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September 1, 2012

Flicks: The Ninja Squad (1986)

Rule #1 of Ninjitsu: always wear a head band stating you are, indeed, a ninja.

The Ninja Squad (1986) star Richard Harrison (not that one) is famous for two things. Number One, as being rumored during his time as a extra in Italy to suggest Clint Eastwood to Sergio Leone when the famed director was looking for a lead in "A Fistful of Dollars" in 1964. And, Number Two, as acting or starring in 17 unbelievably awful ninja-sploitation films from 1984 to 1988 sometimes starring eight films in one year.

These sixteen movies start with Ninja Thunderbolt (1984), then Ninja Champion (#1) and Ninja Holocaust(#2) both made in 1985. Some say a Holocaust would be enough to stem the tide of Harrison's ninja themed roles yet at the end of 1985 came Ninja Terminator (#3), another Hong Kong release exploiting the title from James Cameron's The Terminator from 1984 and nothing else.

Actually Ninja Terminator is regarded today as something of a camp classic. The over-the-top dramatic dialogue unfailingly illicits unexpected howls of laughter. "You betray the ninja empire?! Why did you no that, you reckon?" In what part of China is "reckon" a popular expression? Seriously. Someone needs to get back to me on this.

Harrison continued with his fifth ninja foray in Ninja Hunt(#4), our current feature Ninja Squad (#5) and Ninja Dragon (#6) all released in 1986. In 1987, Harrison went on to do Cobra vs. Ninja (#7), Hands of Death (#8), Ninja Operation: Licensed to Terminate (#9), Ninja Avengers (#10), Ninja Commandments (#11), Ninja Kill (#12), The Ninja Showdown (#13) and Ninja: Silent Assassin (#14) while also finding time to star in Hitman the Cobra a Chinese WWII period anti-Japanese film.

In 1988, Harrison starred in Ninja Powerforce (#14), Ninja Strike Force (#15) and The Power of Ninjitsu (#16) before making his final ninja themed movie Diamond Ninja Force (#17) the same year.

IMDB, The Ninja Squad (1986)
IMDB, Richard Harrison

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