Ninja Phantom Heroes (1987)

There are more outrageously entertaining Godfrey Ho movies than Ninja Phantom Heroes, but those who have come to appreciate the man’s unique vision will find more of the same to enjoy here. Mostly cobbled from a Chinese gangster potboiler, the movie’s actual ninja to non-ninja screen time ratio is pretty paltry. Even the somewhat dull segments have a usually unintentional charm, however, with more than enough silly dubbing and odd dialog to keep bad movie warriors watching.

Among the highlights are a brief fight between a drunk white guy and three goofy Chinese guys; a guy throwing a cup of tea in his own face; any scene involving the characters “Baldy” and “Fatty”; gratuitous evil Chinese gangster chuckling; stick-wielding motorcyclists attacking a car; revenge accompanied by the line “You dirty rat”; and, of course, the obligatory disappear-and-go-poof ninja henchmen.

Potential victims, I mean viewers, should be aware that the version of this movie available as part of Mill Creek’s Ninja Assassins 10-pack, confusingly retitled Ninja Empire (also the title of a different Godfrey Ho movie), is only 78 minutes long, whereas another version apparently runs 90 minutes. Frankly, though, since most people will be glad when it’s over, it probably doesn’t even matter.

Director: Godfrey Ho (as Bruce Lambert)
Writer: Duncean Bauer (screenplay)
Stars: Jeff Houston, John Wilford, Christine Wells


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