NINJA III: THE DOMINATION (1984)
Article 4627 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Sam Firstenberg
Featuring Sho Kosugi, Lucinda Dickey, Jordan Bennett
What it is: Martial arts horror
A female phone company employee and aerobics instructor is on hand for the death of a black ninja; when she is given his sword, she becomes possessed by his evil spirit and sets out to kill all the policemen that killed the ninja. However, another ninja arrives from Japan to save the day.
Apparently, the first two movies in this series (ENTER THE NINJA and REVENGE OF THE NINJA) had no fantastic content, so I haven’t covered them; nor have I seen them. Why they chose to go with a horror subplot in this one is unknown to me; maybe they wanted to widen the appeal of the series from lovers of cheesy action flicks to lovers of cheesy horror movies as well. So they throw in some scenes that vaguely reminded me of similar moments from movies like THE EXORCIST or POLTERGEIST, and then had some of the fight scenes you’d expect from a Ninja movie. Is it any good? Not really, but I don’t think it’s trying to do anything more than to leave uncritical action fans believing that they haven’t wasted the two bucks they spent on the rental. There is one camp moment that I have to admit did amuse me though; during one of the sequences where the evil spirit is trying to possess the aerobics instructor, she tries to battle it by drowning it out with loud eighties music. I’ll leave it to you to figure out how successful that strategy was.