Challenge of the Lady Ninja
Challenge of the Lady Ninja
aka Nu ren zhe
Directed by Lee Tso-Nam
The movie takes place in sort of a weird universe where it is World War 2 between Japan and China, but everyone wears 1970s fashion and there are 1970s Cadillacs. Due to the weirdness, I postulate that Challenge of the Lady Ninja takes place in the same alternate universe as Fantasy Mission Force. If you are familiar with both flicks, you will see that makes perfect sense, even if Challenge of the Lady Ninja doesn’t jump genres at the drop of a hat.
Thanks to crafty distributors, the film goes by several names. The version watched for this review is supposedly the uncut version dubbed into English on a widescreen VHS release. Whether there is a superior Chinese language version with subtitles I do not know. What I do know is this film is cool and has a chick kicking lots of butt, so it gains points from that alone!
Challenge of the Lady Ninja has been released under a bunch of names, see if you can find the name you saw it under!: Chinese Super Ninja 2, Never Kiss a Ninja, or Nu ren zhe.
Lee Tong is a traitor and has the Imperial March from Star Wars as his theme. He is the head of the Sung Yi clan, and now works for the Japanese, who have invaded China because this is World War 2. Lee Tong’s uncle leads a team to try to stop him, but the team is killed, and the Uncle is stopped by a Spiderman-type web and killed by Lee Tong’s bodyguards.
Elsa Yeung is Wong Siu Wai the red ninja, and she slices up a band of black ninjas. She is taking the test to become a ninja. She spins around like Wonder Woman and turns into bikini mode. This shows off her body and the ninjas all stare and leap over to get some lovin’, but she explodes. She then explains it was all an illusion and is back in her red ninja gear.
Wong Siu Wai leaps over flames and battles ninjas with flaming shields. She must fight an older student named Koloder to get the badge of the ninja behind him to become an official ninja. There is some more swordfighting and wire work. We also got slow motion dirt kicking! Trouble as the badge is a trick, it falls in a tube and now Wong Siu Wai must use her mind to get it out.
Koloder is upset that he wasn’t taught Moving Shadow, a trick she uses to split into three images of herself. She uses this to get by him and grabs the badge by magnet on rope. Success! Wong Siu Wai is anointed a ninja by the master over objections of Koloder, who is upset because she is Chinese and Japan and China are at war. The Master tells him to shut the frak up, she’s lived there for 17 years and kung fu knows no borders.
Become a Ninja!
Master says Wong Siu Wai is the only ninja girl, but there is another girl already in red ninja outred outfit, is she also a ninja? Master then gives her a telegram mentioning her father’s death. She must go to funeral back in China. On the way out of the country, she is attacked by Koloder. Master stops him and yells at him.
In China, Wong Siu Wai learns her father was murdered, so she meets Lin Jin Fu, head of the revolutionaries. He explains that Lee Tong was leader when her father and his father retired, and all was well, until Lee Tong decided to collaborate with the Japanese! She wants to go into Lee Tong’s house, despite all the guards and booby traps, because she is a ninja and ninjas just go into houses. She enters, avoids the traps, but when four guards attack that is too much for her. Luckily, she is saved by Skeletor! Hooray for Skeletor! No one knows who Skeletor is, not even Chinese Revolutionary He-Man.
Wong Siu Wai wants women who know kung fu to train as ninjas. She go to an exhibit hall/restaurant where kung fu masters have to show off their skills for money because all their gyms have been closed by the Japanese. The musical score playing now is from Indiana Jones! Not the classic theme, but one of the incidental pieces, and it will get played like four more times. They recruit kung fu star Chan Fung at this even. The next recruit an angry girl at a bar named Li Fu Lang. It looks like there will only be two, but at the revolutionaries’ HQ, another girl barges is, Miss Chan Yiu-Chen, aka Chi Chi, a brothel worker who wants to help kill Lee Tong.
Begin the ninja training! Ninja training is tree climbing, leg stretching by ropes (this goes on for a long time and probably is very popular in Japan), mud wrestling, holding your breath, and weird flipped over pushups.
Ninja mud wrestling?
Ninja Wong Siu Wai is noticeably absent from these ninja training sessions. They also bring in a man for Chi Chi to practice her charm on. He is a perverted old guy. Chi Chi does the spinning and change into a different costume thing the ninjas stole from Wonder Woman, then teleports away and the old perv guy is left kissing himself. He is too old to even notice for a whole minute. Old people!
Later, Chi Chi emerges from the river, only to have four Japanese soldiers gawking at her. They come over, she goes into super seduction mode, they strip and run for her, and she teleports away as they makeout with the air. The other two ninja trainees come across them and kill the four soldiers with ninja stars before they can make any more perverted faces. The Japanese military is upset, and they give Lee Tong three days to find the killers, or they will kill 400 civilians.
Lee Tong sends his guards to take out a resistance camp in retaliation. The revolutionaries attempt to kill Lee Tong at 1st anniversary of Wong Siu Wai’s father’s death when Lee Tong goes to temple. They ambush out of stone lions and trees, but a dead decoy and tough guards save Lee Tong. The revolutionaries escape in clouds of colored smoke.
Wong Siu Wai realizes they must first kill the four bodyguards to even get close to Lee Tong. So we get bodyguard biographies, complete with a pencil drawing of each one. They go after sex fiend Ron Yee first, because they have a brothel girl already! Chi Chi will replace her friend, another brothel girl, who is the usual target or Ron Yee’s rampant libido.
gives her drink poisons, lipstick poison, antidotes, and a fallback poison that I couldn’t tell what it was at first. Ron Yee likes her, and is all about the whips, but he doesn’t drink or like lipstick. So she does the final attack: poison in fake vampire teeth bitten into his neck!
Ron Yee is dead, so baddies led by Ahn Lei go to the brothel to demand to know where rebels are. The Mamasan talks, but rebels were waiting at house she squealed! Now it is Wong Siu Wai vs Ahn Lei. Wong Siu Wai uses her ninja powers to harass Ahn Lei, even ripping off her skirt. Ahn Lei runs…to a convenient wrestling ring nearby.
Ahn Lei waits, then releases a bunch of water on the mat floor so Wong Siu Wai slips, and Ahn Lei attacks! Good thing Ahn Lei has a swimsuit on under her clothes for the water lady wrestling they are doing! Good thing Wong Siu Wai also has a swimsuit on underneath. A flesh-colored swimsuit except for black handprints over the naughty parts.
Ninjas are more prepared than boy scouts!
The real challenge of the lady ninja is finding such cool swimwear in the middle of a war-ravaged 1930’s China!
Wong Siu Wai kills Ahn Lei by breaking her neck in the water container door. Live by the mud wrestling, die by the mud wrestling! They dump her body at Lee Tong’s mansion.
Why this movie was made
They will go after Yu Feng next, using a seduction trick with ambush is actually a larger trick to make Yu Feng overconfident. Then he must fight Wong Siu Wai. Yu Feng has the spiderweb attack! Spider fu! The web is no match for colored explosion balls. Yu Feng tries his boomerang sword, but he gets hung up on things. Literally. As in he is hung. The Japanese government is upset that the bodyguards are dying, and threaten Lee Tong a bit.
The last bodyguard Yamamoto is going to visit his girl. It is the time to strike, except Wong Siu Wai is out of town (d’oh!) so the other two ninja girls say they will go instead. But it is a trap, and Li Fu Lang is captured instead! She is tied to a wheel rack backwards (like Killink did), and Lee Tong kils her. The revolutionaries’ lookout is followed back to base, but before the Japanese can attack, Skeletor alerts the resistance to the impending bust, and they escape! More huzzahs for Skeletor!
Lee Tong is told that the Imperial General is coming to Shanghai, and his personal bodyguard has just arrived…
Koloder! Wong Siu Wai is told NOT to kill Lee Tong, but she is like WTF, you aren’t the boss of me! Wong Siu Wai goes to meet Lee Tong, and tries to kill him, until a high-ranking member of the Chinese Resistance says Lee Tong isn’t a traitor, he went undercover to get close to the Imperial General to kill him. He also didn’t killer her father.
will try to kill the General at the party, but Wong Siu Wai can’t come because Koloder will recognize her. Yamamoto spots Chan Fung as a waitress and starts to fight her, but is stabbed by Chi Chi who is also there. Lee Tong stabs the General, then Koloder tells him that the General was an impostor! D’oh!
Then everyone attacks Lee Tong! He is killed, and Chi Chi is told to tell Wong Siu Wai where to meet Koloder in the forest tomorrow for a duel. There is no word on what happens to Chan Fung, but she is probably captured and dead. Wong Siu Wai must answer Koloder’s challenge because of the honor of the ninja.
So they go to fight in the woods. It is a long long fight. At one point Koloder has a flying chain or something that swerves around (on visible strings) until it explodes. Wong Siu Wai does the Moving Shadows trick and splits into three, so Koloder counters by whirling into the ground and tunneling underground. He yanks her under. They then have an underground ninja fight! She drops an exploding medallion onto him, and he blows up.
The end right away. No explanation of what happens next, just the end! That’s the old school way!
Challenge of the Lady Ninja was enjoyable and ridiculous. Realism just got in the way of making a good film, so they threw it out the window and went to town!
Rated 8/10 (wrist knife, medallion, horny old guy, fellow chicken, vampire ninja, Kill Pencil Drawing, throwing star vs paper, dead daddy)