to do supercuts. 

Just because I think right now correct statistics are super important when discussing these topics I looked this up and according to the 2010 US Census Hispanic/Latinx Americans make up 16.3% while Black/African Americans make up 12.6% of the population. While we may be splitting hairs, those few percentage numbers actually do make up a lot of individuals and are important to factor in. Also looked up what they expect to be reported this year and the Census is expecting it to be reported as 13.4%. Also not criticizing - only think stats are important lol!

Also didn't see this movie, but I really appreciate how vocal June and Paul have been on this subject.

Please consider looking up your local bail funds because many protestors are being arrested without even being read their rights (happened here in Dallas) and shit is just getting insane.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

This movie. Let me say at the top, I enjoyed all its campy goodness. What a crazy ride. But also, woof. What a product of its time-- The music, the sets, the hair/body hair, the misogyny, the casual racism...

Ninja III posits a world in which there is *an Asiatic division on the police force* and where a preoccupation with Japanese culture is part of a medical diagnosis.  And by Japanese culture, the doctor doesn't mean a rich tapestry of art, literature, and history stretching back thousands of years-- it means mystical stuff of demons and ghosts. The "Black Ninja" of the movie, and like many movies of its time, is presented as a supernatural being more like a vampire or (based on all the shenanigans in the apartment) a poltergeist. It's all very Yellow Peril 101-- afraid of the "other," who is uncivilized by Western standards with mystical connections, something unnatural and inherently evil. Something to be distrusted and belittled while at the same time feared because it is exotic. 

Paul rightly goes into the more traditional and historically accurate understanding of "ninja," although the movie was never really concerned about that, and preferred the standard pop culture definition.  80s' America was consumed with Japan in fear and wonder-- you might say a "preoccupation with Japanese culture." The US was in a recession and dominated by the juggernaut of Japan's rising economy. It's no wonder that the ninja became more symbolic-- it was something so powerful it could travel unseen and cut you down instantly, so inscrutible, so relentless. It was also something very cinematic. It made for a great villain, and was also great for appropriation. Take down your enemy by assimilating it, infantilizing it until you get such classics as Surf Ninjas and 3 Ninjas. And also Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which tried to be parody and turned into something beloved in its own right. Culture is weird. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Paul talked about Eyepatch’s eyepatch and how its weird nature called attention to itself.  The eyepatch he wore was actually made from a tsuba. The tsuba is the guard on the sword that separates the handle from the blade to protect the person holding the sword from touching the actual blade.
 

I guess it was also convenient to wear it as an eyepatch as it allowed him to conceal all those different tiny weapons he used to kill those cops after he was arrested.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Interesting take, Danny. 

I think the movie missed a HUGE opportunity in not providing more back story for the evil ninja, especially with the shaman calling “Great Lord.” It would have made the story most compelling to have had the shaman, the good ninja or the spirit itself divulge his history and motivations (or better, yet, if she had been able to see glimpses of when possessed). Like:

-has the spirit been passing through different vessels for centuries (E.G., the body we first see it in or has it been in that body for all its time? Having been called Great Lord seems to indicate it’s some legendary demon or ghost of a famous dead Shogun, Samuari, etc  

-And what happened to make the EN (evil ninja) and/or its spirit so malevolent? And is his malevonce indiscriminate or targeted 

-Was the spirit part of a clan that had once warred with the GN (good ninja)

-And is that why he went after the GN and who were those people holding GN arms when he took his eye out?

 I could go on forever, but had they taken an hour to write a minute or two of flash backs or exposition to tell us more it would have been much more interesting. And what happened to the EN can only be killed at this specific mountain temple in Japan?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Taylor: I appreciate the data correction. I’m a research/factoid junky and a nitpicker. So, I love getting the correct facts. lol

Anyway, in 2019, 27.6% of movies starred a minority in a leading role. Since 72% of Americans are caucasian, that seems to be a dead on reflection of population demographics. Hopefully, those movies were much more nuanced portrayals (I.E., no animated films where like we know the cow is supposed to rep an Af-Am character because it says  a “you da, cow!” to his bovine buddies).

EDIT: I deleted a really, way too long post related to all this stuff (I.E., what I think are worst driving factors behind all this misjustice taking place), but I think it’d be better to have a dedicated thread for those who wish to discuss these issues than risk hi-jacking the episode discussion w/political convo. I’ll leave that up to admins/mods or members who sort of fill that function. Gotta say, if this weren’t the most civil forum I’ve possibly ever seen, I wouldn’t even have dared touch these topics w/a 10 foot pole.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

So watching the opening scene gave me a lot of vibes of playing an online game, with the Ninja being a griefer, just a dude who's there to ruin the game for everyone else. He literally just runs up on the scientist and starts slaughtering his party and makes a point to kill and/or maim everyone in it. Then when the police arrive he continues his rampage when there were numerous moments where he could have made his escape. Then he basically had infinite ammo and health cheat codes on with how many damn ninja stars he was whipping around and the fact he kept getting up despite being shot more times than Tony Montana. So then like in an online game like this the mod eventually intervenes and kicks the dude out of the server, which could be seen as the scene where he drops dead in front of Christie and passes his soul onto her. The basic idea that the ninja thought the cops are in the wrong for doing their job of stopping his was fucking insane, especially as he racked up a body count in the dozens by the time he's died.

Questions:

How did none of those cops end up shooting each other as they were shooting the ninja? They were in a complete circle and there's no way every bullet hit him, statistically there had to have been some friendly fire. Also did anyone else notice that the important scientist with a team of bodyguards was not so important as to be playing on a public municipal golf course? When the call to the cops goes out the operator mentions it's at the municipal court, which are usually the cheapest courses to play on in comparison to non-city owned or private course, so maybe he made it a bit too easy for the ninja to get to him by being on a course that any Joe Blow can walk onto.

Omission:

The crew were wondering what was eye-patch's motivation for hunting the ninja, it's revealed in a quick flashback that the ninja was responsible to killing eye-patch's entire clan and making him watch, thus making him want revenge against the ninja. Also during the opening fight I'm amazed no one mentioned the stunt where the ninja knocks a cop of his motorcycle in front of the water hazard, and the stunt man is clearly seen landing on the ground as his bike starts to flip, but the very next shot shows him and the bike being rocketed into the water. It was some of the laziest and choppy editing I've ever seen. Also I know there was talk about connecting to the other two Ninja films, but neither movie is connected to one another as well, they basically just share a title and the fact that ninjas are in them, they don't even have a supernatural element to them.

And I never thought two things would happen on this podcast:

1. That there would be a more 80s movie than Death Spa.

2. That there would be a longer tangent conversation on the show than the parental/relationship tree of Sleepaway Camp, but the V8 conversation easily passed it.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

OMG, I saw the movie title and instantly recalled my friend's band, The Slats, capping off one of their albums with a track by the same title. In fact, it's a cover of the movie's main theme music (and sadly not of song from the aerobics scene).

Check it out on Bandcamp: Ninja III: The Domination from Boom Patrol by The Slats

Per my friend, he and the band recorded the track based only on his own recollection of the music from seeing the movie at age 10. Years later, after finishing the record, he found a VHS of the movie and was amazed at how well they matched the original music (albeit in lo-fi trash rock fashion).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

As a former Angeleno and current Phoenician, I knew this was filmed in Phoenix from the first golf course scene.  Papagos, South Mountain, Encanto Park.  It was an unexpected bonus for this great movie.  I hope you guys will do a live show here someday; we are only a 1 hour flight, the fifth largest city in the country, and we are turning more blue all the time.  

Paul may be interested to know that V8 now has Spicy Hot and Hint of Pepper versions.  You were ahead of your time.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, RyanSz said:

 

So watching the opening scene gave me a lot of vibes of playing an online game, with the Ninja being a griefer, just a dude who's there to ruin the game for everyone else. He literally just runs up on the scientist and starts slaughtering his party and makes a point to kill and/or maim everyone in it. Then when the police arrive he continues his rampage when there were numerous moments where he could have made his escape. Then he basically had infinite ammo and health cheat codes on with how many damn ninja stars he was whipping around and the fact he kept getting up despite being shot more times than Tony Montana. So then like in an online game like this the mod eventually intervenes and kicks the dude out of the server, which could be seen as the scene where he drops dead in front of Christie and passes his soul onto her. The basic idea that the ninja thought the cops are in the wrong for doing their job of stopping his was fucking insane, especially as he racked up a body count in the dozens by the time he's died.

 

And can we mention the ninja’s incredible good fortune to have a hidden mountain lair with a weapons cache so near a suburban Arizona golf course? 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I can’t stop hearing “Against The Ninja”  by Dragon Sound (a new dimension in rock and roll) during this movie. I demand a Ninja Cinematic Universe that does a “Miami Connection/Ninja III” mash-up. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Robert Denby said:

I can’t stop hearing “Against The Ninja”  by Dragon Sound (a new dimension in rock and roll) during this movie. I demand a Ninja Cinematic Universe that does a “Miami Connection/Ninja III” mash-up. 

Hollywood, hire this man. He’s got ideas.

Share this post


Link to post

Scientist and the Secret Service.

Growing up my best friend's dad was a scientist for TRW in Los Angeles in the 70s and 80s.  Whenever he traveled out of the city for business, he was accompanied by a security detail.  Growing up we knew never to ask for details about what he did.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Differences Between a Bad Ninja and a Good Ninja....

Goofus carelessly flips completely over a barbwire fence without thinking twice.
Gallant carefully places his jacket over the barbwire before completely flipping over the fence...just in case.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

‪‪I couldn't help but recognize Officer Case was played by John LaMotta, who played ALF's Mr. Ochmonek, one half of the nosey neighbor married couple  always threatening to expose Alf by snooping on the Tanners.

LaMotta was also in the previous installment of Cannon's "Ninja Trilogy," Revenge of the Ninja, as the seemingly unrelated character "Joe," then in American Ninja as Rinaldo, and other Cannon movies like Breakin' 2. And it's not a Cannon movie, but Bloodfist IV: Die Trying feels HDTGM adjacent.

  • Like 3
  • Hedgehog 1

Share this post


Link to post

Did anyone notice, probably due to this being open matte that when She takes her shirt off as she is seducing the cop you can see a towel or half shirt covering her breasts.

Also that thing Paul said was a demon baby looked more like a bust of an old man or woman.

plus what kind of gym has members who ogle the woman and then sexually harassed and nearly rape one of them right outside the door while what looks like the entire gym membership stands and takes in the entire event.

One of which is a cop who seems to take great enjoyment out of watching it. 
Then uses abuse of power and basically kidnaps Ninja woman and threatens to drop her in the middle of who knows where if she doesn’t take him back to his or her apartment.

Then she immediately seduces him. 

Share this post


Link to post

James Hong who was I guess a Ninja Exorcist in this movie was Bruce the Maitre D in the Seinfeld episode that took place entirely in a  Chinese restaurant. It was titled The Chinese Restaurant.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Good shout outs to character actor James Hong. Like bumping into an old friend, it’s always a pleasure. “Hey! It’s you! Wow, it’s been a while!”  Of course, we greet each other with a rueful smile, as once again Hollywood casts a Chinese-American actor to play a Japanese man. But then again, maybe that fits in a movie where a Chinese medical shop performs Japanese exorcism, or the fact there’s a Japanese temple in Arizona where Chinese kung-fu is being practiced.     
 
But do Japanese ghosts possess people?

There are a ton of Japanese ghost stories and their urban legends are notorious, but the kind of ghostly possession featured in Ninja III falls more into the Western ideas, like in the tradition of Regan in The Exorcist or Emily Rose. In these stories, it’s demons going into the body of another, with the horror being a loss of control and individuality, the helplessness and victimizing. Japanese spirits are yūrei (“faded souls”) more distinct from demons. They’re more like “haunting” kinds of ghosts, even violent ones, similiar to a poltergeist. These are called onryō (vengeful spirit) and will feature in movies like The Ring and Ju-On (The Grudge). 

Possession in the way we might think of does occur in a couple of ways, but it’s not easy to do a one-to-one translation for these kinds of ideas. You can think of one way as similar to channneling, like how mediums invite spirits into them. Another way is to use haunted items and risk being influenced by an accompaning spirit. Still not an exact Emily Rose scenario, and the horror is more existential, a kind of warning— against attachment that Buddhism says is the root of suffering.      

The closest we get to Regan & Emily is a unique Japanese possession featuring a ikiryō, or a “living spirit.” Here, it’s not a dead person at all, but a consuming spirit that detaches from someone living to afflict others. The most famous story comes from the Tales of Genji, the classic ancient hero of Japan. Here, a mistress of our hero Genji grew so jealous over his wife that the jealousy became a ghost and possessed the wife, afflicting her with mental distress and leading to her death in childbirth. The horror here? I dunno, probably patriarchy. :)

(Standard disclaimers that the world of Japanese ghosts is prolific and tied intrinsicly to culture/religion, and I am only a hobbyist looking to learn if others can correct or expand on anything.)  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Christie's doctor tells her that her health is good and lists multiple reasons why she is in great health. One of the things she says is the the psychologist says she has extraordinary ESP, Extra Sensory Perception. The only psychologists that I remember testing for ESP in the 80s were Venkman, Spangler and Stantz. Is the Ninjaverse a shared universe with Ghostbusters?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×