Wow, we haven’t had a good Ninja film since… erm… never really (does Batman Begins count?). We still haven’t with this one, as Ninja vs. Monsters is a stupid, micro-budgeted affair with amateurish acting, Halloween decoration level make ups, and ridiculous ideas. That in no way means that this one isn’t actually quite a lot of fun in the right circumstances.
A team of geeks and losers have, in answer to an ever growing escalation of supernatural weirdness, been granted the status of Ninja. They have fended off zombies, vampires and more. Now Dracula, with the aid of one of their own turned vampiric traitor, is seeking to take them out once and for all. To that end, he has recruited legendary monsters, like the Mummy and Frankenstein’s monster to take them out. But the team of ninjas have some new skills and reinforcements of their own.
If this seems all a bit convoluted, it’s because this is actually part three of a story. Before there was Ninja vs Zombies and Ninjas vs Vampires. In a nice touch, the latter is actually included on the Blu-ray edition, to help bring everyone up to speed. However, that’s not to say there’s much of a plot, more a big ol’ bundle of fight scenes and even pop-culture references to fill a few dozen Kevin Smith movies, including at least a few to actual Kevin Smith movies. With the loose storyline, low budget and the like, this has very much the feel of a fan production, just a bunch of friends messing around with a camera. That fun does transcend to the audience, and it does have its moments. Heck, the climax plays almost like a homemade Mortal Kombat movie, that’s actually more fun than a lot of the real Mortal Kombat movies.
In fact, this does emphasis one important factor with low budget direct to video fare; the matter of enthusiasm and love for the material. This film fully knows it’s utterly ridiculous, and it invites the audience along for the ride. However, it does so in a way that invites you to join in with the fun, not deliberately bait you into making fun of it. Titles like Sharknado are entirely about the joke of the premise, all about going “ZOMG, isn’t this whole premise stupid?”. This one though is more about going “yeah, this silly, and that’s kind of awesome!” It’s far more fun to watch an amateurishly made film that’s made with love, than a slightly better made one that’s just a cynical cash-in.
This is utterly stupid, strictly B-movie fare, but it is still enjoyable on that level, with an excellent sense of humour. It’s like the sort of stupid games you might play as kids actually filmed, so while on no conceivable level is this a “well made film” (it’s fairly obviously done mostly in various cast members’ back gardens), its actually ideal as a fun Bad movie. With the double bill offered by the Blu-ray, add in a lot of alcohol, and you have the makings of a pretty good video night with friends. How can you not enjoy something when a Ninja calls out a werewolf for battle with “Hey, Team Jacob!”?