Ninjas Vs. Vampires (2010)

NINJAS VS. VAMPIRES is the follow up to writer-director Justin Timpane’s 2008 indie feature NINJAS VS. ZOMBIES.  Both films are described as horror-comedies and from what I’ve read, NINJAS VS. ZOMBIES has a pretty solid cult following that “demanded” a sequel.  Hence NINJAS VS. VAMPIRES.  Much of the cast returns this time to fight, believe it or not, vampires.

The story begins with amateur filmmaker Aaron (Jay Saunders) shooting some very shaky footage of his long time friend Alex (Devon Marie Burt).  During the shoot Aaron blurts out that over the last few years he’s fallen in love with Alex and wants her to be his girlfriend.  Right after she coldly turns him down flat they’re attacked by a group of vampires.  But to make the night even more weird, a group of occidental ninjas show up and save the day.  Two of the ninjas, Kyle (Daniel Ross) and Cole (Cory Okouchi), look more like two ex-frat boys who still drink too much and talk about the “good old days”.  Eventually Aaron joins up with Kyle and Cole and after an excruciating training montage (for us, not Aaron) the group of, ah-hem, ninjas go out to kick some vampire ass.

A vampire gimp? Nope; just Seth’s right-hand vamp!!

On the vampire side of the story we have Seth (Kurt Skarstedt), the pretty boy leader of the vampires, who’s ultimate goal is to have his idiotic vampire minions take over the world.  Seth’s right hand man is Manson (Daniel Mascarello), who Seth relies on to lead the vampire take over.  Manson, who looks like the gimp from PULP FICTION, is pretty ineffectual as he seems to screw up everything he attempts.  The film meanders from attack scene to attack scene in a seemingly random manner as the vampires make their “big move.”

The battle scenes are poorly choreographed and always seem to end on an anti-climactic note.  The special f/x also leave  lot to be desired.  I understand that in these indie horror films that budgets are limited and very tight, but I’ve also seen some very low budget films that had amazing f/x (LONG PIGS immediately comes to mind).  But NINJAS VS. VAMPIRES has some pretty amateurish f/x that made me cringe when they were executed.  First off, when the vampires are wearing their fanged mouth pieces, none of the vamp actors can talk (yikes).  And when the vampires are killed they “burst” into a z-grade version effect of the “exploding” vampires in the BLADE series.  There was just way too much CGI going on here and not nearly enough practical f/x.  And in my opinion there wasn’t anything going on here that couldn’t have been accomplished with practical f/x.

Get ready for a lame training montage!!

I also had some problems with the horror-comedy moniker NINJAS VS. VAMPIRES carries.  There was indeed some humor here but not enough to call this a horror-comedy hybrid.  The action is sporadic at best and the majority of the film has a rather slow, plodding pace.  But on the positive side you can tell that writer-director Timpane has a real love for the genre.  With a tighter script and a focus more on practical f/x instead of less than stellar CGI, I think Timpane has a future in the genre.  I’m sure fans of NINJAS VS. ZOMBIES will enjoy this follow up, but I felt it lacked anything to really grab you and suck (ah-hem) you into the story.  Timpane left the ending of NINJAS VS. VAMPIRES open for a third installment (which I’m assuming from the ending will be called NINJAS VS. MONSTERS) into the NINJAS VS. … franchise.  I for one will check it out if it’s ever made.  If Timpane grows as a filmmaker I think he has it in him to make a really fun, fast-paced genre flick.  But as far as NINJAS VS. VAMPIRES goes, this wasn’t for me.  But I’m curious what everyone out there who saw NINJAS VS. ZOMBIES thinks of it.

My Summary:

Director:  Justin Timpane

Plot:  2 out of 5 stars

Gore:  1 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

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  1. […] VS. ZOMBIES (2008) and then found themselves nipple-deep battling vampires in, you guessed it, NINJAS VS. VAMPIRES (2010). All the films in this franchise are marked with a lot of action framed inside a horror […]

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  2. […] VS. ZOMBIES (2008) and then found themselves nipple-deep battling vampires in, you guessed it, NINJAS VS. VAMPIRES (2010). All the films in this franchise are marked with a lot of action framed inside a horror […]

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