"I want my Black Ninja! Get him for me!"
Silly but eminently watchable old tosh from the halcyon VHS days of Cannon films and their seemingly unstoppable flow of "Golan-Globus Productions". Original 'Django' Franco Nero stars as Cole: an ex-soldier who has travelled east to learn the mysterious art of ninjitsu. Seemingly as soon as his training is complete, he is called into action by that old chestnut plotline: "ex-army buddy being harassed by hardball corporate cocks who want his oil-drenched piece of land". Thug-twatting mayhem ensues.
The fight sequences throughout are pretty much complete bobbins, as only ole' Sho Kosugi (as the baddie 'Black Ninja', Hasegawa) seems capable of anything resembling convincing martial arts onscreen. Nero himself looks like he can't be arsed, and the numerous petty baddies do so much more bobbing and weaving around him rather than attacking him en-masse it makes you wonder why they were hired in the first place. Still, Nero's superb 'tache and blue-eyed stare go some way to make up for his lack of fight training.
Susan George (of the original 'Straw Dogs' fame) plays his buddy's wife and has little to do but get taken as the pre-requisite female hostage near the end of the movie. However, earlier on, and more disturbingly; she is at first molested by and then enjoys a (thankfully unseen) consensual shag with Nero's ninja. Who is supposed to be coming to her husband's aid. Hmm.
Christopher George (no relation) is the chief corporate villain (boo!) and a very campy one at that - he hams it up rather well while making endless demands of his minions and inexplicably conducting a bevy of synchronised swimming lovelies.
Somewhat inevitably, sequels appeared (equally inevitably with little to do with the plot of the original) with Kosugi the only returning star (this time as a hero) in "Revenge of the Ninja"(1983) and the rather excellently titled "Ninja III: The Domination"(1984). Of course, Cannon followed up with the even dafter and more popular "American Ninja" movies (whose recurring star Michael Dudikoff turns up here, as an uncredited heavy).
Indeed, "Enter the Ninja" is likely (and appropriately) the prime kickstarter for the cinematic ninja craze of the 80's; and its 'unconvincing Caucasian in bright ninja garb' schtick undoubtedly paved the way for Joseph Lai's Richard Harrison starring series of cut-and-paste nonsensical ninja-ness.
For this reason, we either be thankful to Messrs. Golan and Globus or want to beat the living crap into them with some nunchakus: I'm still not sure which.