Sam Firstenberg is no stranger to B-movie fans. One of his first directorial efforts was a personal favorite of mine, “Revenge of the Ninja“. Thankfully, he continued that ninja streak and only took a short break from that genre to film one of the masterpieces of American cinema with “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo“. “American Ninja” was next on his plate, and he took an up and coming actor in Michael Dudikoff and made him a B-movie star. Today I take a look at the sequel – American Ninja 2: The Confrontation!
She-Wolves of the Wasteland (aka Phoenix the Warrior) begins in the future, where a biological war breaks out that somehow kills every man on earth, and only a handful of women survive. It’s the old post apocalyptic tale with a twist. This time an evil woman known as the Reverend Mother (Sheila Howard) decides to repopulate the earth in a sick and corrupt way. In what corrupt way, I’m not sure, I just know that this Rev. Mom has a big deformed head with surgical tubing coming out of it. Anyhow, A woman escapes Rev. Mom and runs off into the desert, and has a gaggle of bounty hunters after her. One lone warrior steps out of the wasteland to protect her, and that woman is PHOENIX!
Take one part Excalibur, throw in some Krull, a few scenes of Caligola, a touch of Dawn of the Dead, the choreography of Kung Fu Hustle, about 30 seconds of The Blue Lagoon, and you have our movie of the week… Golok setan, aka The Devil’s Sword! Director Ratno Timoer takes us for a wild ride in this sci-fi chopsocky fantasy from 1984, filled with swords, kung-fu masters, blood, sex, violence and men dressed like alligators. The best part is our old friend Barry Prima from Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters is back to kick some more ass!
The Devil’s Sword follows a quest to find an ancient sword that was forged from a mysterious metallic substance that fell to earth in the form of a meteorite. An old man who finds the meteorite creates the Devil’s Sword, and he hides it after it burns down his hut. Whoever wields the sword holds the greatest power imaginable in his hands. Banujaga is sent by the Alligator Queen to steal the fiance of a local village’s princess to keep as her own subject. During the raid on the village Mandala – a one time colleague of Banujaga – sees the scuffle and helps defend the village, and ends up helping the princess recover her husband to be. Mandala recovers the Devil’s Sword, but will it ultimately be enough to defeat the Alligator Queen and Banujaga?
The tale of Shogun Assassin is a confusing one. While Robert Houston is the credited director, this is actually the first two movies of the Lone Wolf and Cub aka “babycart” (Kozure Ôkami: Sanzu no kawa no ubaguruma aka “Babycart at the River Styx, and Kozure Ôkami: Kowokashi udekashi tsukamatsuru aka “Sword of Vengeance”) series of films from Japan. Because this is basically two movies recut into one, the story can be somewhat consusing at times, but what results is an all out action martial arts movie with blood spraying like geysers from every enemy slain by the main character Ogami Itto (played by Tomisaburo Wakayama).