Alien vs. Ninja Review

It’s always hard to review a film like Alien vs. Ninja (also known as AvN). Released by Nikkatsu as part of their Sushi Typhoon label and directed by Seiji Chiba, AvN is a high concept low brow genre film that pits Aliens against Ninjas (yes the plural is more appropriate). The film has aliens, the film has ninjas, they fight… It’s Alien vs. Ninja.

To be honest there really isn’t actually a lot more to the film than that and perhaps that’s okay, there doesn’t really need to be as long as it delivers on the premise in an entertaining and enjoyable way and luckily, it does that in spades.

The two heroic ninjas that are central to the group battling the aliens are Yamata (Masanori Mimoto) and Rin (Mika Hijii) who have something approaching chemistry but never really getting that close to it. Undoubtedly one of the reasons for Rin’s inclusion in the band of ninjas is that she is an attractive woman which seems like a sensible decision by the studio for a film that probably has a predominately male audience. Like a lot of good exploitation though there is some amusing subtextual fun to be had, particularly apparent in the scene where Rin fights an alien one-to-one in a pretty funny scene that plays out like a demented coital engagement rather than a fight.

Despite never really elevating itself too far out of the low brow box that the title puts AvN in, it is still an entertaining way to spend 81 minutes and the film never drags or suffers from over stretching the concept. With a mixture of cheap looking practical and computer generated effects, designs ripped off of Giger and some uninspiring locations AvN is a little visually unimpressive but it’s what Seiji Chiba manages to do with the obvious limitations that makes this a lot of fun.

With gore aplenty and some actually quite impressive fight choreography AvN does just enough in all the right places to make this worth taking time to check out.

This review was originally posted at HeyUGuys.