Thursday, January 7, 2010


aka: Shadow Killers: Tiger Force, The Shadow Killers, The Shadow Killer
Directed by Tomas Tang (Godfrey Ho)  Cast: Monica Lau Chi Wing, Leung Lai Sim, Lau Oi Yin

Director/ Producer Tomas Tang is one of many pseudonyms used by cut and paste maestro Godfrey Ho. As the story goes, once Ho left brother-in-law Joseph Lai's company, IFD (which continued to distribute many of his films), he started his own production company by the name of Filmark. Ho would buy and sell the company to his alias Tomas Tang to avoid paying taxes in the many Asian countries he filmed. After Tomas Tang (Ho) sold the company to Malaysian producer Ratno Timoer (who didn't know he had also sold the company to producer Wu Kuo-jen), Tomas Tang (Ho) conveniently died in a fire! After being investigated by police, Godfrey Ho kept making movies and Tomas Tang arose from the grave to make a dozen more. Ninja Shadow Killers: Tiger Force finds Godfrey Ho using the Tomas Tang credit and splicing newly shot ninja footage into the Korean women in prison film Revenge In The Tiger Cage (1976). The new plot involves those pesky ninjas kidnapping women by disrupting picnics and boat outings with ninja torpedoes! Once abducted, women are thrown into prison and eventually sold to the middle east. A rich industrialist hires Jenny "the good ninja" to infiltrate the prison camp and save his daughter Sylvia from the clutches of the evil ninja warden. These ninja inserts are pretty fun, but Godfrey Ho has cut out the juicy bits from the Revenge of the Tiger Cage footage! It's a shame because the brutal pacing in the middle would surely benefit from some sex and violence. Who knows what he was thinking - he probably intended to put the exploitive footage into another film is my guess.

It's distributed by IFD so you know there's bound to be a WTF moment. Just when your about to hit the eject button, it shows up in the last 15 minutes. When Jenny "the good ninja" must fight the dastardly warden ninja, they walk through a wall which turns into footage from another film involving a wizard ninja, who can remove his head, fighting a sexy witch in a "see through" top! The fight blows up in smoke and we are transported back to Godfrey Ho's footage. Slashed up, Jenny uses a magic rocket in a bazooka to even the odds. Looking like a smoking ship from the Japanese kids’ show Space Giants, this wooden object on a wire chases the ninja through a forest, up trees, around rocks and over cliffs for several cartoonish minutes until he jumps through a window and blows up.

Why ninjas and women in prison? If you ever saw a strange ninja movie with cool box art in a video store back in the 80s, chances are it was a Godfrey Ho film. From Blazing Ninja (1973) to Thunder Ninja Kids: The Hunt for the Devil Boxer (1991), he directed over 100 films with ninja in the title. What can I say? The man loves ninjas. Unfortunately this is one of Ho's least successful efforts. Since Jenny can enter whichever film footage she pleases with a poof of smoke, it’s a shame the obvious mismatched films were not incorporated as a science fiction element into the redubbed plot. “Can you transport out of my ninja movie into a women in prison movie to save my daughter?” That would have been weird. I have the original Revenge In The Tiger Cage. Maybe with a little editing of my own and a name change to Tomas Tang, I could make this thing work.... hmmmm.

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