They say that money can’t buy happiness, but it certainly can buy a position of influence… Those are the words that are spoken very early in the Godfrey Ho film Zombie Vs. Ninja. Unfortunately for you, you won’t have any idea what that has to do with anything else that you’ll see in the next hour and a half.
Titus is a man who’s looking for power, and according to the ninja, Mason, if Titus can get the money, Mason can get him the power he’s looking for. Chen is a local merchant who happens to have the money, so Titus sets off to kill him, and take a step towards grabbing that power. In the process, Titus not only kills Chen, but beats up Chen’s son, Ethan, and leaves him for dead. Ethan is then picked up by Master T, the local undertaker and is put into a coffin and taken back to Master T’s home to be prepared for burial. When Ethan wakes up and scares Master T, he doesn’t have enough money for a coffin so he is indentured to become Master T’s apprentice. Confused yet?
While Ethan is out scouting for bodies to bring back to his master, he meets a ninja named Dragon who knows that the other ninja, Mason, planted the seed in Titus’ head to kill Ethan’s father. Dragon let’s Ethan in on a little secret… Master T was Dragon’s mentor also, and he can teach Ethan to fight so that he can eventually avenge his father’s death. Oh yeah and if you ever run into Mason, “Tell him the Dragon’s fire burns hot!” So, once Ethan begs Master T to teach him how to fight, the master does anything a good Sensei would do… He raises the dead and lets Ethan duke it out with them. Ethan eventually becomes an unstoppable fighting machine and he sets out to take care of Titus and his men, while Dragon meets up with Mason in a fairly boring finale. “Remember Mason, I told you that the Dragon’s fire burns hot!”
Maybe so far you’re fairly intrigued by the whole training against the undead, and zombies fighting and stuff. Do yourself a favor, and just imagine how cool that would be, anything you could come up with is probably a thousand times cooler than anything in this movie. It’s basically cheesy fight scene after cheesy fight scene held together with the bubblegum and tape that Godfrey Ho calls dialog. Ho also tries to add humor to the mix by practically playing “Yakkety Sax” in the background while he speeds up some of the action scenes, because hey, Benny Hill did it and it was pretty funny then, right? Right??
Another key thing to notice about this movie is that it’s basically two movies. The movie with the Asian people fighting back and forth, and the movie with the white people with garbage bags on their heads playing in the woods like they’re ninjas. They have to actually wear colored headbands that say “Ninja” on them for you to realize they’re ninjas. I mean, Dragon wears a white vest with yellow pants and a long sleeved yellow shirt, and a ninja named “Ira” (the Jewish ninja??) wears a yellow vest with white pants and a white long sleeved shirt. It’s like they just traded vests with each other so they could make the most outfits or something. The only time these two movies mix together is when they show the ninjas talking with a woodsy background to one of the Asian actors standing against a totally different background. The other part of the title – you know, the zombie part – is almost non existent. Ethan fights “zombies” but they’re really just some dudes that are doing their best robot imitation. Just turn on some “Jam on It” and they’d fit right in. On top of that, everyone is dubbed so what they’re really saying will never matter because they can say whatever the director wants them to say.
I actually turned this movie off twice while trying to watch it, and I never do that. I used this movie as a test of endurance to make sure I really had the guts to watch more of these in the future. I wasn’t going to let this one beat me, but it almost broke me down. By the end, I was actually falling asleep at 1pm because it was just so repetitive. Needless to say, Zombie Vs. Ninja will be getting the second Half Star rating ever given on this site, putting it in the same class with Jack Palance and Cocaine Cowboys. IMDB actually has this listed as an Action/Comedy/Horror. The only horror would be watching this again. If you have a friend that won’t leave your house and you just want them to go home, put this movie on. Ugh.
The opening song sounds familiar…