and ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES
400 years of
sudden death will be at
THE OLD SCHOOL
KUNG FU FEST 2015:
ENTER THE NINJAS!
April 16 - 19, 2015
New York, NY,
March, 2015 The Old School Kung Fu Fest, a four-day
celebration of the rarest, wildest, and most incredible martial arts
and action cinema from the 60s, 70s and 80s is back
at the Anthology Film Archives for its 5th edition, which is
dedicated to the deadliest fighter of them all...the ninja!
Since the dawn of
time, mans natural predator has been the ninja. Hiding in your
shower, crouching behind your laptop, clinging to your back
the ninja is everywhere. What killed the dinosaurs? Ninja. What
battles great white shark? Ninja. Who is buying flowers for your mom?
Probably ninja. But ninja is not vampire! Ninja can be filmed! This
years Old School Kung Fu Fest examines this crazy natural
phenomena of ninja with 14 movies that show you this sneaky fighter
in the only place where he cannot shoot throwing stars into your
eyes: on the movie screen!
There are serious
black-and-white ninjas in the original ninja films Shinobi No Mono
Parts 1 & 2 (1962 and 1963), super-noir ninjas in 1965s
Samurai Spy, party-colored crazy ninjas from the go-go 80s like
American Ninja 1 & 2 and then be entered, revenged, and dominated
by Cannons essential ninja trilogy: Enter the Ninja, Revenge of
the Ninja, and Ninja III: The Domination. Watch brave Chinese people
fight ninjas with their guts in Shaw Brothers movies like Five
Element Ninjas! See ninjas fly on kites in Duel to the Death! You
must see all the ninjas! Because to fight ninja, first you must
The Old School
Kung Fu Fest 2015: Enter the Ninjas! is curated by Subway
Cinemas programming team, consisting of Samuel Jamier, Rufus de
Rham, and Goran Topalovic.
grateful for the support of the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, the Hong
Kong Economic and Trade Office New York, Mizu Shochu, and Mass Appeal.
materials provided by the American Genre Film Archive, Animeigo,
Celestial Pictures, Fortune Star, Kino Lorber, Park Circus, Shochiku,
provided by Blue Snake Books, IDW Publishing, and Well Go USA Entertainment.
Old School Teaser
Poster designed by Jerry Ma (Epic Proportions)
Special thanks to
Crystal Decker Orren, Jesse Falowitz , Dan Halstead, Devin
Power-Bearden, and Keith Allison(Teleport City).
WARNING: do not be
scared. Ninja are only in movie and cannot hurt you. They are not
actually giant. Except in Duel to the Death.
(1985, USA, 95min, 35mm)
Directed by Sam Firstenberg
Dudikoff, Steve James, John Fujioka, Judie Aronson.
The greatest bar
mitzvah movie ever made, American Ninja tells the tale of a young
American boy who must embrace his peoples ancient traditions in
order to become a man. Originally set to star Cannon Films
martial arts megastar, Sho Kosugi, that plan bit the dust when Sho
ditched the exploitation studio over creative differences. Next
Cannon offered the part to Chuck Norris but he was busy, so the part
of the white boy with amnesia who is actually a secret ninja went to
model Michael Dudikoff. Shot in the Philippines by Cannons
go-to director, Sam Firstenberg (Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo,
Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja III: The Domination), American Ninja
delivers balls-out 80s action as it pits Dudikoff and his easygoing
partner, stuntman-turned-actor Steve James, against the mysterious
Black Star Ninja, his ninja training camp, and ninja lasers!
April 18 at 3:00pm.
2: THE CONFRONTATION
(1987, USA, 90min, 35mm)
Directed by Sam Firstenberg
Dudikoff, Steve James, Jeff Weston, Gary Conway, Michelle Botes.
Probably the most
ridiculous 80s action movie ever made, AN2:TC delivers an easy,
breezy does of sheer gnarlitude as Dudikoff and Steve James team up
once again, their pecs a-flexin, to investigate trouble on a
tropical island where ninjas are kidnapping US Marines. Ninjas?
Drug pushers? My men being kidnapped and murdered? This is really
beginning to get on my tits! shouts the base commander. Dressed
in jams and Hawaiian shirts because the costume department was on
vacation, the Marines are being turned into genetically-engineered super-ninjas
by drug dealers! Is Dudukoffs cool coif big enough, and are
James tiny red shorts short enough, to defeat the Clone Super
April 19 at 9:30pm.
DUEL TO THE DEATH
(1983, Hong Kong,
83min, DCP, in Cantonese with English subtitles)
Directed by Ching Siu-tung
Chu Siu-Keung, Damian Lau Chung-Yan
The first movie
from Hong Kongs great action director, Ching Siu-tung
(Swordsman II, A Chinese Ghost Story I - III, House of Flying
Daggers) this is a fever dream of freaky images ripped straight from
his childhood. Once every 10 years, Japanese and Chinese fighters
duel (to the death) to figure out who will rule the martial world.
But this time, they detect something rotten. This time they
detect...ninjas! The story is as old school as they come, but
Its the execution that changes everything. Ching spent his
early years locked up in his bedroom reading Martial Arts World
Magazine and imagining cool monsters and psychedelic fighting
techniques, and after choreographing the action on dozens of films
for other directors, this is the first time he finally got to put
those fantasies onscreen. The result is a surreal phantasmagoria of
flashing blades, teleporting demons, giant ninjas, ninjas on kites,
exploding heads, and killer puppets.
Presented with the
Hong Kong the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.
April 16 at 8:30pm and Sat, April 18 at 1:00pm.
ENTER THE NINJA
Nero, Susan George, Sho Kosugi, Christopher George.
Cannon Films production launched the ninja craze of the 80s and
revitalized the martial arts film in America after it died in 1973
with Bruce Lee. When 20th Century Fox announced they were shooting a
$20 million adaptation of best-selling novel, The Ninja, Cannon
flipped out and bought their very own ninja script from martial
artist Mike Stone and rushed this movie into production. Starring
Frano Nero (the original Django) as a white ninja with a thick
Maurizio Merli mustache, its shot in the Philippines where Nero
helps an old buddy (and his old buddys hot girlfriend, Susan
Straw Dogs George) take on evil real estate developer,
Mr. Venarius (Christopher George). Only a ninja can defeat a ninja,
so the bad guys hire Sho Kosugi, who got his start as an extra on
this film before his martial arts abilities earned him the role of
the evil ninja.
April 16 at 6:15pm.
NINJAS, aka CHINESE SUPER NINJAS
(1982, Hong Kong,
103 minutes, 35mm, in Mandarin with English subtitles)
Directed by Chang Cheh
Cheng Tien Chi, Lo Meng, Lung Tien-chiang
In the 80s, Shaw
Brothers was losing audiences to TV, so it unleashed Chang Cheh (The
One-Armed Swordsman, Five Deadly Venoms) to direct his most insane
movie ever. A Chinese martial arts clan is fighting everyone and
winning but then they fight ninjas. Ninjas who know Five Element
Formation! So secret! So deadly! The only survivor learns that in
order to beat ninja...he must become ninja! Ninja fights using Gold
Powers, Wood Powers, Water Powers, Earth Powers, Fire Powers! Chinese
martial artist fights using Hitting Ninjas in Face Power! Trees
bleed. Crotches are stabbed. Guts are extracted. Every second of this
movie is high-octane man-against-ninja action and it does not end
until every inch of the screen is covered in dead ninja. Screening
will be introduced by Dan Halsted, who will tell the story of how he
unearthed a massive collection of extremely rare 35mm kung fu films
in 2009, which included the print of Five Element Ninjas.
Presented with the
Hong Kong the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.
April 18 at 5:00pm.
A LIFE OF NINJA
(1983, Taiwan, 88
min, 35mm, in Mandarin with English subtitles)
Directed by Lee Tso-nam
Kuan-tai, Elsa Yeung, Yasuaki Kurata, Peng Kong, World Wrestling
Champion Wong Kin-mi
He creeps. He
skulks. He stalks. He scurries. He strikes! Ninja - most deadly foe.
Using ways most nefarious and killing arts mysterious ninja will kill
and kill. And kill, and kill, and kill. Sometimes he kills wrapped in
gold foil like a baked potato; sometimes he is a naked lady ninja to
confuse foes before blowing them up! Life of ninja is easy, no?
No. Life of ninja
Ninja must learn
dancing on ice cubes. Sometime ninja ladies must mud wrestle for no
good reason. How do you make a ninja? Are no ninja babies. Must take
normal person and beat. Beat until are ninja! A life of ninja is
shown in beautiful motion picture A Life of Ninja. At heart of
picture is family - they are Cheng family and have family business
but no one is happy. Cheng is married to sister and is boss. Bad
boss! One sister is boozer - drink lots of cognac. Ha ha! Other wants
to be ninja, but can't! So she wear the tight leather trousers and
beat up men with wooden sword.
attack! Kill with icicle! Kill with poison! Police visit Chen
Kuan-tai. He is ninja-pooper: he knows ninja, but poops their
parties. Police ask for help, he been in many martial art movie (like
Crippled Avengers), he must help police. He says yes. Yes, I fight
ninja. He fight the ninja?!? Ninja get furious. Use
hypno-mind-control killers, flying snakes, tiny bombs, poison ink,
swords and knives, even get World Wrestling Champion Wong Kin-mi to
wear little red briefs and turn over cars. And stomp! And kill! Big
Then Chen Kuan-tai
fight the head ninja, Yasuaki Kurata, in secret ninja fort. They use
flying knife, exploding statue, flying backward, invisibility, giant
jumping, fighting Irish jig, secret ninja spazz dance, is very
strange. There can be only one. Is exciting! You must see A Life of
Ninja to believe A Life of Ninja!
April 17 at 10:15pm.
NINJA III: THE DOMINATION
(1984, USA, 92min, 35mm)
Directed by Sam Firstenberg
Kosugi, Lucinda Dickey, Jordan Bennett, James Hong.
Lucinda Dickey had
an insane 1984. In one year she starred in three landmark Cannon
productions that might be the most 80s movies ever made: Breakin',
Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, and Ninja III: The Domination.
Directed by Sam Firstenberg (Revenge of the Ninja, American Ninja),
the movie stars Dickey as a telephone maintenance technician and
part-time aerobics instructor who becomes possessed by the spirit of
an evil ninja assassin. Forced to carry out her tormentor's brutal
revenge, she soon finds that one of her main targets is her policeman
boyfriend! Only one man - Sho Kosugi (a ninja!) - can exorcise the
evil which possesses Lucinda and prevent the lovers from destroying
each other. Full of dry ice, floating samurai swords, hot 80s neon,
and aerobics classes, this film is topped off with an appearance by
James Hong (Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China) as an exorcist,
and Evel Knievels son, Robbie Knievel, who shows up to pull off
some motorcycle stunts.
April 18 at 9:30pm.
REVENGE OF THE NINJA
(1983, USA, 90min,
Directed by Sam Firstenberg
Kosugi, Keith Vitali, Virgil Frye.
the box office success of Enter the Ninja with Revenge of the Ninja,
the first American movie to give an Asian actor sole star billing
(even Bruce Lee had to share billing with his co-stars in Enter the
Dragon). Sho Kosugi (a ninja!) returns home from an afternoon stroll
to find his family massacred by evil ninjas. With his mother and
infant son in tow he flees Japan for Los Angeles, vowing to forsake
the ninja life forever. With the help of his friend and business
partner, Keith Vitali (a karate legend who fought onscreen in several
80s Hong Kong movies), he opens an art gallery, specializing in fancy
Japanese dolls. What Sho doesnt know is that his friend is
actually an evil ninja who wears a silver demon mask and is smuggling
heroin into the country inside the dolls! Sho is just trying to raise
his ninja son (played by his real-life son, Kane Kosugi), but now he
has to deal with a grindhouse full of dead bodies, fountains of
blood, cheap 80s sex scenes, mafia stereotypes, and dueling ninjas!
April 17 at 6:00pm.
100min, 35mm, in Japanese with live English subtitles)
Takahashi, Shintaro Ishihara, Eitaro Ozawa, Kei Sato, Mutsuhiro
Toura, Tetsuro Tanba, Eiji Okada
its mise-en-scène, photography and score, unrelenting in its
dark philosophical view of war and its consequences, unparalleled in
its artistic ambition, Samurai Spy is an existentialist super-noir
ninja masterpiece by Masahiro Shinoda (Pale Flower, Double Suicide),
which towers over the shinobi genre, and possibly the entire jidai-geki
category as a whole. As the days of the Warring States come to a
close and the Tokugawa shogunate consolidates its power, wandering
samurai (and secretly, a Koga ninja) Sasuke Sarutobi, war-weary,
tries very hard to stay clear of the bloody business of the remaining
factions. The sudden defection of a high-profile spy from the service
of the shogun, puts an end to his aimless wanderings. Inevitably,
Sasuke is sucked into a maze of conspiracies and shadow-play. The
plot thickens when both the defector and the former wanderer find out
they are tracked by a third man: a shadowy white-hooded master
assassin (Tetsuro Tamba).
April 17 at 8:00pm.
98min, 35mm, in Japanese with live English subtitles)
Directed by Yasuto Hasegawa
Satomi, Jushiro Konoe, Yuriko Mishima, Ryutaro Otomo.
star-studded response to Daieis hugely successful 1960s
franchise, Shinobi No Mono, this nocturnal, cynical game of chess
between two master manipulators is an amazing and underseen ninja
movie that were presenting with live subtitles since no
English-subtitled version exists. As the ruling Shogun lies on his
death futon, seventeen Iga clan ninja are trusted by theirmaster with
an impossible mission: to infiltrate the impregnable fortress where
his youngest son plans to take both Edo Castle and the supreme power
by force. They have two options: to steal the scroll that will grant
legitimacy to the usurpers claim, or to assassinate him. Before
they can even reach the stronghold, a vicious ninja hunter thwarts
their every move. As the Iga ninja fall, the success of the mission
falls in the hands of one young and inexperienced ninja.
Ninja is a super hardcore rarity that very, very few human beings
April 19 at 1:00pm.
MONO, aka A BAND OF ASSASSINS
105min, Digital projection, in Japanese with English subtitles)
Directed by Satsuo Yamamoto
Ichikawa, Shiho Fujimura, Tomisaburo Wakayama, Yunosuke Ito.
A monster of a
movie, worthy of all the superlatives it has earned, Shinobi no Mono
was conceived by the fevered minds of far-left director Satsuo
Yamamoto and nihilistic pulp novelist Tomoyoshi Murayama, and if
youre devious enough, it can be read as a socialist allegory.
Incidentally, its quite possibly the ultimate real ninja film.
Fate and the invisible hands of evil spymasters ensnare Goemon
Ichikawa (superstar Raizo Ichikawa), a dashing but naive young man
exceedingly skilled in the arcane ninja arts, in the tangles of a
dark plot to assassinate warlord Nobunaga Oda, a cat-loving,
power-hungry samurai. Soon, Goemon finds himself outlawed, betrayed
and embroiled in labyrinthine political machinations. Produced with
the help of the last living ninja master, Masaaki Hatsumi, Shinobi no
Mono features authentic, realistic ninja action packs into a
transcendental template. Eight sequels would ensue, and many, many imitations.
April 19 at 5:15pm.
SHINOBI NO MONO
93min, Digital projection, in Japanese with English subtitles)
Directed by Satsuo Yamamoto
Ichikawa, Shiho Fujimura, Tomisaburo Wakayama.
predecessor in the same way The Godfather II is seen by some as
superior to the first, the second installment of the Shinobi No Mono
series outdoes its precursor at its own game: deeper, darker, and
crueller in all aspects. The sole survivor of his Iga fortress
village, Goemon Ishikawa aspires only to live the boring life of a
family guy. Overlord Nobunaga Oda and fate have other plans for the
retired ninja. Not one to leave out any details, the warlord goes a
on nation-wide rampage to root out any ninja who might have survived.
Bloody mass murder ensues. And soon, vengeance is the only thing that
matters to Goemon. The desperate ninja finds unlikely allies in the
Saiga clan and spymaster Hattori Hanzo. With nothing left to lose, he
weaves a web of deceit and double-crosses to bring bring down Nobunaga.
April 19 at 7:30pm.
SECRET SCREENING! - An Old School Kung Fu Fest Tradition.
We cant tell
you the title of this Japanese 1970s cult classic that was first
distributed by Roger Corman to the grindhouse theaters in the U.S.,
but trust us: you want to see it on the big screen, on 35mm, with an
audience! Before the show, were going to be giving away tons of
fun ninja-themed prizes, and make announcements aboutthe lineup and
guests for this years New York Asian Film Festival (June
26-July 11 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and SVA Theater), so
what more could you possible ask for!?
April 18 at 7:20pm.
Kong, 93min, 35mm)
Directed by Steve Barron
Hoag, Corey Feldman, Elias Koteas, Sam Rockwell
Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael have lived deep in the
sewers of New York, learning the art of ninjitsu from their mentor,
Splinter&ldots; ok, we all know the story by now about our favorite
pizza-eating humanoid turtles, but the best way to forget about
Michael Bay's lazy and tedious franchise reboot is to come appreciate
the first, and still the best, version. Produced by Hong Kongs
Golden Harvest studios (home of Jackie Chan), with the Turtles
lovingly brought to life by Jim Hensons Creature Shop, edited
by Sally Menke (the editor of every single Quentin Tarantino movie
before her untimely death in 2010), and with a theme song by MC
Hammer, its lean, green, and on the big screen - a CGI-free
dose of ninja turtle power!
April 19 at 3:15pm.
Thursday, April 16
6:15pm - ENTER THE NINJA
8:30pm - DUEL TO
Friday, April 17
6:00pm - REVENGE
OF THE NINJA
8:00pm - SAMURAI SPY
10:15pm - A LIFE
Saturday, April 18
1:00pm - DUEL TO
3:00pm - AMERICAN NINJA
5:00pm - FIVE
7:20pm - Super
Special Secret Screening!!!
9:30pm - NINJA
III: THE DOMINATION
Sunday, April 19
1:00pm - SEVENTEEN NINJA
3:15pm - TEENAGE
MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
5:15pm - SHINOBI
7:30pm - SHINOBI
NO MONO 2: VENGEANCE
9:30pm - AMERICAN
NINJA 2: THE CONFRONTATION
VENUE AND ADMISSION!
exhibitions will be held at Anthology Film Archives
(located at 32
Second Avenue, at the corner of 2 Avenue and 2 Street).
admission, $8 students, seniors, and children (12 & under), $6
Anthology Film Archives members. Tickets are available at
Anthologys box office on the day of the show. The box office
opens 30 minutes before the first show of the day.
ABOUT THE OLD
SCHOOL KUNG FU FEST
Old School Kung Fu
Fest (OSKFF) is an annual celebration of classic kung-fu films,
bringing back to the big screen the rarest, wildest, and most
incredible martial arts, action, and other genre cinema from the
60s, 70s, and 80s. Rising from the ashes of Subway
Cinemas original Old School Kung Fu Fest screenings of early
2000s, the new incarnation was relaunched in 2013 as a Spring
festival at Anthology Film Archives. Twitter: @subwaycinema (#oldschool15).
ABOUT SUBWAY CINEMA
Subway Cinema is
Americas leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to
the exhibition and appreciation of Asian popular film culture in all
forms, building bridges between Asia and the West. With year-round
festivals and programs, the organization aims to bring wide audience
and critical attention to contemporary and classic Asian cinema in
the U.S. In 2002, Subway Cinema launched its flagship event, the
annual New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which is North
Americas leading festival of popular Asian cinema. Since 2010,
NYAFF has been produced in collaboration with the Film Society of
Lincoln Center. The 14 NYAFF will take place June 26 - July 11, 2015.
Subway cinemas other events and initiatives include Old School
Kung Fu Fest (OSKFF), New York Korean Film Festival (NYKFF), Asian
Film Preservation Fund (AFPF), and year-round special screenings and
information, visit www.subwaycinema.com,
and follow @subwaycinema on Twitter.
Founded in 1969,
Anthologys mission is to preserve, exhibit, and promote public
and scholarly understanding of independent, classic, and avant-garde
cinema. Anthology screens more than 1,000 film and video programs per
year, publishes books and catalogs annually, and has preserved more
than 900 films to date.
Anthology is at 32
Second Ave. at 2nd St. Subway: F to 2nd Ave; 6 to Bleecker.
For news and updates:
P.S. Sho Kosugi is
meditating in a mist-filled temple built deep within an active
volcano until mankind needs him once again.