A few months ago, I wrote an article for Den Of Geek about hybrid genre films, when studios throw two types of movie together for fun. An example of this would be Outlander (Vikings vs Aliens) or Cowboys And Aliens (Cowboys vs Aliens). So, when the chance came around to review a film called Alien Vs Ninja, I jumped at the chance.
Now, don’t get your hopes up. Cool title aside, Alien Vs Ninja or AvN is a bad, bad film. That said, I was in the kind of mood where I could embrace its awfulness and enjoy it for the piece of craptacular entertainment that it is.
Let me set the scene.
It’s 19th century Japan and a group of ninjas have just finished a raid on a rival clan’s castle which, following their incursion, explodes in a really awful display of visual effects. Despite it being the 1800s, these ninjas are wearing tight-fitting leather outfits, which are layered with armour that resembles something out of a Manga film. Historical accuracy clearly isn’t this film’s major concern and the overall design could best be described as ‘ninja punk’.
Anyway, after blowing up the castle, our intrepid heroes are pursued by a group of evil ninjas, who are handily dispatched by our main character, Yamata. Yamata is a young, good looking ninja who craves a challenge and apparently has fought hard to become the best ninja in his clan. He is so good that he deflects ninja stars off his sword and into his enemies’ heads. There is also some sort of subtext about how he may be from peasant stock, but this is never really expanded on and, quite honestly, who cares?
He and his three friends (whom I shall describe later) witness a fire ball streaking across the sky and, after a short interlude back at their village, go to investigate. This interlude is one of the more surreal parts of the film, as not only does it introduce us to the clan leader, who is flanked by an army of gasmask-wearing ninjas (don’t ask me why), but we then meet the town’s local gang, who are headed by an overweight, homosexual pirate.
After this odd part of the film that sees the pirate flirt with our ninja heroes, our warriors head into the forest to see what the fireball was all about. Apart from Yamata, we have Jannai, who resembles a member of a Japanese boy band. Not only does he have highlights in his hair, but he has a stud in his ear and is constantly checking himself out in his katana. We also have a female ninja known as ‘The Strongest’, who is there purely to look good in leather and catch lustful glances from Yamata and Jannai. Don’t worry: that subplot goes nowhere, either.
Lastly, we have a blonde moron who is arguably the worst ninja in the world. Not only is he afraid of combat, but he runs from it, is constantly falling over and couldn’t spell ‘stealth’ if his life depended on it. Don’t ask me what his name was, as I can’t remember (and IMDb doesn’t list it). I shall henceforth refer to him as ‘Moron’.
Anyway, they’re attacked by aliens or an alien. It’s so badly shot, I couldn’t really tell. What was surprising is how the attack happens. When you first see the alien, it is a brief glimpse of some awfully CGI thing bouncing from one tree to another like a frog on speed, but when it first attacks the ninjas, it pulls them under the ground.
In fact, it made me think that the alien was going to be like the Graboids of Tremors, but instead, when they’re finally revealed, it is merely a cheap knock-off of the Alien xenomorph and a frog, niftily put together on a jumpsuit for the poor sap inside.
From here on in, the film is very entertaining. Not in a good way, but if you’re watching it with some good friends you’ll find plenty of things to laugh at. There are far too many to mention, but some things that caused large amounts of mirth included a cave made of breeze blocks, possessed ninjas chanting “Fuck you”, the aliens attacking ninjas with their phallic-shaped tails and some very disturbing oral fisting. That’s right, oral fisting.
For this writer, however, the most amusing scene was when the alien learnt how to, not only use a katana, but performed martial arts and used a machine gun pistol. (Yes, I know I said this was the 19th century.) Not only that, but it does an awesome John Woo-style dive through the air, blasting at our heroes.
If you’re planning on hosting a crap Z-monster movie night, where you and your friends plan to get incredibly drunk and watch some awful films, then this should be at the top of your list. If not, avoid this film, because it is so bad, it has to be seen to be believed.
And I didn’t even mention that the aliens bleed Thousand Island salad dressing.
Alien Vs Ninja is out now and available from the Den Of Geek Store.
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