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John’s Horror Corner: Alien vs. Ninja

July 18, 2011

Hello all, Mark here. I still don’t understand how you can mess up a movie featuring ninjas fighting aliens. It seems like the easiest thing to do….However, based on John’s review I guess we will have to wait a little while longer for the world to create a decent creature battling creature feature.

MY CALL:    Although I didn’t hate it, this movie is simply not as cool as a lot of its cousins.  For a Tokyo Shocker, I’ll give this a C-.   

WHAT TO WATCH INSTEAD:    If you like your ninjas more supernatural than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and way more serious than Alien vs Ninja, then try ShinobiShinobi is serious, has fantasy-driven ninjas with cool supernatural powers, and good martial arts coupled with solid action-camera work (i.e., you can see what they’re doing).  Ninja Assassin and Ninja (the Scott Adkins one) are not funny (at least, not intentionally) and American-made, but put little effort on innovative choreography.    IF YOU LIKE THIS, WATCH:    Meatball Machine, Tokyo Gore Police, Robo-Geisha, pretty much anything else of such ilk.


            Early on this movie separates itself from its subgenre kin by demonstrating more innovative combat choreography than the earlier Tokyo Gore Police era flicks (e.g., Meatball Machine, Machine Girl).  Some of these adroit maneuvers are cleverly executed, although clearly lacking the precision of modern Hong Kong cinema.  Of course, the combat has plenty of corny to go around as well.

            Much as in Predator a team of highly trained personnel encounter a youngster scared mute in the forest and then encounter an alien.  The first battle is like a cross between Predator, Tremors and Aliens—you’d probably have to see it to understand this reference combo.  The gore is ample, funny, well-delivered, and up to snuff with the higher budgeted Tokyo Shock flicks.  One dude explodes, legs are stripped to the bone, someone gets torn in half, and there’s even an “inner ass” punch.

            The aliens seem very familiar, modeled largely after the Alien alien, but with what appears to be a neck vagina from which Species-esque tendrils emerge.  There are holes on its head which house some alien larvae which Wrath of Khan their way into their victim’s head.  These larvae then control you from within your brain (as in Meatball Machine).  In summary, nothing is unique about this alien except for the particular combination of movies which influenced its design.

            For some reason the combat becomes cornier and less deft when the ninjas face off against the aliens more directly.  The exploitative nature gets kicked up a notch as well in the form of suggestive choreography and an apparent sexual assault attempt by one of the aliens.  On the cornier side, the alien throws in some Street Fighter II Blanka rolling assaults and later sprouts Jeepers Creepers wings out of nowhere.  The final fight is the most silly but least skillful.  It was okay.  I’d try other Tokyo Shock titles first.

            For more advice on this odd subgenre (including some viewing suggestions) check out this link:


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