Ninja movies. The 10 Best Movies on Ninjas Ever made. List of the famous ninja cult movies. Shinobi: Heart under the Blade, Shinobi no Mono, Azumi, Goemon, Ninja Assassin and other movies.
There is no denying the popularity of ninjas in the public imagination and pop culture. This can be easily understood by looking the sheer number of movies made on these feudal Japanese warriors. In 1980s, ninja movies reached the peak of their popularity and ninjas can still be seen in some movies being launched today.
Some of the movies given below have been chosen due to the important role they played in popularizing the genre of ninja movies while others have been included simply because they were very popular.
The movie deals with the Iga and the Koga clans. Both of these ninja clans are powerful and they share an intense rivalry. The ruler of Japan, Ieyasu, hopes to destroy the clans and strengthen his reign by intensifying the rivalry between the clans. He proclaims a duel to the death between the best ninjas of the two clans. In the midst of this rivalry, two lovers have been caught.
This is a Hong Kong martial arts movie which deals with the rivalry of two ninjas. One of the ninjas, Genbu, is seeking revenge for the death of his father. In search of revenge, he ends up in China where the last murderer, Fukusa, is supposed to be hiding. However, circumstances force Genbu to work with Fukusa’s apprentice. This movie is considered to be one of the better ninja movies made during the 80s. It is also known for being the debut of Conan Lee who is well-known for his performances in Kung Fu and ninja movies.
This movie was released in the US under the title ‘Ninja, a Band of Assassins’. This fascinating movie is also considered to be one of the first to actually make ninjas popular in the West. According to legend, this movie also served as the inspiration for Roald Dahl when he was writing a screenplay for what was to become ‘You Only Live Twice’. Shinobi no Mono also has a number of features which would go on to become the staple of the ninja genre. The movie deals with a young ninja named Goemon who becomes involved in a plot to assassinate an evil warlord, Oda Nobunaga.
This Japanese movie is based on a manga series with the same name. It takes a classical approach to the genre resulting in a beautifully made movie. For viewers who want more than just comedy, Azumi is a great choice. The action choreography has been carefully planned out and the shots are fantastic. The movie deals primarily with revenge. Azumi is taken in by a ninja clan as an orphan and then trained in the deadly arts. Her mission is to kill an evil warlord but is hindered by the warlord’s henchmen.
The fifth instalment of the James Bond series features Sean Connery again as the titular spy. This movie was inspired by Shinobi no Mono and that influence can clearly be seen in the presence of ninjas in the movie. It was the first James Bond movie to feature ninjas as well. The martial arts scenes are nicely orchestrated and the movie itself is rather enjoyable. The plot involves 007 cooperating with the Japanese secret service which is made up of ninjas. Together, they want to catch the villain before nuclear war takes place while James also searches for his wife’s murderer.
Incredibly, this is actually a German-American film even though it may not seem like it. The neo-noir thriller deals with a highly trained ninja apprentice who has grown disillusioned with his ninja clan. He embarks on a mission to destroy his clan and former master.
The movie has been loosely based on Japanese feudal history and a folk story about Ishikawa Goemon. The plot does deal a bit with how Goemon became an outlaw hero from a ninja. However, Goemon begins on the path of revenge when he discovers clues as to the identity of his master’s murderer.
While not a typical ninja movie, this is important nonetheless for it was a cultural phenomenon. The movie follows in the footsteps of the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show. It features live action and the four famed mutant turtles named after Renaissance artists and trained in the deadly ninja arts by their master who is also a rat.
This American ninja movie is about an American ninja called Casey Bowman. Found as an orphan by a ninja clan, Casey is trained in their arts. Years later, he is tasked with the protection of an artefact that contains the weapons of a legendary ninja. In order to do so, he travels to New York City where he comes across an old friend-turned-foe.
This was possibly the movie which started off the ninja craze in the 1980s. Of course, the title is a not-so-subtle reference and a nod to the famed martial arts movie ‘Enter the Dragon’. This movie is still famous for its use of the many ninja weapons which have now become a staple in ninja movies. The plot deals with an army vet who has completed his ninja training and has to go up against a land-grabber. He also has to fight his rival at the same time.
Ninjas and ninja like warriors appear in various action movies like X-Men, GI Joe, Resident Evil, etc. Ninjas became an immortal part of our culture.