Plot: Bernie (Eric Lee) and Chic (Sid Campbell) are best friends with similar goals, to just relax and enjoy life. The two dislike hard work, struggle with women, and just want to eat some delicious pizza. A streak of bad luck has hit the friends recently, after they were fired from their jobs then beaten up by a couple of bikers. The lies about being part of Bruce Lee’s entourage weren’t enough to prevent the bikers from testing the two friends, which of course ended poorly for Bernie and Chic. Things look up when the two buddies find a martial arts studio, but they don’t want to learn self defense, they want to hit on all the women inside. Despite trying to just goof off, Bernie and Chic start to learn some of the lessons and soon, they actually become capable martial artists. But have they learned enough to stand up to a local crime boss and his swarms of ninjas, or will this be the end of poor Bernie and Chic?
Entertainment Value: The story behind Ninja Busters is interesting, as the movie was never released in theaters or on home video, despite being completed in 1984. The print was found in a collection of reels decades later and now, Ninja Busters has been unleashed upon the world. The movie is not what I would consider to be a lost genre masterpiece, but it is fun at times. Ninja Busters is a buddy comedy above all else, with slapstick style that focuses on one liners and pratfalls. The martial arts action is minimal and long stretches exist between action scenes. The humor is broad and honestly falls flat almost every time, but that’s not a bad thing. I think the cringe factor is what will make Ninja Busters have lasting appeal to fans of offbeat cinema. The writing is bad, the performances are worse, and the whole thing is great fun to watch. But if you’re hoping this is a lost Miami Connection or American Ninja, no such luck.
As this is a family friendly type comedy, Ninja Busters has no naked women and no bloodshed. But it does have off the wall dialogue in droves, delivered in stilted, forced performances. To me, this is great news as I love bad dialogue, but I am sure to others, it could be a detriment. As I said above, the humor in this movie is just total cringe, with very few jokes even being slightly funny. But taking the weak jokes and giving them to this cast turns into some magic moments. Sid Campbell is the highlight, with hilariously wooden acting and telegraphed pratfalls. On the crazy scale, Ninja Busters seems content to be a grounded buddy comedy, which is a shame. I think the movie should have gone over the top with the humor and the action, given how game the cast seemed to be with the existing material. As it stands, the dialogue/performances add some wackiness, but there’s too much downtime and slow stretches.
Overall Insanity: 2/10