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Ninja In The Dragon's Den
cast: Hiroyuki Sanada, Conan Lee, Hwang Jang-lee, Tin Chong- ho, and Wong Cheung-li

director: Corey Yuen-kwai

96 minutes (18) 1982
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Hong Kong Legends DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Christopher Geary
It's Japanese ninja warrior versus Chinese boxing (Shaolin style) in this eccentric Tohoscope presentation. Ninja In The Dragon's Den (aka: Long zhi ren zhe) is an underrated mix of silly but appealing comedy, and fantasy kung fu in which the stars' acrobatic skills combine with expertly timed choreography. Conan Lee, a once-promising Hong Kong action man now sadly all but forgotten, plays Jay, a martial arts powerhouse capable of all manner of physical tricks, such as fighting on stilts (in an incredible 'clown fu' sequence). His primary opponent here is rogue shadow ninja Jin-wu (charismatic Hiroyuki Sanada). Eventually, of course, they must join forces to defeat a common enemy, the demonic Magician.
   There's not, it must be said, a great deal of plot to this East meets East thriller. However, it hardly matters at all when the main performers are engaged in such efficiently directed fight scenes - and that's what fans what to see. Corey Yuen is a more than capable supervisor of martial arts displays, and the highly mannered Asian style of acting. This film boasts a range of contrasting techniques, weighing the unarmed Chinese abilities against deadly Japanese swordplay. The climactic fight, set on the rising levels of a pagoda, result is an exhilarating piece of cinema for anyone interested in stylised martial arts action.
   The special collector's edition DVD boasts a digitally restored and re-mastered anamorphic transfer in both English dubbed and Cantonese versions, with Dutch and English subtitles. Extras include a filmed interview (24 minutes) with producer Ng See-yuen and genre film distributor Roy Horan, biography showcases of Ng See-yuen and Corey Yuen, three deleted scenes, three different trailers, and another expert commentary by Bey Logan - who always has lots of fascinating background info to offer. Good quality animated menu design and scene finder of 30 chapters complete the worthwhile package.