Ninja III: The Domination – Revisiting a Ninja Classic with Director Sam Firstenberg

Last Updated on December 13, 2022

What do you get if you take The Exorcist, cross it with Flashdance and then add some Ninjas for good measure? The answer, of course, is you get the Cannon Films cult classic Ninja III: The Domination. This was Cannon’s final entry into the Ninja trilogy, which began with Enter the Ninja and continued with Revenge of the Ninja. While Revenge was considered perhaps the greatest Ninja movie made up to that time, for some reason, Cannon decided to downgrade star Sho Kosugi to a supporting role in this wacky action/horror/MTV hybrid. Instead, Breakin’ star Lucinda Dickey plays a telephone lineworker/aerobics instructor who winds up possessed by an evil Ninja, and only a good ninja, played by Kosugi, can save her.

While maybe not a “good” movie, Ninja III is a blast, with some genuinely gonzo moments, including the now infamous V8 juice seduction scene, plus a workout montage set at a disgustingly carpeted gym, a slaughter on a gold course and so much more. In this special episode of Reel Action, director Sam Firstenberg joins us for a look back at a movie he tried to make as much fun as possible, even if it meant the end of Kosugi’s run at Cannon due to how small his role was. Firstenberg would follow this up with the more serious American Ninja, starring Michael Dudikoff and Steve James, but still looks back fondly at his demented cult classic.

This episode of Reel Action is written and narrated by Travis Hopson, who also interviewed Firstenberg and edited by E.J. Tangonan.

Do you thinking is a lot of fun or simply terrible? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.