Sho Kasugi (Blind Fury) returns for his third outing in Cannon Films’ Enter the Ninja series, Ninja III: The Domination. In this one he’s on the hot pursuit of a mysterious murderous ninja that inhabits the soul of the curvaceous Christie, played by Lucinda Dickey. She’s known to many as Special K from the Breakin’ series in which she played a Jazz dancer turned Street dancer. In Ninja III however she is simply a telephone repair specialist and aerobics instructor, unaware of why this spirit is inhabiting her body to go forth and assassinate the cops that shot him.
Her boyfriend, Billy Secord, played by Jordan Bennett, loves her and will do anything to save her, including enlisting Yamada (played by Kasugi) to free her after a failed exorcism performed by Miyashima (played by James Hong of Big Trouble in Little China fame). Now time is ticking for Yamada to save Christie before the spirit consumes her forever.
Upon release the film did not turn many heads and it seems to me that many film critics were not ready for a female action heroine, but the film amazed. I loved seeing another beautiful actress become possessed, just like Sigourney Weaver did in Ghostbusters, which was also released in 1984 and featured demonic spirits in apartments.
In my opinion Ninja III was great. How can you not love seeing Dickey dancing around full of sweat and kicking butt? Plus her costumes are based on the likes of Ellen Ripley from Alien and Alex Owens from Flashdance. The film has picked up a cult following over the years with reviews all over the internet for it. Ninja III is now available on both Blu-ray and DVD via Shout! Factory, however it has yet to receive any sort of digital or streaming release.
Also worth mentioning is the 80’s saw the beginning of the health kick and this film played into that too with the character of Christie, such as how she prefers juice over coffee. People wanted to improve the longevity of their lives by sweating off the calories for a great 80’s body, which in turn became a favourite of Hollywood in other films such as Perfect with John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis, along with keep fit videos from the likes of Raquel Welch, Jane Fonda, and Traci Lords. But none of those could top Dickey strutting her stuff in Breakin’ and Ninja III, two of my all-time faves.