Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Brace Yourself for Ninja Badass

The doughy, pasty-white ninjas of Indiana are about to wage an all-out war. Who will lose? Eventually everyone, but good taste and dignity will be the first casualties. Rex isn’t much of a ninja, but he will have to cowboy up if he wants to save the girl and stop the evil puppy-eating cannibal ninja cult in writer-director-everything-else Ryan Harrison’s Ninja Badass, which opens Friday in Los Angeles.

Rex is a screw-up, who is completely oblivious to his ineptitude. Nevertheless, when Big Twitty, the leader of the local chapter of the Ninja VIP Super Club, kidnaps the attractive woman from the pet store (along with their stock of puppies), Rex decides to “rescue” her back. Fortunately, Haskell, a relatively law-abiding ninja, agrees to tutor him, for revenge, after Big Twitty tears his arm off.

Of course, neither Rex or Haskell can walk and chew gum at the same time. However, Big Twitty’s estranged daughter Jojo is a match for her father. She has no illusions regarding Rex’s idiocy and incompetence, but she still reluctantly teams up with him.

Ninja Badass was made for people who find Troma movies too sophisticated and pretentious. It is chocked full of crude gore and deliberately cheesy superimposed special effects—including puppies going into the blender. Seriously, it makes The Greasy Strangler look like a drily witty Noel Coward comedy.

There is little point in submitting
Ninja Badass to an in-depth critical analysis. It is meant to be ridiculous and shocking, which it is. However, a film like this running over one hundred minutes is just excessive. Honestly, after one hour, we totally get the joke and then some.

Based on his work behind the camera and his performance as Rex, Harrison may or may not have an odd future as the next Mark Borchardt. For what its worth, Tatiana Ortiz shows off better action chops than anyone else in the film and her dismissive attitude towards Rex is amusing. You could actually believe she could be cast in a “real” movie after this.

So, this film exists. It is surely more effective if seen with a large audience drinking cheap beer. Recommended for fans of extreme DIY grunge,
Ninja Badass opens Friday (6/10) at the Laemmle Monica Film Center.