Funny thing November turned out to be. Not exactly the banner month for either Will or myself, with a lot of iffy titles taken in. So much so, that I actually cheated a bit and grabbed a few titles from previous months that were worth mentioning here.
|Vares is on the case! Though, you'd never know,|
as this is about 90% of what Vares does in the first two films.
|Let the hilarity begin!|
PRAY FOR DEATH (1985), director Gordon Hessler and star Sho Kosugi re-team in an attempt to reinvent the ninja as a modern-day James Bond. Heading straight into what was then topical action waters, Kosugi stars as government agent Shiro Tanaka, who has been hot on the trail of sadistic South American drug lord (are there any other kind?), Havlock (Lewis Van Bergen). After Tanaka's partner stupidly walks into an ambush and is taunted, tortured and terminated, Tanaka defies his orders to sit on his shurikens and tosses in his badge, determined to make the bad guys pray for de- oh, sorry, wrong movie. Well, he's going to see justice is done anyway and he's going to do it in a spiffy black outfit with lots of ninja weapons! Chasing down Havlock is not as easy as he thought, Havlock and his men are armed to the teeth and have no problem blowing up half of Singapore and Buenos Ares. I see your tanto and raise you a LAW rocket! Hessler wisely throws out all but the most basic of ninja pretensions and makes a slam-bang action flick that hits the ground running with a shoot-out, some light martial arts and a high-octane speedboat chase all before the opening credits. Sure, the plot is the epitome of '80s cliche, but where else would you get to see both Sho Kosugi and Gerry Gibson struggle with their American accents in the same scene? Cinematic gold, I tell ya.