Treasure of the Ninja (1987) (Blu-ray Review)
DIRECTED BY: William Lee
STARRING: William Lee, Constance Lester, Darin Waugh
RATED: UR/REGION O/1:33/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM AGFA
Meet your new favorite action hero. Throughout the 1980s, Black filmmaker and martial artist William Lee wrote, produced, directed, and starred in dozens of D.I.Y. action epics — all shot on Super 8 in Ohio and New York City. From TREASURE OF THE NINJA (1987, Lee’s most ambitious and beloved movie) to THE NEW CHINESE CONNECTION (1980, an homage to Bruce Lee — William Lee’s idol), these inclusive and explosive works serve as an inspiration to anyone with a dream, pulse, or appreciation for spinning kicks. AGFA + Bleeding Skull! are elated to bring the best-of-the-best in William Lee’s early filmography to a wider audience for the first time ever, complete with brand new transfers and a revelatory stack of previously unreleased films.
One thing that is best to keep in mind when heading into watching this movie is that this was a movie that was shot on Super 8 and edited on video. Sooo, you won’t be seeing anything here that is pretty on the eyes, but it is what it is. The movie on the other hand might be a movie shot on film but it feels and sorta looks like a classic (so to speak) shot on video movie. So if you like the charm of stuff like that you might be a little more into what a movie like this has to offer. The plot is by the books, the acting is bad, and the movie is full of cheese and I don’t think that is always a bad thing. The one bad thing I’d have to say about this one and it is a big thing in this case is the pace. This movie never does seem to get in a hurry when all you really want is ninja action. You get what you get here with this, but I do wish it had a much better speed at getting from point A to point B.
Is Treasure of the Ninja a good movie? No, not at all. But does this movie still give you something you can sit around and have fun watching with your friends? Yes, that is the best thing this one will have to offer up to you. Hell, I might even suggest you get good and drunk before tossing it on for some added effect. As it stands, it isn’t the best movie you are going to see. But you still can’t hate on the effort that was made to make this movie what it ends up being regardless. It has a lot of heart and that is a very good thing to have. The disc also comes with another movie by William Lee. I won’t go into super details on that, but just know that it is more or less what you get with this main feature here.
- NEW TRANSFER from the original 3/4″ master tape
- Audio Commentary track with William Lee and Bleeding Skull’s Annie Choi and Joseph A. Ziemba
- Bonus movie: DRAGON VS. NINJA (1984), previously unreleased and transferred in 2K from the original Super 8 elements
- Short: THE NEW CHINESE CONNECTION (1980), previously unreleased and transferred in 2K from the original Super 8 elements
- Shorts: the WILLIE JACK series, all previously unreleased and transferred in 2K from the original Super 8 elements
- Reversible cover artwork
- English SDH subtitles
QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 38%