Silver Dragon Ninja (1987)

Directed by: Don Kong
Producer: Tomas Tang
Written by: Sandy Rico
Starring: Harry Caine, Sam Yosida, Jim Gross, Guy Samson, Eddy Chan & Conrad Chow

Whilst IFD almost consciously stayed away from using Hong Kong movies to be combined with their Hong Kong shot ninja action and scenes with Western actors to make up their new film using that technique, Filmark happily looked at home ground. For Silver Dragon Ninja, Tomas Tang sourced Ang Saan's 1982 Trap (aka Cop Killer), a bleak cops and robbers thriller and while not totally unconnected because they both feature action, on paper it's doubtful Tang and company are able to match the viciousness of the original. You can't when your added ninja plot reeks more of goofy than bleak. But fun is not a bad verdict either.

With little alterations to the original. Jerry (Harry Caine aka Paulo Tocha) of the White Ninja Clan has arrived in Hong Kong to stomp out the attempt at dominance of the Black Ninja Clan. The latter have hired assassin Turkey (Lau Hok-Nin from the original) to take out witnesses that might stand in their way. It's up to cop Alan (Pai Ying) to bring these associates of the Black Ninja Clan to justice. Main target being Mark Mo (Kenneth Tsang) who in turn (along with the ninjas) will do anything to make sure Alan gets off his back. Jerry the Ninja also sends in Jane undercover with Mark Mo...

Feeling largely like Ang Saan's movie dubbed in English as Filmark doesn't shoot a whole lot of footage with their Western cast to create the new film, their footage is frequently hilarious though via bad dubbing, nearly half asleep performers and ninjas running around in daytime. Their primary purpose, and how Filmark make their presence felt throughout, is to observe scenes from Trap. Mostly from behind cars although in one instance the plot is changed so it's the Black Ninja Clan placing a bomb meant for Alan that instead harms his son rather than Kenneth Tsang's henchmen detonating it in the original.

The illusion is weak because of the oddity of this being a ninja action movie in the first place but thanks to being paired up with a quality movie, the total tally is entertaining. Plus our lead Paulo Tocha is very action able and keeps up with the Chinese stuntmen in the ninja suits very well (a trait that runs through the movie, all throughout the end fight). Ang Saan's footage loses a lot of its grim power due to being chopped up and re-interpreted by Filmark (even though they follow the plot closely) but nevertheless Silver Dragon Ninja is enhanced a bit via this acquired quality.


reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson