Alien vs Ninja DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 6.5
Video 6.0
Audio 8.5
Special Features 0.5
Total 6.0
Distributor: Madman
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Classification:
MA15+
Reviewer: Simon Black

6.0


Alien vs Ninja

Yet another entry into the burgeoning Eastern Eye ‘the title tells the whole story’ canon, Alien vs Ninja was produced by Nikkatsu, Japan’s oldest movie studio, and is the first title to appear on their new Sushi Typhoon imprint.  Given this pedigree, a tagline ripped off from Predator (‘if it bleeds, ninjas can kill it’) and a title like Alien vs Ninja, the film couldn’t be all bad, could it? 

Of course not.  It could however be mostly bad, and it is, though it has several redeeming qualities of note, namely the shapely presence of Mika Hijii as a samurai hottie, a refreshingly self-aware comic sensibility and a penchant for the absurd that sets it apart from other ninja-alien fare like... well, I guess it’s pretty unique in this regard too. 


CLICK TO ZOOM

The premise of AvN is summarised simply enough.  While off tussling with bad guys in the forest, a band of ninjas led by the feisty Yamata (Ben Hiura) are startled to see what appears to be a meteor crash near their village.  Upon closer inspection the meteor is actually an alien craft, and in addition to being quite grumpy the vicious occupants of the vessel has a penchant for ninja flesh.  Seemingly oblivious to earthy weapons, these pesky aliens are evidently going to take some beating... 

The film has recently been slated for an American remake, and with director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) having recently completed work on Cowboys & Aliens it would seem audiences are quite keen for this sort of genre-bending fare.  AvN owes much to films such as Alien vs Predator and the work of Sam Raimi, but to its credit it wears its extensive influences on its sleeve and winds up being a pretty damn entertaining martial art horror flick.  Lots of gruesome kills, well-choreographed action sequences, so-goofy-they’re-cool aliens and even some samurai eye candy – what more could you ask for? 

Video & Audio

Not since Evil Dead III has a film made such obvious use of blue screen technology, and not since 1961s Creature From the Haunted Sea has a supposedly terrifying monster looked so wondrously, amazingly unconvincing.  These aren’t complaints by the way, merely observations from someone with an avowed appreciation for filmic tat.  AvN may be tat but it is redeemed somewhat by some excellent costumes and the presence of Hijii, who really must be seen and salivated over to be believed.  Oh and in case you were wondering about the audio and/or video, they’re both quite good, and AvN is something of an oddity in that as well as featuring Japanese 5.1 and 2.0 audio mixes it also boasts an English 5.1 surround dub replete with top notch voicework.  Shocking! 

Special Features

Nothing of consequence really, just a theatrical trailer and several Eastern Eye trailers prefaced by that jarring, hideous ‘What Are You Really Burning?’ anti-piracy ad that is the bane of anyone who watches more than two DVDs a week.  This disc deserves a negative score for bonus content because it actually made my life worse to sit through it, though the trailer for Big Tits Zombie admittedly provided some visual recompense.  I also never get sick of typing the words Big Tits Zombie.  Alright, half a point then.  Geez.






 
 



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