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NINJA WARS - 3 Slimes
Rated R
Copyright 1982 Toei Company Ltd.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 19 November 2000

The Characters:  

  • (Cut me some slack on the names, I'm trying.)
  • Jotaro - Young and eager ninja who is our hero. Presumed dead with third degree burns over one hundred percent of his body.
  • Kakaribi and Ukio Dio - Sisters separated at birth, the former becoming a ninja, the other a noblewoman. Both perish.
  • Shin Zaiman - Sonny Chiba! Samurai by day and ninja by night (well, sometimes by day too).
  • Lord Mioshi - Spineless nobleman.
  • Lord Donjo - Megalomaniac who wishes to rule the world at any cost, unfortunately "any" includes his life.
  • The Five Devil Monks - A group of evil ninja trained by Kashin, I soon began calling them "the lampshade dudes" and you'll see why. One of them has a great afro by the way. All are slain by Jotaro in a variety of ways.
  • Kashin Koji - Either a powerful sorcerer or an evil spirit, though his fortune telling leaves much to be desired.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

In feudal Japan it seems you were either a samurai or ninja, at least if you were a male. We shall not rile up all the activists by mentioning "obedient wife" or "Geisha" for the opposite sex. (Oops.) Ukio Dio is much sought after as a wife, since Kashin Koji predicts whoever wins her heart shall rule the world. So begins an energetic tale of love, treachery, and projectile vomiting.

I should probably explain the last sentence of the preceding paragraph. As things would have it the lampshade dudes need tears from Kakaribi to create an aphrodisiac for Lord Donjo. So Jotaro is faced with a Devil Monk who can spew a pressurized stream of vomit, in fact it looks like a fire hose shooting regurgitant! Our hero is completely outmatched by the powerful bulimic attack, only the timely arrival of Shin Zaiman saves him from suffocation.

Kakaribi realizes what she is to be used for, so the young lady cuts her own head off to foil the evil plan. Undaunted, the Devil Monks cut off the head of a nearby servant girl and reattach both heads, but to the opposite girl's body. What this accomplishes is beyond me, even the dubbed explanation doesn't make sense. Bizarre.

Meanwhile, Jotaro is exiled from his clan for being an eager ninja and sets out to rescue his lover alone. Failing that he obtains the Spider Tea Kettle and decides to warn Ukio Dio about the plot afoot. The special tea kettle is a major part of this story for some reason. In addition to spinning beautiful webs spiders must make damn fine tea.

In the end both Jotaro and Ukio Dio burn to death. What in the hell? The entire movie was based on the prediction that her husband would rule the world. Once again: what in the hell? I've heard of psychics making blunders, but ruling the world and being broiled alive are opposite ends of the spectrum. Hooray, I'm going to rule the world! Ahhh, I'm on fire!

The plot is all over the place, people are vomiting others out of trees, and the dubbed dialog was all added to best match lip movements (with no regard to content or meaning). Gotta love this film.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Samurai tend to freak out during thunderstorms, just like the family dog.
  • Ninja often take second jobs as hedge trimmers.
  • Tears are an aphrodisiac.
  • In Japan seduction is indistinguishable from being slapped around and raped.
  • Ninja are related to bloodhounds.
  • Monks sometimes turn into cross-dressing pyromaniacs.
  • Ferns are yummy.
  • Being stabbed in the brain stem with a religious artifact will make you see God.
  • Ninja are masters of "the back breaker."

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 28 mins - Why pick the large and ugly woman to test the aphrodisiac on? Oh no, don't take that off! They're hanging to her knees! Arrrggghhh!
  • 32 mins - Does she have any moles you would recognize?
  • 46 mins - This is worse than a Catholic Mass, get on with it!
  • 51 mins - Somebody tell those flames to clear camera.
  • 57 mins - Go ahead and tell her about the girlfriend you used to have, the one who had her head cut off and reattached to another woman's body.
  • 62 mins - Look at his eyebrows, it has to be Sonny Chiba.
  • 74 mins - What little plot coherency we had just jumped out the window.
  • 92 mins - Ninja don't just grow on trees you know...

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note ninjawars1.wav Kashin: "Well now, I wonder who would send a ninja here?"
Green Music Note ninjawars2.wav Devil Monk: "Oh yes, we must have the most famous Spider Tea Kettle."
Green Music Note ninjawars3.wav Jotaro's Master: "You have broken the rule of the Iga Ninja and if you still insist on fighting the Five Devil Monks...leave the land of Iga!"
Green Music Note ninjawars4.wav Mioshi: "What? Monks from another temple are attacking us?"
Donjo: "Yes, I myself do not understand it."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipninjawars1.mpg - 3.2m
Would you want to fight this guy? I didn't think so... ...though I'd never realized the skill of a true ninja involved so much of his breakfast. Of course it is the most important meal of the day, especially when his is covering your face.

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