Wednesday, March 14, 2007

MAXIMUM ACTION: 9 DEATHS OF THE NINJA / KILLPOINT

Thanks to the admirably shameless B-movie merchants at BCI/Eclipse, two craptastic "classic" action flicks from the Crown International vaults are now available in one, handy, two-disc double feature set.

In 9 DEATHS OF THE NINJA (1985), 80's martial arts star Sho Kosugi (REVENGE OF THE NINJA) and hunky Brent Huff (PERILS OF GWENDOLINE) battle a wheelchair-bound Nazi, his Amazon henchwoman, some midgets, and random evil ninjas in the Philippine jungle. Of course, Sho's kids – Kane and Shane – co-star as boy hostages of the villains. As horrible as it is, though, it has a certain goofy charm distinctive of its era.

In KILLPOINT (1984), aging and doughy kung fu cop Leo Fong (ENFORCER FROM DEATH ROW) and FBI agent Richard Roundtree (SHAFT), are after a deranged Cameron Mitchell (SPACE MUTINY), who’s stolen a bunch of weapons from a National Guard armory and gone on a crime spree. Despite the presence of veteran scenery-chewer Mitchell and supercool Roundtree, this so-called thriller is remarkably dull and plodding.

9 DEATHS, the more fun – if ludicrous – of the two flicks, is presented in a nice, clean but non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, while the dreary KILLPOINT is given a sharp, anamorphic 1.78:1 presentation. The discs include trailers for other Crown action "classics."

These flicks are bad – even by my usually undemanding standards, and are really recommended only for Kosugi (or Fong?) completists.

BUY: 9 Deaths of the Ninja/Kill Point