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Ninja Vixens (1994) Ninja Vixens (1994)
Kunoichi Ninpo-cho IV: Chushingura Hisho
1. Female Ninja: Magic Chronicles 4 - Rebel Forces At The Threshold
2. Secret Story Of Chushingura
Makiko UENO
78 mins.
Ninja Vixens (1994)

Made in the days when shooting on video hadn't yet acquired a veneer of arthouse chic, this fourth installment in a long-running series was released as a one-shot overseas. This episode is a departure of sorts, as it is a variation on the Japanese folk tale Chushingura, or The 47 Ronin.

As one might expect from a direct-to-video movie about lethal lady ninjas, it's exploitation all the way. Don't expect Sho Kosugi-style black outfits here. The ninja garb these girls wear more closely resembles something out of an 80s pop video (as, by the way, does the music). Luckily for the male viewer, they feel just as comfortable wearing no clothes at all.

Not surprisingly their most powerful weapons are their bodies, rather than swords or shurikens, and they are more than willing to use them in the line of duty. As if the sight of eager naked flesh weren't enough, the girls also employ a variety of spells to enthrall the men they have been sent to kill. These range from colourful (a swamp of bright green goo that spits from their hands) to highly inventive (glowing eggs pulled from their vaginas that spread a hypnotic, aphrodysiac mist).

Despite its B-movie intentions, Ninja Vixens is fairly solid in the more traditional areas of moviemaking. Sets, costumes and acting range from decent to good throughout. Its storyline may be messy, due to an over-abundance of characters and antagonists (I guess that's what you get when you add eight female ninjas to an already well-populated folk tale), but the viewer who knows what he's getting himself into (notice I use the masculin form here) will find plenty of good stuff on offer.

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