Movies

Review: I was a Teenage Ninja

I Was A Teenage Ninja (DVD)

Switchblade Pictures

The tragic history of Christianity’s early attempts to gain a foothold in Japan set the stage for this story of a young woman who unknowingly becomes the pawn of the cruel Shogunate who killed her father, and has now been sent to assassinate her mother.

A young woman, who shows her breasts a lot.

The original title of this film is ‘Christian Kunoichi Aome’s Story.’  Kunoichi means ‘female ninja.’  It’s 1549.  Years ago, a Christian missionary, Xavier, arrived in Japan and started preaching the gospel.  He amasses a few followers, most notably a middle-aged Japanese woman named Kiara with whom he has a daughter.

About this time, the Shogunate (the warlord ruler of Japan) begins to crack down on the new religion, sending his samurai to slaughter them in the mountain enclaves.  Xavier is killed and his wife escapes; but his daughter Aome is spared by one of the Shogunate’s men.  She is taken in and raised by the man, and trained in the art of ninjitsu.

Aome knows nothing of her parents, except for the crucifix necklace they left behind.  As such, she follows the Christian faith, while carrying out assassinations for the Shogunate.

At this point, the story gets odd.  Aome’s mother is obsessed with freeing Xavier and the other Christians from Hell.  Why are Christian martyrs in Hell?  I don’t know.  Anyways, Kiara turns to the non-Christian black arts to accomplish this goal.  With the help of her hermaphrodite assistant, Shizu, she abducts pretty young women to serve as blood sacrifices.  Unfortunately, their latest victim is Aome’s best friend, a blind girl.

Remember in Back to the Future Part 3, where Doc gives Marty that stupid, colorful cowboy costume because he saw ones like it in the movies?  The costumes in this film reminded me of that scene.  Like someone’s understanding of Shogunate times came from campy movies; either that, or they went to the costume shop and bought the first ‘sexy ninja’ outfit the came across.  The special effects are bad, predictably, but I’ll give them credit for at least trying.

The premise and setting give this film a bit more substance than others in this genre; but in the end, it is what it is.

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen in Japanese with removable English subtitles.  It was shot on video, so it looks clean, but cheap.  There are no extras.

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