Enter the Ninja

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Synopsis

The absorbing martial arts film that exposes Ninjutsu, the lethal, little-known "Art of Invisibility"... which includes the use of hypnotism, explosives and super-human fighting skills.

Picture 6/10

Menahem Golan’s undeniably bad yet inexplicably captivating guilty pleasure Enter the Ninja (starring Franco Nero as a ninja!) finally comes to DVD through MGM’s burn-on-demand library, the Limited Edition Collection. The film is presented in the aspect ratio of about 1.85:1 on this single-layer DVD-R and has been enhanced for widescreen televisions.

The transfer here is far better than I would have expected, and it almost feels wrong that the film doesn’t look like its playing from a well-worn VHS tape, but it’s still laced with a few problems. The sharpness of the image varies drastically throughout, delivering some surprisingly detailed moments, but most of the time there’s a level of haze to it. Colour saturation is strong but there is some bleeding present, and skin tones can lean a little on the red side, but blacks come off surprisingly strong. The print has had next to no restoration done to it so damage is still pretty heavy with specs of debris scattered about the frame being the most common problem. But in all honesty I was expecting much worse.

Not spectacular, and maybe one of the weaker transfers I’ve seen from MGM’s MOD line (which has been pretty impressive thus far) but in comparison to VHS, this is a drastic improvement.

Audio 6/10

We get a fairly mediocre Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track. While there isn’t any noticeable problems with noise or distortion the track is flat, even when the horrendous score tries to shock us. Dialogue is clear and articulate, though, not that it really matters.

Extras 1/10

Like most MOD releases there isn’t much in the way of supplements and all we get here is an amazingly bad theatrical trailer, which is pretty entertaining in its own right. Though it isn’t much at least we get something.

Closing

I’m surprised it’s taken so long to get this film out on DVD since MGM even released Return of the Ninja and Rage of Honor on DVD early on, so why this one was MIA is a mystery to me. Unfortunately since this is a MOD disc it’s a little pricier than it probably would have been if it was an actual pressed disc, but those looking to upgrade their VHS they may find it worthwhile.

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Directed by: Menahem Golan
Year: 1981
Time: 100 min.
 
Series: MGM Limited Edition Collection
Release Date: October 18 2011
MSRP: $19.98
 
DVD
1 Disc | DVD-R
1.78:1 ratio
 (Anamorphic)
English 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono
Region 1
 
 Original Theatrical Trailer