The first exploitation cheapie produced under Nikkatsu’s Sushi Typhoon banner, “Alien vs. Ninja” is dull to start, but goofy good fun once guys in rubber suits start tangling with a foxy ninja babe and her hunky male comrades-in-arms. Sporting low-tech effects, high-grade swordplay and enough cartoonish bloodletting to satisfy fans of Japanese genre fare, pic has minor theatrical prospects and a bright international future on homevid. A domestic release date is yet to be announced.
Dressed in 21st-century designer duds, although the setting is notionally feudal Japan, youthful Iga clan ninjas Yamata (Masanori Mimoto), Jinnai (Shuji Kashiwabara) and Nezumi (Donpei Tsuchihira) are sent to investigate a fireball from the sky. Plodding trek to the crash site is marred by the unfunny banter of goofball Nezumi, but the appearance of femme fighter Rin (Mika Hijii) and hordes of stuntmen in hilariously cheesy monster suits turns things around nicely. Second half is a snappily edited smackdown with equal quantities of gore and giggles; a horny creature’s rumble with Rin is a highlight. Pic makes a virtue of its impoverished budget, its sheer energy helping to disguise variable thesping. Onscreen title reads “AvN.”