Well, here we are, at the end of my “Scenes I Go Back To” blogging project. 31 days, 31 scenes. And I thought I’d end things with a scene from a movie that left an indelible mark on my young mind when I saw it. That helped mold me into the man I am today. Yes, I am indeed referring to Chang Cheh’s Chinese Super Ninjas.
Prior to Chinese Super Ninjas (aka Five Element Ninjas), the only cinematic martial arts I’d seen were courtesy of one Mr. Miyagi. But then my friend Jason leant me a VHS tape on which he had recorded Chang Cheh’s 1982 opus during some “Kung-Fu June” marathon that was running on basic cable. And the movie that I watched promptly blew my young high school mind.
On one level, I knew that the movie was completely and utterly ludicrous. A list of the movie’s flaws, inconsistencies, and outright fallacies would run as long as the Great Wall of China. Case in point: there’s no way a human being can keep fighting when he’s tripping over his own intestines, something that happens during one of the film’s major battles.
I’m pretty sure the clip above violates several of Newton’s laws all by itself. Nevermind the fact that the special effect of those water ninjas leaping out of the pond — which is obviously accomplished by simply running the film backwards — is cheesy as hell.
But I also learned an important lesson from Chinese Super Ninjas, one that has stuck with me to this day. Movies can break every known law of physics, can ignore every guideline put forth in the “Making Movies” handbook, and can be so ludicrous they ought to be banned by the Geneva Convention, so long as they’re freaking awesome.
And it just doesn’t get any more freaking awesome than Chinese Super Ninjas.
Want to ensure Opus’ continued existence and get special exclusives? Become a subscriber today. Your support helps offset the cost of running Opus.
I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.