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Case Number 25786

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Ninja III: The Domination (Blu-ray)

Shout! Factory // 1984 // 92 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 6th, 2013

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson always dominates. Always.

The Charge

He's the ultimate killer. She's the perfect weapon.

Opening Statement

Next to discarded refrigerators and open-air toxic waste dumps, there was no more terrifying villain in the 1980s than ninjas. The Cannon Group, seeking to capitalize on this fear, unleashed Ninja III: The Domination, the single greatest argument that you have absolutely nothing to fear from ninjas.

Facts of the Case

In a dark cave, underneath a fake rock, a cache of lethal ninja weapons resides, waiting for someone with ill intent to pick them up for diabolical means. A mysterious man walks in and helps himself to the contraband: shuriken, swords, and eyeliner. He emerges from the cave, fully clad in his shinobi outfit, armed to the teeth with mayhem on his mind.

This mysterious stranger makes his way to a golf course and tracks his target: a middle-aged man tooling around in a golf cart with his girlfriend. Despite it being broad daylight and a public place, the ninja dispenses with the stealthy approach and wages open warfare, cutting down the bodyguards, murdering the girlfriend (for some reason), and hacking this hapless guy to death.

Unsurprisingly, the police soon respond to reports of multiple golf course homicide and swarm upon the ninja. He is not deterred. He unleashes the full might and fury of his super-secret arsenal, bombarding the boys in blue with all manner of throwing stars. Five down. Then ten. Then twenty. The body count spirals out of control, as the corpses of cops litter the putting green. Even when the survivors call in a police helicopter, the ninja responds, commandeering the bird, kicking the pilot to death in the face with his knife shoe, and sending the chopper barreling into a cliff.

Eventually, the precincts empty, the cops surround the ninja and open fire. Bullets ventilate his evil ninja body and though he takes 40 or more officers with him, he is simply unable to overcome the odds. Thus, he uncorks some dope ninjitsu and disappears into a cloud of smoke.

Meanwhile, not too far from the carnage, a young girl named Christie (Lucinda Dickey, Breakin') climbs a telephone pole to check on a line. From her perch she notices a bloodied ninja shuffling through the brush. Oblivious to the sirens, exploding helicopters, and human carnage, she runs to aid the ninja and winds up with a face full of Magic Ninja Stare.

And so the Domination begins.

The Evidence

That's merely the first twenty minutes of Ninja III: The Domination. If that description sounds magical to you—as well it should—the rest of the film is even better!

I'd so very much love to regale with you ALL the enchantment that is to follow, but that would take up way more bandwidth than my Editor-in-Chief is comfortable with. So how about just handful of Things to Look For in Ninja III: The Domination:

• Aerobics.

• Body hair on our heroine's boyfriend. The tufts are literally breaking through his undershirt. Squirrels can get lost in his thatch.

• Christie has a full-size arcade machine named "Bouncer" in her studio apartment. Later, it will blast a laser show on her face.

• The prop master in charge of implementing the practical effects to levitate a magic sword (e.g. suspending it with fishing line) did not take into account the prevalence of 21st century high-definition technology.

• The V8 love scene. For my money, it's the greatest scene ever filmed in the history of time and space. Here's how it plays out: Christie's hairy-backed suitor applies the dating pressure, but she resists saying she doesn't date cops. He throws a hissy fit and the spectacle somehow engorges her erogenous zone. As such, she takes him back to her apartment, takes a shower, straddles him, and deftly holding a can of V8 (so it can be caught perfectly by the camera) and pours the red liquid all over her neck. This action gets hairy back insanely aroused and he clamps down on her gullet like a lion on an antelope.

God bless you Shout! Factory, for taking the time to press this disc. The 1.78:1/1080p high def transfer is solid, especially for an obscure catalog release. Sure, there's some grain here and there, but overall the picture quality is well above what I was expecting. For audio, we get a DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio track and, while it won't shake your living room walls, the mix provides adequate ambience for the purposes of pumping out sword clangs and excruciating '80s synthesizer. Two extras: a commentary from director Sam Firstenberg (Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo) and stunt coordinator Steve Lambert, and a standard def DVD copy to share with your friends.

Closing Statement

If none of what I've shared compels you to add Ninja III: The Domination to your collection, I don't know what more to say. You're obviously too far gone to be helped.

The Verdict

Not Guilty. Mmmm, taste the domination.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 85
Audio: 75
Extras: 75
Acting: 20
Story: 30
Judgment: 95

Perp Profile

Studio: Shout! Factory
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
Audio Formats:
• DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (English)
• None
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 1984
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Action
• Bad
• Blu-ray
• Horror
• Martial Arts

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• DVD Copy


• IMDb

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