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Top 10 Worst Ninja Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Q.V. Hough They take the art out of the martial arts. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Ninja Movies. For this list, we’re focusing on feature films that launched a vicious assault on the art of filmmaking and innocent moviegoers. Special thanks to our users MikeyP for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Q.V. Hough

Top 10 Worst Ninja Movies

They take the art out of the martial arts. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Ninja Movies.
For this list, we’re focusing on feature films that launched a vicious assault on the art of filmmaking and innocent moviegoers. They must have a central plot involving ninjas in some way. Proceed with caution.

#10: “Cobra vs. Ninja” (1987)

Directed by Joseph Lai and the incomparable Godfrey Ho (more on him later), this special film won’t inspire any future directors, but it does feature a Hulkamaniac ninja. Centered around a plot about, well, kicking ass, “Cobra vs. Ninja” thrives on the actors’ physicality, but fails hard with everything else. If you enjoy nothing other than the sound of a good sword fight, you just may enjoy this late ‘80s mess, and congratulations, because you’ll be an army of one.

#9: “Gymkata” (1985)

Meet Kurt Thomas, an Olympic gymnast who will stun you with flexibility and then blast your nuts with a well-timed roundhouse. Well, at least as Special Intelligence operative Jonathan Cabot in 1985’s “Gymkata” he will. Here’s a film that actually created its own brand of martial arts, but somehow the concept of “Gymkata” never caught on. At the heart of Robert Clouse’s unintentional comedy is “The Game,” which features grown men executing ball shots against ninjas via the power of gymnastics. Remember Ice-T in the 1994 film “Surviving the Game?” Well, what if he knew ka-ra-tay? That’s right, it would have been almost as terrible as “Gymkata.”

#8: “Surf Ninjas” (1993)

While a geographic location should never prevent one from embracing the martial arts, it’s generally understood that California bro culture doesn’t necessarily capture the essence of the art form. In other words, “Surf Ninjas” should never have been made. Directed by the ex-husband of “Clueless” director, Amy Heckerling, and starring Ernie Reyes, Jr., a “Teenage Mutant Ninjas Turtles” stuntman, this film was based on the concept that one can control the world through video games. And while PewDiePie may agree with such a philosophy today, back in 1993, it was an idiotic foundation for a brainless flick.

#7: “Ninja’s Extreme Weapons” (1988)

Aside from the typical ‘80s music and laughable sound effects, this action “gem” from director Godfrey Ho just seems to be an excuse to show off ninjas fighting and doing their thing - but only for some of the movie, despite the title. The rest is filled with badly dubbed accents, a Coke-drinking wheelchair-bound mob boss, and storylines involving drugs and prostitutes. There isn’t much more to say, except that “the day of the ninja is here!” Yes, that’s it… uh, we’ll just let the sound bites do the talking.

#6: “Ninja Assassin” (2009)

It’s a movie about a ninja, who is also an assassin, who assassinates assassins, who are also ninjas. Produced by the same people behind “The Matrix,” here’s a film that looks the part, but lacks that special something. You know, a plot. But hey, it’s got murder and plenty of mayhem, and sometimes that’s all it takes to make a return on your investment. In this case, the filmmakers enlisted South Korean pop star “Rain” for the lead role, and he essentially sliced and diced for approximately 90 minutes. Commercially successful but critically panned, “Ninja Assassin” is perpetually problematic.

#5: “The Hunted” (1995)

With one look at the movie poster, you may be inclined to think of late-night Cinemax. A man’s psychotic gaze, a woman making love to the title, it’s all there, and it’s brilliantly awful. Directed by J.F. Lawton, the writer behind both “Under Siege” films, “The Hunted” tells the story of one Paul Racine, a cocky Big Apple executive, who finds himself fully-cocked and in deep trouble after bedding a woman in Nagoya. And so, a ninja clan seeks revenge, thus setting in motion a narrative of subpar dialogue and weak acting. How about those nude scenes, though?

#4: “American Ninja 2: The Confrontation” (1987)

With Michael Dudikoff and the late Steve James reprising their roles as Joe Armstrong and Curtis Jackson, they defend their American freedom with the long sword of justice and equally sharp dialogue. Is “sharp” the right word? Ok, not every movie can be written with an Aaron Sorkin-like wit, but “American Ninja 2” was collectively written by four individuals who likely had never seen anything BUT ninjamovies. For a couple of guys that “must not fail” in achieving their objective, the final result is rather hilarious, because this was indeed an epic ninja fail… kind of like the entire “American Ninja” series, when you think about it.

#3: “Dragonball Evolution” (2009)

As a deadly hunter of Dragonballs, Goku joins forces with numerous individuals of questionable skills, all the while seeking out the man with the biggest Dragonballs, played by Chow Yun-fat. Maybe it was the narrative’s lack of clarity or perhaps the uninspired performances, but all in all, “Dragonball Evolution” effectively took a big dump on the beloved manga and anime series it was based on. Yes, it was certainly an evolution - an evolution into a steaming hot mess. Our pissed off levels are over 9000!

#2: “The Ninja Squad” (1986)

What do you get when you combine furious foxes and black eagles together in Great Shanghai? Endless slaughters that can only be brought to an end by the Ninja Dragon! With a measly 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, “The Ninja Squad” “boasts” terrible costumes, awful dubbing and a director by the name of… you guessed it! Godfrey Ho! Oh, and in case you couldn’t decipher who the ninjas in the movie were, they’re the ones wearing the headbands that read “NINJA” on them. Go figure.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions.
-       “3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain” (1998)
-       “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014)
-       “DOA: Dead or Alive” (2006)
-       “Ninja Terminator” (1985) 

#1: “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” (1997)

Special effects. Sound Design. Scriptwriting. In a world of 3D blockbusters, it’s easy for millennial cinephiles, or anybody for that matter, to lose sight of the actual filmmaking process. Back in 1997, there was a film that tried so incredibly hard to blow our minds, but sadly, its legacy is for ruining families, relationships, and the dreams of aspiring filmmakers. It was the sequel to end all sequels, a film that paid little respect to the art of filmmaking or even its audience. “This is the beginning of the end!”
Do you agree with our lits? What do you think is the worst ninja movie ever made? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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