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New York Ninja (1984) - Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive - Blu Ray Review

New York Ninja (1984) - Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Now, this right here is the KA-RAZY chop Saki kung-fu that I miss about the action flicks from the 1980s!  

Written, directed and starring Taiwanese martial arts legend John Liu (The Secret Rivals, Invincible Armor) , New York Ninja is truly a one-of-a-kind martial arts film as a mild-mannered sound technician for a New York City news station finds himself avenging the death of his pregnant girlfriend in the gritty streets of New York City as a white-clad SUPER ninja against a notorious gang of criminals and street punks!

"truly a one-of-a-kind martial arts film"


Ridiculous in nature and completely off the rails, New York Ninja is a MUST-SEE for anyone who loves the insanity of karate-chops courtesy of low budget cult films.  It absolutely ROCKS as John (Liu), after suffering through his girlfriend’s murder, watches yet another brutal attack and reaches out to the police for aid.  Their methods aren’t effective, so John takes matters into his own hands and becomes the NEW YORK NINJA!  

Dressing as a white ninja, John takes to the streets as a sword wielding vigilante hell bent on cleaning up the streets of the city he once loved by ridding it of muggers, pickpockets, rapists, and gang members. However, in John’s quest for justice, he soon finds himself the target of every criminal in the city, including a mysterious villain known only as the Plutonium Killer. Will John survive to become the hero that New York City so desperately needs?  Find out in the madness that is NEW YORK NINJA!

Shot in 1984 and abandoned shortly after it wrapped as Liu retired on the eve of the film’s release (which would have been his North American debut), New York Ninja has been just sitting - FORGOTTEN - on the shelf somewhere in a dusty and decrepit warehouse of some sort.  Maybe it was in a closet.  Who knows?!  Only the archival wizards over at Vinegar Syndrome know for sure as they - being the fabulous folk that they are - somehow managed to acquire the original unedited camera negative and painstakingly constructed and completed the film, getting it primed for its 4K debut on blu-ray this November!  New York Ninja (1984) - Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Since the film was abandoned, none of the original sound materials, scripts, and treatments survived, so Vinegar Syndrome - and director Kurtis M. Spieler - enlisted the voice talents of genre favorites Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Bloodfist, Whatever it Takes), Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead, Nightmare Sisters), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies), Vince Murdocco (Night Hunter, LA Wars), Matt Mitler (The Mutilator, Battle for the Lost Planet), Leon Isaac Kennedy (Lone Wolf McQuade, Penitentiary), Ginger Lynn Allen (The Devil’s Rejects, Vice Academy), and Cynthia Rothrock (China O’Brien, Martial Law), in order to finish the film and present it to audiences after spending nearly four decades in film obscurity!  

Restored in 4K from the original camera elements, Vinegar Syndrome is extremely proud to present this truly one-of-a-kind film experience when it lands in select theaters next year.  Before that, though, the over-the-top glory that is New York Ninja can finally be yours for the first time ever on blu-ray!

5/5 beers

New York Ninja (1984) - Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Blu-ray Details

New York Ninja (1984) - Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- February 8, 2022
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

John is just an average man working as a sound technician for a New York City news station, until one day his pregnant wife is brutally murdered while witnessing the kidnapping of a young woman in broad daylight. Turning to the police for help, John soon learns that the city is overrun with crime and the police are too busy to help. Dressing as a white ninja, John takes to the streets as a sword wielding vigilante hell bent on cleaning up the streets of the city he once loved by ridding it of muggers, pickpockets, rapists, and gang members. However, in John’s quest for justice, he soon finds himself the target of every criminal in the city, including a mysterious villain known only as the Plutonium Killer. Will John survive to become the hero that New York City so desperately needs?

Originally directed by and starring martial arts actor John Liu (The Secret Rivals, Invincible Armor) in his only American production, New York Ninja was filmed entirely on 35mm in 1984, but the project was abandoned during production resulting in all original sound materials being lost over time. 35 years later, Vinegar Syndrome acquired the original unedited camera negative and painstakingly constructed and completed the film. Enlisting the voice talents of genre favorites: Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Bloodfist, Whatever It Takes), Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead, Nightmare Sisters), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies), Vince Murdocco (Night Hunter, LA Wars), Matt Mitler (The Mutilator, Battle for the Lost Planet), Leon Isaac Kennedy (Lone Wolf McQuade, Penitentiary), Ginger Lynn Allen (The Devil’s Rejects, Vice Academy), and Cynthia Rothrock (China O’Brien, Martial Law) Vinegar Syndrome Pictures is extremely proud to present this truly one of kind film experience. Restored in 4K from the original camera elements, New York Ninja is finally available in all of its ridiculous over-the-top glory for the first time ever after spending nearly four decades in film obscurity.

Video:

Newly scanned & restored in 4K from its original camera negative and framed in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, this release from Vinegar Syndrome is literally as good as it gets for this bloody hook.  The film is dominated with reds and greens that sparks with strong colors.  It’s a cheap film, for sure, but the simple backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  Thankfully, the lines hold their edges. Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen.

Audio:

Audio-wise, the DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo soundtrack is included.  The dialogue is clear and the score/effects are never lost or hard to hear.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See below

Special Features:

This loaded Limited Edition 2-disc Blu-ray box includes an extended making-of documentary and is housed in a deluxe VSU-style case with incredible custom artwork by Tom Hodge of The Dude Designs and R.P. "Kung Fu Bob" O'Brien. The case includes a 40-page book with an essay by director Kurtis Spieler and a custom slipcover designed by Richard Hilliard.

  • Region Free 2-disc Blu-ray Set
  • Scanned & restored in 4K from its 35mm original camera negative
  • Digitally mastered 2.0 stereo mix with an optional analog mono mix
  • Commentary track with re-writer/re-director/editor Kurtis M. Spieler
  • “Re-Enter The New York Ninja” - an extended making-of documentary with the cast and crew
  • “Re-Directing New York Ninja” - an interview with Kurtis M. Spieler
  • “The Music of New York Ninja” - interviews with the members of Voyag3r
  • “Locations Unmasked” - revisiting the locations of New York Ninja with Michael Gingold
  • Deleted scenes with commentary
  • B-roll and outtake montage
  • Original sizzle reel VHS
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Still gallery
  • Case artwork by Tom Hodge of The Dude Designs
  • Blu-ray sleeve artwork by R.P. "Kung Fu Bob" O'Brien
  • English SDH subtitles

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars


Film Details

New York Ninja (1984) - Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
93 mins
Director
: John Liu; Kurtis Spieler
Writer:

Cast:
Michael Berryman (voice); Darius Churchman (voice); Wayne Grayson
Genre
: Action
Tagline:

Memorable Movie Quote:
Distributor:
Vinegar Syndrome
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 2, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: John is just an average man working as a sound technician for a New York City news station, until one day his pregnant wife is brutally murdered while witnessing the kidnapping of a young woman in broad daylight. Turning to the police for help, John soon learns that the city is overrun with crime and the police are too busy to help. Dressing as a white ninja, John takes to the streets as a sword wielding vigilante hell bent on cleaning up the streets of the city he once loved by ridding it of muggers, pickpockets, rapists, and gang members. However, in John’s quest for justice, he soon finds himself the target of every criminal in the city, including a mysterious villain known only as the Plutonium Killer. Will John survive to become the hero that New York City so desperately needs?

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New York Ninja (1984) - Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

 

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