Ninja Operation: Knight and Warrior (1987)

ninjaoperationknightandwarrior

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During the heyday of the Ninja craze, Godfrey Ho and Joseph Lai took footage from a 1984 Taiwanese film and combined it with massive footage with Western actors to make this film about ninja drug dealers and Interpol agents who must stop them.

Paris-based Interpol agent Alvin has been trying to get his hands of local drug lord Rudolph for a long time. After one of Rudolph’s dealers, Lenny, is caught by Alvin, a deal is made so that Lenny can leave as long as there is protection until he can get asylum in the Bahamas for himself and his family. Alvin agrees, but Rudolph has learned about the betrayal. Rudolph’s partner Norman decides to have both Lenny and Alvin killed. Lenny is murdered by Norman’s man as is Alvin’s girlfriend. Alvin, who is revealed to be a ninja, defeats the ninja henchman but has learned Rudolph has left for Hong Kong.

Rudolph, who has set up shop in Hong Kong, plans to partner with local hoodlum Tiger, who may have access to Aberdeen Harbor so he can continue business. However, the Interpol office in Hong Kong have an ace up their sleeve in Vivian, a former bad girl who has reformed and became a police officer with her mission being to bust Tiger. Meanwhile, Interpol has also informed Gordon, a veteran artist skilled in ninja, who is ready to stop Rudolph and Norman but will need the help of Alvin, who has arrived to Hong Kong not only to stop the duo of drug lords, but avenge the death of his girlfriend.

This is quite an interesting entry in the 80’s “cut-and-paste” ninja genre of Hong Kong action cinema. The film was actually brought up when Cameroon-born Alphonse Beni met Godfrey Ho at the Cannes Film Festival in hopes he can star in one of his ninja films as Beni was the distributor of the ninja films in his homeland. Ho agreed and somehow, Godfrey brought in the likes of Richard Harrison, Stuart Smith, Grant Temple, and many other actors of his ninja stable, perhaps to show appreciation towards Beni, who according to Ho, financed the movie himself.

For this, Beni and Harrison play Interpol agents who must stop a pair of ninja drug lords, played by Smith and Temple. In addition, we get to see the likes of John Cheung as a fellow Interpol agent who also served as the new footage’s action director. While a good 60% of the film comprises of the new footage, the other 40% is comprised of a 1984 Taiwanese action film entitled A Girl Rogue. The film seemed to be some sort of revenge or avenging angel tale of a young woman going after a notorious villain. For our version here, lead actress Li Hui-Fang, billed as “Vivian Lee” plays a Hong Kong cop going after the local drug lord Tiger, who is working cahoots with the ninja drug lords Norman and Rudolph.

Ninja Operation: Knight and Warrior is quite a fun entry in the IFD “cut-and-paste” ninja films with Alphonse Beni and Richard Harrison doing what they do best alongside Stuart Smith and Grant Temple as the villain ninjas. The original Taiwanese footage is what’s expected for this genre of film but altogether a fun film nonetheless with cult value.

Funny enough, look for an old VHS copy under the title Black Ninja with Beni credited on the cover as “Chris Kelly”?!

WFG RATING: B-

An IFD Films and Arts Limited production. Director: Godfrey Ho. Producers: Joseph Lai and Betty Sun. Writer: Stephen Soul. Cinematography: Cheung Hoi. Editing: Vincent Leung.

Cast: Richard Harrison, Alphonse Beni, Stuart Smith, Grant Temple, John Cheung, Pierre Tremblay, Geoffrey Brown, Li Hui-Fang, Ma Sha.

 

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