The Ninja Mission (1984)

You should know I love a good ninja movie. I love it even better when its existence is really weird. The Ninja Mission is a Swedish movie directed by Mats-Helge Olsson in which the Americans use ninjas to try and secure a scientist and his daughter from the KGB who are after the scientist’s revolutionary energy source resource…which he keeps encoded in a romance novel he wrote. This was Olsson’s most successful movie due to its international release and achieving cult status in some Asian countries. Unfortunately Mats-Helge got screwed over by the producers and hardly made any money off the picture.

This is also one of those examples where the movie poster is quite accurate: ninjas and Russians use a ton of Swedish K SMGs, there are helicopters, there are a lot of stealth kills, and guards wearing outfits to protect themselves from nerve gas and other deadly agents that the ninjas use. In truth, the movie actually has a ton of shooting and violence, which I’ll get into in a bit. In the meantime, it’s betrayal and backstabbing as characters are revealed to be spies and double agents, civilians are murdered in the street, and the lead scientist is tricked into working for the Russians in a false fortress made to look like it’s neutral territory for the UN.

But despite all of its killing and never reloading (seriously, I think only one guy ever reloads in the entire movie, and he was actually the director playing a henchman), things don’t really get going until the final twenty minutes. You can tell when it starts: a ninja ziplines down to the floor of a Russian facility and uses his sword to partially decapitate a guy. I say partially, because he hits him in the mouth and keeps going. Some other henchmen find him, and then the ninjas reveal they have special poison dart weapons that make internal organs explode and nerve gas: from that point on, heads and chest cavities explode, one guy drowns on his own vomit, people get shot in the face, Russians get literally mowed down by the bushel complete with massive squibs, ninjas wearing claws slash the living crap out of people’s faces…it’s a freaking bloodbath. An awesome freaking bloodbath.

And don’t think it’s limited to the villains either: only one of the hero ninjas makes it out alive. Everyone else gets gunned down, shot in the back, left for dead, etc. In short, nearly everybody dies.  That’s how we like our action movies, folks!

It’s not a bad movie, but The Ninja Mission is surprisingly watchable due to its ridiculous amounts of 1980s violence and the surprising gore that accompanies it. Unfortunately it’s never gotten an official DVD or Blu-Ray release(the director is likely blocking it due to how those producers screwed him over), so you’re either gonna have to track down the VHS or find it online…or track down the pirated DVD run, but that wasn’t exactly a big batch. Still, if you love seeing white European guys be ninjas who blow people apart, this is a great way to go.

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