Menahem Golan's 1981 "action" flick Enter the Ninja is often fingered as being the spark that set off the '80s ninja explosion, but if that's true the boom was in spite of Enter the Ninja not because of it. Golan picked Italian actor Franco Nero to play the Westerner, Cole, who just graduated from ninja school (your diploma is printed on an oversize throwing star!) and then headed to the Philippines to help an old army buddy deal with a land-grabby real estate developer. Nero had zero martial-arts training, so all of his fight scenes are performed by a stunt double, and Golan had zero talent at filming fight scenes, so every one of 'em is more choppy than chop-socky. The only saving grace is legendary martial artist Shô Kosugi, who plays the evil ninja opposing Cole. All of these flaws and quirks make Enter the Ninja the perfect choice for the Webster Film Series' Strange Brew night at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue; 314-241-2337 or /filmseries). The ninja enters at 8 p.m., and tickets are just $4.
Wed., Dec. 1, 2010

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