Today’s selection: The Ninja Dragon (1990, dir. Go Nagai)
Available from: CPM
Go Nagai is a much better mangaka than a director, if his only directorial credit is to be an indicator. While it’s hard to imagine a Nagai story about modern yakuza ninjas using magical powers to battle an alien invasion (suck it, Alien vs. Ninja) being dull, something about this movie is just incredibly underwhelming. While a few of the subtleties of the original Japanese version are lost on a western audience (apparently, a lot of famous mangaka make cameos), this in one of the rare cases where I’d suggest checking out the punched-up English dub. I normally dislike the cognitive dissonance that a dub of a live-action movie causes, however, in this case, some degree of ironic campiness is warranted.