Saturday, June 4, 2022

NINJA BADASS (2020) (Bayview Entertainment Blu-ray Review)


Label: Bayview Entertainment 
Region Code:
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 104 Minutes
Audio: English 2.0 Stereo
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1) 
Director: Ryan Harrison
Cast: Ryan Harrison, Tatiana Ortiz, Mitch Schlagel, Darrell Francis, Steven C. Rose

Ninja Badass (2020) comes by way of the multi-talented Ryan Harrison who wrote, produced, starred in, edited and did the VFX for this bug-nuts slice of lo-fi action insanity, a purposely dumbed down comedy-actioner about a goofy white trash dude named Rex (Ryan Harrison, The Revenant) who sets out to become a badass ninja after the blue-haired pet store clerk (L Nyx) he's crushing hard on is kidnapped by the Ninja VIP Super Club - a gang of death-cult cannibals lead by the cowboy booted martial arts master Big Twitty (Darrell Francis). His training comes by way of a sort of one-armed hillbilly sensei named Haskell (Steven Rose) whose training regiment includes shoving eggrolls down Rex's throat till he barfs. The insanity starts from frame one with Rex battling an imaginary supernatural enemy, and continues on with exploding cows, deadly disembodied flying feet, bloody decapitations, and dipshit Rex being beaten with a garbage bag full of live puppy dogs! On his quest to save the girl of his dreams he is joined by badass sidekicks Kano (Mitch Schlagel) and Jojo (Tatiana Ortiz) who help amp up the gore and the gags. 

It's a pretty shocking display of lo-fi movie making chock full of cringe dumb-ass one-liners, cheeseball action and very crude VFX. I didn't really grow up with a love of z-grade ‘80s ninja flicks but it's clear that director Ryan Harrison did, and then filtered that love through some sort of magical Birdemic-esque shlock-flick filter, and what we get should be a shit-show, and it is most certainly a shit-show, but it's a fairly entertaining shit-show that has a lot of heart behind it. It's worth noting that the multi-talented Ryan Harrison displays quite a bit of talent within the confines (or freedoms) of a no-budget z-grader. I personally think it would be next to impossible to pull it off and be this much fun and watchable if he didn't know what the fuck he was doing - there's an intelligent design to the stupidity you're witnessing here, make no mistake. 

It actually looks like good on Blu-ray, the colors are bright and exaggerated, it's clearly a scrappy production but it does rise above it's meager budget with a level of stupefying but quotable dialogue, and the non-stop WTF-ery by way of child cannibalism, human sacrifice, nudity and bacon, ridiculous half-assed action and VFX gore and bloodshed that I would have to assume are purposely awful - it all adds up to a cheesy fondu-delight for lovers of micro-budget action cinema, especially lovers of vantage SOV flicks. For all others, well, you might want to avoid this, it's not exactly high-gloss action you're get here, but if you're into this sort of independent backyard-style production there's so much here to love, it's chock full of WTF-ery in the best sort of schlocky way. 

Extras on the Blu-ray include a full-length Audio Commentary from Director/Writer/Star Ryan Harrison, hos mother/producer Tammy Harrison, DOP Darryl Delaney, and actors Mitch Schlagel and L Nyx,  bloopers, deleted and extended scenes, galleries, and the "I'm A Ninja Now" music video, performed by Vince Johnson, the Singer-Songwriter Behind Tiger King Joe Exotic’s Viral Songs, so that's something. 

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary from Director/Writer/Star Ryan Harrison, hos mother/producer Tammy Harrison, DOP Darryl Delaney, and actors Mitch Schlagel and L Nyx
- Blooper Reel
- Behind-the-Scenes Photo/Video Gallery
- Deleted/Extended Scenes
- I'm a Ninja Now Full Song Music Video

Screenshots from the Bayview Entertainment Blu-ray: