CriterionCast

James Reviews Ed Glaser’s Ninja The Mission Force [DVD Review]

Having followed Brad Jones’ work online for years now with his amazing The Cinema Snob video series, where he acts like a stereotypical snob while covering bottom of the barrel trash cinema that I tend to gravitate towards, I’ve seen him include various other people, such as Ed Glaser who created this intriguing and hysterical series. Taking from such infamous serial editor/directors Godfrey Ho, who was famous for telling an actor he would be in a movie, have him perform and then said actor would see his mug in about 12 films spliced in whenever Ho needed a change of scenery. Many filmmakers have done this for years, be it with stock footage, such as Corman doing so many times (like the famous Corman castle shot which was included in dozens of films).

Gordon (Ed Glaser) is a highly trained agent of Interpol (who also happens to be a ninja) who must battle with evil ninja Bruce (Brad Jones) in getting all of the avian ninja warriors. Whoever gets all of these ninja rubber duckies will obtain the ultimate ninja power and rule the world. Throughout the series of short episodes (roughly between 12 to 15 minutes, due to it being a web series before this release), we see Gordon and his lovely wife Mrs. Gordon (Sarah Lewis) who is only there via VHS tapes made of her reacting to Gordon in the present, which is already strange enough. Throw in gladiators, mobsters, Orson Welles strangling someone over a knock knock joke, space exploration, cheese headed ninjas, huge pencil and scissor fights, badly dubbed/synched acting and everyone acting as over the top as possible, and you have more than 2 hours of meta comedic action.

Considering I’ve seen many of these Godfrey Ho butchered films where ninjas would be thrown in (always in uncharacteristic multi-colored uniforms) and having famous stars thrown in (and in this series, Glaser has taken such actors as Brandon Lee, Charles Bronson, Richard Harrison, Ernest Borgnine and even Orson Welles) to further side plots makes for a great journey to take part in. Done for laughs (instead of the usual laziness and greed reasons of yesteryear), Glaser and company have weaved together a wonderfully funny and otherworldly series that begs for repeat viewings to catch every reference you can.

But the question is; “Is Ninja The Mission Force worth your time and money? Well, first off I’d have to say I fell in love with it from the first episode when I viewed them online over at That Guy With the Glasses, so it’s a resounding yes in my opinion, even though you can view them for free online. I’d say check out an episode or two right here, and once you fall in love, you can buy it over at Dark Maze Studios. Not only do you get the complete series, but you get great commentary tracks with creators Ed Glaser and Meagan Rachelle and Glaser again with Brad Jones. You also get the exclusive Christmas special episode of Ninja The Mission Force, a First Look special of interviews with cast and crew and an interview with IFD actor Andy Chworowsky via the DVD-Rom segment, so I’d say it’s well worth your hard earned money.

Now I’m awaiting the sequel series they’ve announced with such anticipation, I’m sporting Gordon’s luxurious 80’s sex symbol mullet until it comes out. What can I say? I’m that much a fan of this series, which took something so bizarre a concept as the 70’s and 80’s boom of stretching out star power as much as possible and making a hilarious series from it. It also becomes fun with a group a friends if you can point out each movie these other scenes are from. Now to get my hands on The Cinema Snob film. Then my life will be complete.

James McCormick

Writer. Podcaster. Social Media Enthusiast. James has loved film from the moment he set eyes on the screen. A Brooklyn, New York native, always trying to find a film that will shock and surprise him. Twitter / cineAWESOME

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