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.
Wong Siu Wai (Elsa Yeung Wai-San) – The last member of her band, only woman ninja – wu shao wai, ye hur band. At some points they call her Wu Shao Wei. See Elsa Yeung here also in Island Warriors and in several more films coming soon (or already here if you are reading this in the future!)
Lee Tong (Chen Kuan-Tai)- This traitor to China was fiancee to Wong Siu Wai. Don’t tell anyone the terrible secret of Lee Tong. Chen Kuan-Tai is still active in film today, and will be popping up again here soon.
Koloder (Peng Kong) – A jealous ninja who sees Wong Siu Wai as a threat because of her Chinese heritage. Becomes a bigwig in the Japanese war effort, which pits him against his ninja school rival once again. Peng Kong also was the action choreographer for Challenge of the Lady Ninja.
Chan Fung (Kam Yin-Fei) – Martial arts teacher, daughter of a famous master. The Japanese closed her gym, forcing her to do shows to earn money. Joins Wong siu Wai’s ninja school to fight the Japanese.
Li Fu Lang (???) – An angry girl, her father was murdered by Lee Tong and her home stolen, so she vowed revenge. She gets her chance by becoming a ninja under Wong Siu Wai. No one seems to know who played her.
Chan Yiu-Chen, aka Chi Chi (???) – Brothel Girl Miss Chan gets into the business by overhearing someone ask for girls who hate Lee Tong. Has master powers of seduction, to the point of ninja seduction. I have never seen anything like it in film. No one seems to know who played her.
Ron Yee (Yeung Hung) – One of the four bodyguards of Lee Tong. A Chi Kwan Do expert and weapons expert. Loves brothels, is rough in bed.
Ahn Lei (Yin Su-Li) – One of the four bodyguards of Lee Tong. A tae kwon do expert with no friends who is not adverse to do a little lady wrestling.
Yu Feng – (Sun Jung-Chi) – One of the four bodyguards of Lee Tong. A tribesman with no friends and strange weapons like spider webs and boomerang swords.
Yamamoto (Robert Tai Chi-Hsien) – One of the four bodyguards of Lee Tong. Has a goofy scorpion tattoo on his head. An expert with the Japanese sword and has a bad temper. Robert Tai is a prolific actor/director/action choreographer who worked on such genre classics as Shaolin vs. Ninja, Chinatown Kid, Devil Killer, and The Five Venoms. He is also responsible for Ninja: The Final Duel.
Skeletor (Himself) – Skeletor fights for the freedom of China from the evil Japanese. Even a heartless monster like Skeletor knows the Japanese are bad news, and he helps Wong Siu Wai at every opportunity. Which of the characters above is secretly Skeletor? Even I figured it out during his first appearance.