Martial Arts

Ninja Fists of Fire

Distributed By: Unknown

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            I have a genuine love for 70s/80s karate films.  I grew up watching them every Saturday on Black Belt Theatre with my brother, practicing moves on one another after watching.  So, when I had an opportunity to pick up Flying Fists of Kung Fu, a DVD set containing ten kung fu movies from that era, I jumped on it.  I had already enjoyed watching one of the films in the set, I couldn't wait to check out the next one - Ninja Fists of Fire.

            In Ninja Fists of Fire, also called Ninja Fists of Fury, released in 1972, a young prince is attached while being transported to somewhere to take the throne.  He is kidnapped by the Dragon Clan for some nefarious reason that is never quite revealed.  A traveler named Chen (Cheung Ching-Ching) discovers that the prince's entourage has been killed and the prince is nowhere to be found.  She comes upon individuals searching for the prince and identifies them as Dragon Clan thugs, but is unable to ascertain the prince's location.

            Meanwhile, an undercover Dragon Clan operative named Ching (Tin Ming) endears himself to an older influential man by rescuing his daughter's caravan from harm.  Sau Chi (Chiang Ming), a local hunter and acquaintance of the elderly gentleman is immediately suspicious of the operative, even more so when the prince shows up needing help to get to his destination.  The elderly gentleman agrees to help and asks Ching to assist and he agrees, but says he will meet the caravan on the road.  Chi opts out, unwilling to work with Ching who he suspects is a criminal.  Unfortunately, this means that Chi is a perfect victim when Ching sets him up for the blame for kidnapping the prince.

            Now, it is up to Chi and Chen to combine forces and reclaim the prince from the Dragon Clan, eventually delivering him to his destination and his destiny.

            I can honestly say that Ninja Fists of Fire is by far one of the worst martial arts movies I have ever watched.  The plot is rather loose - that is to say, non-existent.  Where is the prince going and why?  Why does the Dragon Clan want him so badly?  How does the prince know Chen?  Where are the ninjas?  The fight scenes are absolutely horrible with blocks and strikes that are incredibly stiff.  It would appear that the actors were more in tune with acrobatics than actual martial arts.  Chi and Chen are rather intriguing characters and you begin to hope those two will get together, but in the end, that never seems to materialize.  Instead, you find yourself wishing that they would kill that annoying prince already!

            I wish I could get those ninety minutes of my life back, but, alas, they are gone, used up watching a movie that had no plot, little action, horrible fight sequences and just plain sucked.


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