Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - New Year's Evil

It's New Year's in the Trailer Park.  Time to party and get loaded.  Maybe get in a fight.  We'll see how the night goes. . .but first!  Let's look at this movie trailer..

Instead of sharing a trailer for an upcoming release as I usually do, I'm doing things a little differently here today.  Translation: I'm taking it easy and posting a trailer for an old, seasonally appropriate horror film.

Here's the trailer for 1980 slasher film New Year's Evil:

Truth be told, I've never seen this movie but every time I watch this trailer I say to myself, "why haven't I seen this movie??"  Looks like something I should've already seen.

Anyway, have a safe New Year's Eve out there, kids.  Don't get murdered.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - Kid's Police

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesdays.  The police are here. . . .so are the kids.

Today's trailer is for a movie that mixes those two things (police and kids) in a way that only the Japanese could.

Kid's Police is about a highly effective police investigation unit that is de-aged into children by their nemesis, a criminal organization known as Red Venus.

This one pretty much speaks for itself.

Except that this trailer doesn't have any subtitles, adding to the confusion/enjoyment levels:


At the very least, this looks adorable.

Kid's Police was released in Japan back in March and it played at Fantastic Fest back in Sept.  Read a review HERE.

No word on when Kid's Police will be released here in the States.  Hopefully, it's soon.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

RIP, Peter O'Toole

The acting world and the world of cinema has lost one of its luminaries.

Peter O'Toole has passed away.  He was the good old age of 81.
I'm not going to pretend like I'm some sort of O'Toole aficionado.  I'm not.  On an inspection of his filmography I am surprised to find that I've seen eight of his movies (I thought it'd be less), but a few of those are weird entries ("weird entry" is a nice way of describing Supergirl [1984], King Ralph [1991], and Phantoms [1998]).

Other than Pixar's Ratatouille (2007), for which O'Toole provided the voice for food critic Anton Ego, I guess I've only seen two great O'Toole movies in my time (Caligula and Zulu Dawn [both 1979] were interesting but don't quite qualify), but they're both pretty fantastic movies and I have to heavily recommend them both.

The Ruling Class (1972) is a scathing satirical take on the British class system, proper manners, and religion, as O'Toole plays a man (the newly minted Earl of Gurney) who believes himself to be Jesus Christ (and sometimes Jack the Ripper).  This leads to a bit of murder, mayhem, mania, and a few musical numbers, too.  This is a phrase that has found overuse, but this film really is quite unlike anything else you may've seen.  O'Toole is flat out brilliant in it, mesmerizing in his madness.

The other great O'Toole movie I've seen is one of the greatest movies ever made, and a large part of that greatness is due to O'Toole's performance.  It might simply be one of the finest performances ever put to film.  T.E. Lawrence is a captivating screen figure and the power of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) comes from O'Toole's portrayal of him while he navigates the hauntingly beautiful desert landscapes.

If you've never seen Lawrence of Arabia and you consider yourself a fan of cinema, do yourself a favor and see it immediately.  They say it's a movie that begs to be seen on the big screen, and while this is true (seeing it on 70mm is one of my personal life goals), I would argue that this movie simply begs to be seen.

So see it.

Peter O'Toole was nominated for eight Oscars, including for his work in Lawrence of Arabia.  He lost every time.

He was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 2003, but he initially declined the honor, saying he was "still in the game" and would "like to win the lovely bugger outright."  Indeed, one of his eight nominations came after his honorary award, in 2006 for the film Venus.  He was 74 at the time.

You can read more (and better written things) about O'Toole HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Peter O'Toole.
Without a doubt,
one of the greats.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday the 13th - Part III

Once again, it is Friday the 13th.

Here's some thoughts on Friday the 13th - Part III (1982)
Friday the 13th - Part III is not as good as the previous two films in the series, but it does have some fun moments.  It is also more than notable for being the entry in which Jason first dons his iconic hockey mask.  At the very least, it has that going for it.

Note:  I did not watch the movie in 3D.  I have the DVD box set that comes with a pair of glasses, but I don't like watching those red/blue 3D movies at home, as generally they give me a headache and don't look very good.  If a theater around here ever showed this movie in 3D, I'd go check it out, but for now I'm sticking with the 2D.

This movie follows the basic Friday formula of young, horny people in an isolated place being stalked and killed one by one.  Making it a little different, these kids aren't camp counselors, they're just out for a weekend vacation, apparently in the direct vicinity of Crystal Lake (if they said that they were on Crystal Lake, I missed it, but I assumed they were).

The movie picks up directly after the events of the second film, opening with a recap of some of the action at the end of Part 2.  After that we get a kinda long opening scene where Jason kills this weird married couple and during that we hear some news reports about the events from the previous movie, which means that basically Jason is now a wanted fugitive.  And what is he doing immediately after his previous massacre?  He's out there starting himself another massacre.  This Jason guy, he's nothing if not productive and singularly focused.

By the way, Jason is back to his non-mulleted, mongoloid look from his cameo in the first film.  Gone are his bag-head and overalls.  Now he's a work shirt and pants kind of guy.  He's also now taller, bigger, and more muscular.  When he gets the hockey mask from prankster Shelly, it really brings the whole look together.

The characters in this movie are all pretty stupid, and by that I mean that they're not very interesting (also, yeah, a few of them aren't very bright).  In fact, this might be the worst overall cast in a Friday the 13th movie (I'll have to verify this, but I feel confident in it) as the acting ranges from mediocre to really bad.  The pair of stoners, Chuck and Chili, are maybe my favorite bad actors in the movie (because of course they are) and easily the best moment of bad acting is when Chili is flailing through the house and screaming "oh my god, Shelly's dead!"

One unique thing:  one of the couples (Debbie and Andy) are newly pregnant and (spoiler) they do not survive the movie.  It seems like that should be a ballsy thing for a horror movie to do, but no, it's not really made a big deal of and it's only mentioned a couple times onscreen.  Plus, it's not like Jason stabs her through the stomach or anything (because that would've been extreme).

Also, I should note that the pregnant chick shows the most skin out of the girls in the movie.

More notes:

The best kill in the movie is the "handstand" kill.  It's maybe one of the best kills in the entire series.

The barn, where a surprising amount of action takes place, is very well lit, especially at night.  I've never seen a barn with so much light in it.

During this movie we see, not one, but two guys sitting on the toilet (and I don't think either of them wiped.  Ewwww!)

Proof that these characters are stupid:  two different people get "dripped on" (one blood, the other water) and both of their reactions are "where's that coming from?"  Um, hello?  It's coming from above you!  Sheesh!

The opening theme/end credits music is stupid funky and oh so 80s.  It's somehow perfect.  The score in the movie however seems to just be recycled stuff from the first two movies.  Oh, Harry Manfredini, you genius..

The director again is Steve Miner.  This would be his last Friday movie and his last movie-movie until 1986's House.

Chris, the Final Girl of the movie, has a backstory where she had a previous encounter with Jason some months (years?) back while lost in the woods.  Her story ends with her blacking out and reawaking at home, but this minor plot point is never revisited and the sole purpose of this backstory seems to be to add extra weight (or maybe believability) to Chris' going mad-crazy at the end of the movie.

Speaking of the end of the movie, they try to re-do the shock surprise ending of the first Friday, but to much, much less effect.  First off, it's telegraphed a mile away.  Second, it looks kinda of chintzy and the slo-mo really lets you get a good look at it.  Thirdly, "it" is Pamela Voorhees as a rotting corpse popping up out of the water with her head somehow mysteriously reattached.  I gotta say. . .it's kind of stupid.

Things that poke out at you in 3D (presumably):  snake, fists, yo-yo, baseball bat, spear, eyeball (x2), apples, pitchfork, popcorn, red-hot poker, and the handles of various kill implements.

I used the word stupid a lot in this review.  Seems that could be interpreted as mean or cruel, but I mean it in a fun way, as in "this is stupid fun."  I am a fan of these movies overall and even a middle-of-the-road entry like Part III is still an entertaining watch and, yes, a stupid good time.  Happy Friday the 13th.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - Godzilla

This week Trailer Park Tuesdays goes BIG.
Real Big.
As in, Big G.

Usually I like to share and spread the word about lesser known movies that will see upcoming release.  Well, not today, as today's trailer is for a BIG blockbuster-type movie that'll be out next year (May 16th, to be exact), one that I'm sure doesn't need any additional hype from me and will most likely land on almost everybody's radar (even if you don't see it, you'll still be aware of it, but seriously, after watching this trailer, how could you not want to see this?).

This is the teaser trailer for Godzilla and it premiered today on the interwebs and will be attached to this weekend's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  After this summer's Pacific Rim (which did pretty good business and, more importantly, I really liked), hopefully America is ready to embrace the kaiju that started it all.  Just go ahead and forget about the cinematic trashfire that was Godzilla '98; this will be nothing like that.  Go ahead, take a look:

Damn.  That looks good.

Despite being over 2 minutes long, this is still a teaser trailer, doing what a good teaser does, doling out just enough information to entice while still remaining vague on most fronts.  I like it.

I also really like the somber tone.  Seems appropriate for a giant-lizard-stomping-the-shit-out-of-a-city movie.  Also, that music in the trailer?  It's from 2001: A Space Odyssey.  [perfect]

Godzilla stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn, and a whole bunch of running, screaming people.  The Big G hits theaters May 16th.  I'll be there.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears

This week at Trailer Park Tuesdays we got a freshie.  No holiday leftovers here.  Oooo, and it's French!

The movie trailer this week is a brand new spot for The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears, following a teaser trailer that debuted earlier this year.  Strange Colour is an arthouse/mystery/horror film about a man who is searching his apartment building for his missing wife but at every turn finds violence and sex instead. (I hate when that happens)

Those familiar with filmmaking duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Fazani's previous film Amer (2009) or their segment O is for Orgasm from anthology film The ABCs of Death (2012) should be looking forward to this and know what to expect.

If you're not familiar, what you can expect is a strongly visual film with a vivid color palette, meticulous art direction, and a camera that probes endlessly.  Also, it will have a carefully constructed soundtrack, as the aural aspects of their work is just as important as the visual.  Also-also, it'll have stylized bits of violence, orchestrated to the nth degree.  Here's the trailer:

This looks sharp.  I like the escalation it presents while remaining vague.  Personally, I'm sold on this one; I'll be checking it out as soon as it is made available to me.

Apparently The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears will see release in France in the spring of 2014, so lord knows when it will be available over here in the States.  Not soon enough, whenever it is.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

TOP 15 SLASHER MOVIES (non-Halloween, Elm Street, or Friday the 13th class)

Still have a Thanksgiving hangover?  Here's a possible cure: a movie list.  Everybody likes a good list, right?  Well here you go, here's my holiday appropriate TOP 15 SLASHER MOVIES list (I should mention I have holiday-dyslexia):

First though, there are some rules, as there often are with internet lists.  These are the rules of exclusion:

*As you can read in the title, the big boys aren't in play here, so this list does not include any Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, or Friday the 13th films.  This is simply to give some lesser known slashers some air time, as films from those franchises would take up five or six spots on this list, including the top two.

*The slasher film era really existed from 1978 to about 1988 (and that's being generous) and films from that decade are what I'm focusing on, so also not included are any proto-slashers (Psycho, Peeping Tom, Black Christmas, Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Alice Sweet Alice) or neo-slashers (ScreamAll the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil).   Italian giallo films (A Bay of BloodDeep Red, etc.) are their own subgenre, so while related and similar to the slasher, they too are not included.

*And finally, I have to exclude films like Maniac, Don't Go in the HouseHenry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and others of that ilk because they don't really fit the definition of what a slasher film is.  These are serial killer films (or if you like, "stalker films)"and they focus more on the killers themselves, drawing your sympathies towards them in some cases, while barely focusing on the victims.  Slasher films follow victims terrorized by a killer, while these films follow a serial killer terrorizing his victims.  It's a small distinction but an important one (to me, at least) and it led to one surprise omission on the list....

So that's the ground rules.  Enough with the set-up.  Without further hesitation, here it is:

      *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *         *         *         *         *         *         *         *

15.  Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

This is one of those goofy/fun slasher movies, which also happens to be noteworthy for being written and directed by a pair of women, which is a rariety for the subgenre (when mentioning this film you are obliged to bring up this fact).  Their feminst leanings are definitely present (the killer's HUGE drill is his source of power), but the producer-mandated nude scenes are cheesy and gratuitous.  Speaking of cheese, anybody else want pizza?

14.  The Prowler (1981)

In a way, this is a run-of-the-mill slasher, but it does boast a great looking villain as well as some amazing special effects work from Tom Savini.  The finale is explosive.

13.  Sleepaway Camp (1983)

If this was a list of the greatest endings in cinema history, this film would be top-tier material.  Otherwise, it's kind of a shitty movie. . .in a fun kind of way.  That ending though, whoa, what a doozy.

12.  Hell Night (1981)

Recently watched this for the first time; Linda Blair is a lot of fun in this, but I love the guy Seth (Vincent Van Patton), who's dressed like Robin Hood.  His reactions to everything, especially when he tries to get help, are priceless.  Plus, the chick he's with keeps forgetting his name!  Classic.

11.  The Funhouse (1981)

From director Tobe Hooper;  can you believe this is the movie he made right before Poltergeist (1982)?  Come for the creepy and weird amusement park setting, stay for the creepy and weird mutant killer.

10.  Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
           Don't Open 'Till Christmas (1984)

So Silent Night, Deadly Night is on everybody's slasher list.  It's the quintessential Christmas slasher film, but the more I thought about it the more I realized how it is Billy's story and doesn't really follow any of the victims.  So, in sticking to my rules, I struck it from the list.  Luckily, I really like one of the other Christmas slashers, Don't Open 'Till Christmas, which is a sleazy British slasher in which a psycho is killing guys who are dressed up as Santa.  From the people who produced Pieces (and directed by that film's star, Edmund Purdom), so you know there might be some penis-trauma in this holiday terror treat (spoiler: there is).

9.  The House on Sorority Row (1983)

Another one I just recently watched.  It has a really good set-up, a decent set of characters, cool and gory kills, and some unexpected turns.  What more do you want from a slasher?

8.  Terror Train (1980)

Slasher classic with Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Johnson, and David Copperfield, all taking place on a train!  Also, it's great that the killer keeps changing costumes.  This is a fun one.

7.  The Burning (1981)

Summercamp slasher with the supremely ugly Cropsey.  His garden shears are an iconic weapon amongst slashers.  Features great effects by Tom Savini and early performances by Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens, and a blink-and-you'll-miss-her Holly Hunter.  Also, this is one of the rare slashers that has a Final Boy instead of a Final Girl, a break with convention that maybe doesn't work quite as well as the convention itself, but is still appreciable.

6.  Just Before Dawn (1981)

Filmed in Silver Falls State Park in Oregon, which makes for a great setting, this is from director Jeff Lieberman and features Chris Lemmon (son of Jack) in a pair of the whitest, tightest slacks ever seen in a movie.  Also features an early role for Gregg Henry and a pop-in appearance by George Kennedy.  The ending of this one has what has got to be the supreme denouement in slasher film history.

5.  Don't Go in the Woods (1981)

Another wooded slasher film, this one filmed in Utah, and this one decidely loopy, weird, and completely wackadoo.  The killer in this is a gross mountain man who doesn't like trespassers up on his mountain (or whatever) and he racks up quite the body count as victims stumble into the movie only to fall dead at a very rapid pace.   The synth score sounds like a keyboard dying.  I love it.

4.  Pieces (1982)

I wrote extensively about Pieces HERE, and while it straddles the line of slasher and giallo film, I think it's heart (and liver, and intestines...) resides much more in the slasher side of the family.  Plus, it gives me an excuse to post the "YOU BASTARD!" video:

3.  Visiting Hours (1982)

Ooooooohhh, a hospital set slasher starring a wicked insane Michael Ironside and a mostly adult cast?!?!?  Stylish and terrifying??!??!  William Shatner?!  Sign me up!  Seriously though, this one caught me by surprise by how good it is.  Solid and uncelebrated slasher.

2.  My Bloody Valentine (1981)

This movie also features an adult cast, as all the potential victims work at this old mine.  The miner killer is one of the most iconic killers in all of slasher films.  The all black suit, the lamp-helmet, the pick-axe, it's great and terrifying, and it keeps with the mystery until the very end.  This is a great one, works the slasher formula to near perfection.

1.  Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

Oh, man.  How I love this movie.  First off, it's really well made for a slasher film.  Great direction and photography, good characters, Melissa Sue Anderson from Little House, a mystery that keeps you involved, its got "six of the most bizarre murders you will ever see" (maybe they're not that bizarre, but they are pretty cool), but what sells me on this one is the same thing that turns a lot of people off:  the batshit insane ending.  I love it.  It's what puts this one over the top for me, landing it in the top spot.  Happy Birthday, Ginny.

Almost made the list:
Intruder (1989), Tourist Trap (1979),  Blood Rage (1987),
April Fools Day (1986), Stage Fright (1987), The Boogeyman (1980)

So there you have it folks.  What do you think of these turkeys?
What did I miss?  What are some of your favorites?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - The Raid 2: Berandal

The Trailer Park would like to give thanks. . .

. . .to one of the greatest and most ass-kickingest action films of the last ten years, The Raid (2011, aka: The Raid: Redemption), for being an amazing film filled with brilliant stunts and fight work and for existing in the world I currently live in.  It's truly a great film and if you haven't seen it, do so.  You'll thank me.

And now, there is reason to give more thanks:
Director Gareth Evans has made a sequel.  The plot is unknown, but it picks up two hours after the first film ends.

Honestly, I don't care what it's about.  Just watch this trailer and try not to get excited.

Is there a person in there that doesn't look like a total and complete badass?

The Raid 2: Berandal will hit American theaters in March of 2014.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - Man of Tai Chi and 47 Ronin (Keanu Reeves Double-Wide Trailer Edition)

The Trailer Park was closed last week due to, you know, my life getting in the way, but it's reopened this week.  To make up for last week's closure, we got a double-wide edition this time around, specifically a double dose of Keanu Reeves.  "Why?," you might ask.  "Why not?," is what I say.

Keanu Reeves is one of those actors who gets a lot of shit.  People seem to refer to him as a "bad actor" and talk down about him, but that's bogus.  Sure, he's been in some truly terrible movies, but he's also been in some good ones (c'mon, you liked Bill & Ted), and like most actors, he just has to get a good part that can utilize his particular skill set.  And yes, my implication is that Keanu Reeves has an acting skill set, and it's a skill set that I don't mind seeing from time to time, under the proper conditions.

So anyway, defense of Keanu aside, let's look at a couple movie trailers, shall we?

First up is Man of Tai Chi (2013), which looks pretty amazing in my book.  It received the prestigious "Best Thing I've Seen Lately" award from film critic Vern over at outlawvern.com (also, my friend Deric approves, which is a good sign).  This film interests me for a number of reasons. First, it is a martial arts underground fighting tournament movie, a subgenre not seen nearly enough, but when present, is usually pretty great.  Second, this is Keanu's directorial debut, so naturally he stars in the film. . . as the villain (pretty badass move, let's be honest).  The star of the film is Tiger Chen, a talented stuntman that Reeves met on the set of the Matrix movies.  Oh, and the majority of the movie is not in English and features subtitles.

Okay.  So a martial arts fighting movie, spoken in mainly Cantonese and Mandarin, with Keanu Reeves directing and playing the villain...  Sounds fucking great to me!

Man of Tai Chi is playing in select cities RIGHT NOW and is also available VOD and over on iTunes for download (if you're into that) RIGHT NOW as well.  As soon as I get the chance, I'm going to see it.  Here's the trailer:


Part two of today's double-wide trailer edition is for an admittedly more questionable film, one that could possibly be not so good (it's all that CGI that makes me hesitant), but hell man, I love samurai movies, so this one's on my radar.  47 Ronin (2013) is one of those action-fantasy-samurai movies about a group of ronin getting revenge for the death of their master.  Looks like fun.  Lots of room for craziness.  Comes out on December 25th, so I totally expect this to be THE holiday movie of 2013.  Check out the trailer:

And of course, a pair of posters provided for your perusal.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - Here Comes the Devil

Trailer Park Tuesdays, the place to be for all your needs (as long as those needs are based around movie trailers for upcoming films).

While scrounging around the internet this afternoon, I stumbled across today's trailer, a Mexican horror film about possession and scary kids.  Based on the title, I was skeptical.  Seemed kind of like a joke maybe (plus it didn't help that I instantly thought about MST3k), but it appears as if this is the real deal in the scary department.

Here's the dime description for Here Comes the Devil:  A married couple lose their children near some caves while on vacation in Tijuana, and upon their return it becomes clear they are not who they used to be.

I'm not familiar with writer/director Adrián García Bogliano (Cold SweatPenumbra), but I think that will soon change

Here's the trailer:

Here Comes the Devil will be distributed by Magnet Releasing, playing in select cities in the US starting December 13th (which is a Friday).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - Witching and Bitching

Happy Halloweek everybody!  Welcome to the scariest place in town!  THE TRAILER PARK!

This weeks movie trailer is for a weird Spanish movie and I'll go ahead and warn you that this one won't be for everybody.  It's a strong mix of laughs, action, and gore.  To me, it looks unrelentingly awesome, but I sometimes like this kind of stuff.  Your mileage may vary...

Witching and Bitching (2013), or as it is known in its native Spain, Las brujas de Zugarramurdi (translates as The Witches of Zugarramurdi), is a horror/comedy from director Álex de la Iglesia about a group of thieves who run afoul a coven of murderous witches in a remote village.  Much madness and terror ensues.  Also, some hilarity.  This one looks to be fun, action packed, full of energy, and soaked in blood.  Can't wait!

I really enjoyed de la Iglesia's The Last Circus (2010), which is an insane horror/comedy mixture featuring murderous clowns, with a perfect balance of tones, so I am looking forward to this one.

This is the first trailer for the film:

The use of Refused's 'New Noise' was another big selling point for me.  Also, the gold Jesus.

As a holiday bonus, here's a Vimeo LINK to a second trailer.  It's longer, subtitled, and gives a better sense of what the fuck is going on, plus it's got more action and gore.

As of right now, I do not believe Witching and Bitching has been picked up for US distribution, but I would imagine it will pop up sometime in 2014.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ninja III: The Domination

There is nothing quite like Ninja III: The Domination (1984).  It's basic formula can be broken down as this:  ninjas + possession + revenge killings x the 80s ÷ aerobics = amazing. Unless there is another supernatural-ninja-aerobics movie out there, I don't think you or I are ever going to see a better supernatural-ninja-aerobics movie.

In case you need further convincing, Here's 10 Reasons You Should Check Out Ninja III: The Domination

1.  The Amazing Opening:  Ninja Golf Course Massacre

Ninja III is packed with wall to wall action and the first ten minutes is the most jam packed of them all.  After a mysterious and heavily eyelinered ninja retrieves his ninja gear from a ninja mountain cave, he proceeds to stalk and massacre a bunch of polo shirt 80s jerk-looking guys (and one woman) on a golf course, all in broad daylight, no less.

He crushes a golf ball right in front of one dude's face and then he lifts a golf cart (partially) off the ground with one hand.  After that he runs from the police, jumps over a car, climbs a palm tree, jumps onto a helicopter, and then dives into a lake, all while kicking, punching, stabbing, slashing, and throwing ninja stars into people.  It might just be the most important ten minutes in cinema history*.

*Not really, but check out these screenshots!

Also, I of course gotta mention that there's some squealing tires on dirt when the police are chasing Eyeliner Ninja because of course this is the kind of movie that would have that.
After the police gun the ninja down, he stumbles away after a smoke bomb diversion and manages to catch the attention of telephone repairwoman Christie (Lucinda Dickey, star of Breakin' and Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo) who he then transfers all his ninja prowess and powers to via his now possessed sword.  The rest of the movie involves Christie getting revenge on the cops who killed Eyeliner Ninja and it is just as awesome as the opening ten minutes.

2.  Floating Glowing Sword

This sword floats!  It glows!  And it's also possessed by an evil ninja spirit!  What fun!

3.  Aerobics!
This film is drenched in 80s-ness, from the clothes and hair, the music, the decor of Christie's apartment, the arcade game that shoots lasers out of it, the neon, etc, etc, but the most 80s thing in Ninja III has got the be all the aerobics action.  Christie is not only a telephone repairwoman, but she also teaches an aerobics class and seems to workout when feeling stressed about all this possession business.  Basically, what I'm saying is that leotards and leg warmers are a motif in this film.

4.  Flashdance + The Exorcist + Poltergeist

Ninja III is the kind of movie that is an equal opportunity opportunist, stealing ideas from a variety of sources.  This movie really is the sum of its parts.  As pointed out above, aerobics is a part of the larger package, and Christie's aerobics instructor/telephone repairwoman career path is her version of Alex's steel mill welder/exotic dancer double career move in Flashdance (1983).  Also, leg warmers.

All movies that deal with possession are a little indebted to The Exorcist (1973), Ninja III being no exception.  This comes across mostly in the attempted-exorcism/spirit conjuring scene with James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China [1986]) as Miyashima, which causes Christie to flip out (literally), scream in a voice not her own, spit smoke in Miyashima's face, levitate him, and have her complexion change.  You know, just the usual possession stuff...

Not resting on its laurels, Ninja III also has a scene that is a fairly blatant attempt to recreate the closet-sucking scene from Poltergeist (1983), but to much, much less effect (although, in the same scene, the possessed sword slashes her stereo in half, and that was pretty cool).

5.  V-8 Juice:  Aphrodisiac

This shit made no sense.  Is this the possession talking or is she just a weirdo?  I guess the director, Sam Firstenberg, came up with this idea while on the set...  In that case, I gotta ask, what the hell, man?

6.  The Hairy-Man Beast, Billy

So who is Christie seductively pouring V-8 down her body for?  Well, it's her pushy cop boyfriend, Billy Secord (Jordan Bennett), who would be considered the lead male actor of the movie (non-ninja class).  He's mostly notable for being absolutely one of the hairiest men ever in motion pictures (he's right up there with Robin Williams).  He's kind of a doof, but I guess he's well meaning.  Totally pushy, though.

7.   The Awesome Dialogue

Movies like this have a way with words.  Get a load of these quotables:

First, in the straight truth department...
"Only a ninja. . . can destroy a ninja."

and in the villainous taunt department...
Christie (possessed by evil ninja):
"HaHaHaHa!  You fools!  You cannot stop me!  I am a ninja!  No one and nothing can stop me!"

and in the "wait,what?" department...
A Doctor, speaking to Christie:  
"Medically, you're a very fit young woman.  No evidence of any abnormality in the brain, no tumor, you have a strong heart, your diet is better than average.  You are under severe stress, of course, but otherwise doctor Bowen, the psychiatrist you saw, says there's nothing out of the ordinary.  Aside from your exceptional extrasensory perception and your preoccupation with Japanese culture.  No harm in that!"

Oh, Ninja III, I think I might love you.

8.  Eye Patch Ninja, Shô Kasugi

You know this is a serious ninja movie with Shô in town.  Well, maybe not serious, but he does add a bit of legitimacy to the piece as Yamada, the sworn enemy of the evil Eyeliner Ninja.  A movie like this needs some ninja vs. ninja action, and we get that in the form of a sword duel in a temple and also on a mountain top.  Pretty cool stuff.

His eyepatch is 100% badass.

Shô was one of the faces of the (all too brief) 1980s ninja craze and was a trained martial artist and a highly skilled practitioner of weapons.  He starred in the other two (and unrelated) films in this ninja series, Enter the Ninja (1981) and Revenge of the Ninja (1983), as well as Pray for Death (1985), Rage of Honor (1987), and early Jean-Claude Van Damme entry, Black Eagle (1988).

9That Cannon Films Flavor!

Leaders in the VHS revolution of the 1980s, The Cannon Group, ran by Israeli cousins Manehem Golan and Yoram Globus, seemed to specialize in exploiting all and any 80s trends and fads; Vietnam action movies (Missing in Action [1984]), slashers (New Years Evil [1980]), breakdancing (Breakin' [1984]), Charles Bronson pics (10 to Midnight [1983], the Death Wish sequels), Van Damme awesomeness (Bloodsport [1988] AND Kickboxer [1989]), arm wrestling (Over the Top [1987]), and of course, ninja movies.

Most of their output was low budget and made to turn a quick profit, but they did manage to put some of their money behind some talented filmmakers when they produced Barbet Schroeder's first American film Barfly (1987, starring Mickey Rourke in one of his best roles), Neil Jordan's second feature The Company of Wolves (1985), and Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce (1985) and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986).

Cannon Films... there's something about them.  The analogy I drew up is that they are akin to a ham and cheese sandwich.  Something that is enjoyable, has very basic elements, and can very easily be snazzed up.  Mmmmmmmm..... that Cannon Film flavor..

10.  The Movie Trailer!

Some of that wonderful flavor comes across in this trailer.  If this doesn't convince you that you need to see this movie, nothing will.  This video is VHS quality, which makes it VHSupercool:
Ninja III: The Domination, what else is there to say?  SEE IT!

Ninja III: The Domination is now available on BluRay/DVD combo from the fine folks over at Scream Factory.  It's a great looking disc; I need to snag myself a copy.  You should too.