Five Element Ninjas (1982)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2019-08-31
Summary: Good for its time and place
"My ninja kung fu has descended for centuries from emperor Liu Xie--he was a top notch ninja artist who all the five elements in his kung fu. I am the last disciple of the school of Liu Xie" says, at least according to the subtitles, the master. He has been contacted by Xiao Tian Hao one of the four survivors of a ninja assault on their kung fu school and is willing to teach them the secrets of ninja kung fu. The kung fu fighters learn their lessons while blindfolded using wooden weapons while the master attacks them using a whisper-quiet rattan stick that mimics the almost silent approach of the ninjas.

A significant problem that the Chinese martial artists had against the Japanese especially early in the film is that the kung fu warriors did everything wrong. For example when attacked the sentries for the Chinese didn't go for reinforcements but fought to the death against impossible odds, leading to the death of the guards while allowing the ninjas to penetrate the fort. They allowed a young camp follower to act as their maid even though it should have been obvious to them that she was an enemy--it turns out she is Japanese. A clue would have been that she dressed in all black like the ninjas while the Chinese fighters were in all white. Chan Pui-Sai who played the devious spy looked fetching in leather and fishnets while the white muslin outfits of the good guys just looked odd with deep V cut tops and short cloaks.The gallons of blood spilled by the Chinese showed up well against the white.

So there was plenty of blood and a butcher's bill so high that everyone other than the four original kung fu fighters and their master were dead by the time the credits rolled--a good action movie from the early 1980s
Reviewer Score: 7