THE RUSSIAN NINJA (aka THE RUSSIAN TERMINATOR) begins with an immaculately coifed fashion photographer, Mike (Frederick Offrein), having a photo shoot interrupted by a wealthy man in a white limo (Timothy Earle desperately trying to hide behind a fake mustache and glasses) requesting, bribing and ultimately blackmailing Mike into returning to his old mercenary ways and helping his daughter, Eve (Playboy Playmate Helle Michaelsen), who’s boyfriend has been kidnapped by individuals unknown. So sets the gears in motion to provide Mike with an excuse to kick ass, take names and generally look like George Lucas and Gunnar Hansen’s long lost lovechild. We discover that the kidnappers are after a certain politically valuable document in Dad’s office that Eve and childhood friend/bodyguard (Ramon Sylvan of ANIMAL PROTECTOR, 1988) are to steal in exchange for the dude-sel in distress. Meanwhile Mike is hot on their tail and the mysterious Russian Ninja follows them all, presumably to protect the document. This is actually one of the films big weak points (I mean aside from the acting, fight choreography, dialogue and production values), the ninja is not only a background figure, but is one of those “good” ninjas. Mats, what the hell were you thinking? There are NO good ninjas, unless they are the ones fighting the evil ninjas. Anyway, our ninja skulks in the shadows until ultimately uttering lines in an almost Schwarzenegger like mumble such as “You got a problem… You’re gonna die.”
|Hey, what's Ozzy doing in this flick!?|
|Kenny Rogers knows when to hold 'em.|
Male Kidnapper: “Eve, have you got the papers?”
Eve: “Yes, I've got the papers… Got my boyfriend?”
Female Kidnapper: “Of course we've got him. I've got him. Who do you think we are? A bunch of assholes?!”
BLOOD TRACKS (1985) to his second to last film THE FORGOTTEN WELLS (1990), which is so budget starved that it makes similarly themed under-ground spelunkers like Albert Pyun’s ADRENALINE (1996) seem like mega-budgeted thrill-rides. Fortunately most of Helge’s efforts are vastly entertaining inspite of, sometimes because of, their attempts to compete with Hollywood action films. Also, the stories about the man himself which include tales of him being deaf because of all of the explosions in his films and doing prison time due to bookkeeping issues, really only add to the appeal.