STUDIO: Scream Factory
MSRP: $26.99
RUNNING TIME: 92 Minutes

• Commentary with director Sam Firstenberg and stunt coordinator Steve Lambert
• Huge photo gallery

The Pitch

Buckle up, pussies. It’s Ninja III: The Domination on Blu-ray! You know what to do!

The Humans

Written by James R. Silke, directed by Sam Firstenberg, starring Sho Kosugi, Lucinda Dickey, and Jordan Bennett.

The Nutshell

Aerobics instructor Christie becomes possessed by the spirit of an evil ninja who uses her to get revenge on the cops who killed him. Her hairy cop boyfriend is baffled by her bizarre transformation and, fearing for his life, enlists the help of the good one-eyed ninja Yamada to exorcize Christie’s demon and put an end to her ruthless killing spree and V-8 foreplay forever!!! Ninja III: The Domination has long been revered as essential “so bad it’s good” viewing and now it’s available in glorious HD!!!

The Lowdown

Ninjas HATE golf

Ninjas HATE golf

Any film that starts of with a ninja picking off neon-polo wearing yuppies on a golf course is okay with me. Long revered as an essential pillar of the insane “what the fuck” genre of movies, Ninja III: The Domination has amassed a devoted cult following over the years. I don’t think anyone saw this package coming though. An actual DVD and Blu-ray release?! Well it’s happened thanks to the madmen over at Scream Factory and now an even larger audience of unsuspecting viewer-virgins can have their minds blown out the back of their skulls.

Ninjas were everywhere in the ’80s and screw all that code of honor bullshit. Back then ninjas were out for blood! After the success of Enter the Ninja (1981) and Revenge of the Ninja (1983), Cannon Films asked director Sam Firstenberg to direct Ninja III, which would milk the ninja motif while combining it with supernatural elements to cash in on the success of Poltergeist. They gave it the title Ninja III in order to make it the unofficial third installment of the “Golan-Globus  Ninja Trilogy” – following Enter and Revenge – although none of the films have anything to do with each other.

When I say ninjas were everywhere in the ’80s, I mean everywhere, including on the golf course. An evil ninja tears through a yuppie scientist and his bodyguards on the green, then makes easy work of about 700 cops. He literally kills so many cops in the first five minutes of the film that it’s probably what caused the policy accepting all willing recruits in the first Police Academy, which was released the same year (makes sense!). The ninja is finally wounded enough by the police that he has to make a run for it. As he’s dying, aerobics instructor/electrical lineman Christie (Lucina Dickey of Breakin’ fame) tries to assist him. Instead of accepting her aid, he transfers his spirit into her like a proper evil ninja would.

Aerobics instructor by day, cop killing ninja by night.

Aerobics instructor by day, cop killing ninja by night.

Christie becomes possessed by the evil spirit and embarks on a stealth mission of revenge against the pigs who mowed down the ninja. In between stalking and slaying cops, Christie finds time to teach aerobics, play the Bouncer arcade game in her apartment, and seduce hairy cops by pouring V-8 down her chest. In the commentary, director Firstenberg states that the whole V-8 thing was an idea that just popped in his head on set. Whatta perv! But really her life becomes a living hell from the ninja flashbacks, hallucinations, and uncontrollable urges to stab men in uniform.

Ninja III is a relentless onslaught of infectiously entertaining and baffling moments. Like how the evil ninja can spin so fast that he drills into the ground. Or the exorcism scene where Christie spews out noxious gas into James Hong’s face. There’s some genuinely trippy moments too – like the laser beams coming out of the arcade game. There’s not a single scene in the film that you’re going to want to fast forward through or get up during. Which is unique, because y’know how these “so bad it’s good” movies go. There’s usually a couple batshit scenes and then the rest is stilted acting and painfully long pauses before the cut. Well there’s none of that crap here. Ninja III is a streamlined barrage of madness from beginning to end.

Final level of Bouncer

Final stage of Bouncer

The action scenes are cut pretty awkwardly, but martial arts expert Sho Kosugi (Enter and Revenge) brings some authentic heat. The stunts are fantastic, particularly the helicopter leap and cop car jump in the beginning. During the commentary, stunt coordinator Steve Lambert talks about the helicopter stunt. He was the ninja’s stunt double and he kept telling the copter pilot to go higher and higher. The pilot begrudgingly did so despite the lake being pretty shallow and the payoff is one helluva stunt.

And now all of the insanity is available in glorious HD thanks to Scream Factory. The film has been restored, revamped, and looks AMAZING! This Blu-ray is highly recommend to all Chewers and a must have for any human being on the planet. If you don’t add this to your location, I’m not coming over your house ever.

The Package


Ninja III is presented in 1080p in 1.78:1 widescreen. It looks incredible. The colors are vibrant as hell and there are nearly no specks or scratches. The neon spandex will damn near blind you. The 24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio stereo track is lossless and as crisp as you can hope for. For a film of this obscurity and age, the audio and video are definitely above average.

The audio commentary with director Sam Firstenberg and stunt coordinator Steve Lambert is definitely worth a listen. The two are clearly having fun throughout and they provide heaps of insight on what it was like making low-budget action films in the ’80s. They also dish some dirt on Cannon Films, how Lucinda Dickey got cast, and Lambert talks a ton about the seriously dangerous stunts he pulled off. You’ll have to listen for yourself to find out which stunt shattered one of his vertebrae!

The only other feature is a deep gallery of posters, behind the scenes photos, promotional stills, and more.


Out of a Possible 5 Stars