Ninjas vs. Monsters (2012)
|Category||Action / Horror||
Audio Commentary-Director Justin Timpane and producer Michael Dougherty
Audio Commentary-NVM Comedy Trekoff
Deleted Scenes-x 10 (21:59)
Alternative Version-Funny Alternate Ending (2:16)
Featurette-Tribute to Brian Anderson (1:51)
Trailer-Trailers: Ninjas vs . . .
Music Video-"Until We Drop Down Dead" by Solarice
Trailer-More From Left Films x 4
|Year Of Production||2012|
|Running Time||92:05 (Case: 90)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Justin Timpane|
Michael Santos Sandoval
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Ninjas vs. Monsters is the third film of a trilogy following Ninjas vs. Zombies (2008) and Ninjas vs. Vampires (2010). It uses many of the same actors and characters and does reference the events of earlier films, including how our heroes received their special ninja powers and the fact that some of them were killed in the earlier films!! But don’t be perturbed if you are not familiar with these earlier films as logic and, indeed, plot is not considered important by the filmmakers. Instead Ninjas vs. Monsters is all about in-jokes and puns, pop culture references and fights, fights and more fights!
The plot, as such, goes something like this. In the past our ninja heroes had messed with dark magic unleashing vampires and zombies onto the Earth. Brothers Eric (PJ Megaw) and Randall (Dan Guy) have withdrawn from the ninja group, living in a house shielded by magic. However, their house is located by a group of warriors led by the master Masaro (Michael Santos Sandoval) and including female warrior Step (Jasmine Guillermo); they want Eric and Randall to help fight an evil that has just been unleashed. The scene then quickly switches and we discover just what that evil is: Dracula (Sam Lukowski) has enlisted Frankenstein (Elliot Kashner), the Mummy (Daniel Mascarello), the Werewolf (Lyon Beckwith) and three witches and is intent on reviving the old ways. One of his acolytes is Lily (Carla Okouchi), who is a vampire; Lily helps Dracula capture her old boyfriend, Cole (Cory Okouchi), one of the ninjas, and the other members of the ninja team Kyle (Daniel Ross), who provides the narration of the film, Aaron (Jay Saunders) and Alex (Devon Brookshire) seek out Eric, Randall and their new-found friends for help to rescue Cory and to stop Dracula’s evil plan. Numerous fights ensure, in this world and the next.
The trilogy is the work of writer / director / editor / co-cinematographer Justin Timpane, essentially his only directing credits. Ninjas vs. Monsters makes little or no sense, but it is not trying to! It is however good fun, all jokes and fights, with nobody taking anything seriously. This is a very low budget film which is quite gory; the effects are cheap, with some fake blood, severed limbs and spurts of blood and the CGI is even more indifferent, such as a CGI sword entering a body. Dialogue is cheesy and often funny while the actors in the fights show some good athleticism they are not professional fight performers, although a combination of quick cutting, loud effects, and lurid and varied colours means that they get by. And as the fights come thick and fast, there is really no time to think about just how ludicrous the whole scenario is.
The premise of Ninjas vs. Monsters is a blast and what’s not to like with Dracula, Frankenstein, the Werewolf, the Mummy and witches fighting ninjas for the survival of the Earth. Or something. Loud, colourful, action intense and played out with an immense sense of fun, Ninjas vs. Monsters is nonsense, but very entertaining nonsense.
Ninjas vs. Monsters is presented in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.
This is a low budget film and the print is a mixed bag. A number of sequences, or even alternative angles in scenes, are overbright and glary, which also effects skin tones. Detail is sometimes strong, other times somewhat soft, including shadow detail. Colours have been manipulated; some look natural but enhanced, especially in the exterior scenes, other times there are luminously bright reds, yellows and blues which also have an impact upon the blacks. The black and white sequence has nice greyscales, however. There is some aliasing, such as on the pillow at 30:07, but otherwise marks and artefacts were absent.
No subtitles are provided.
Audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kbps (the two audio commentaries are the same).
The audio is surround encoded, with minor effects and music in the rears and surrounds. Dialogue was clear. The effects, such as shots, sword clashes and the impact of punches and kicks, sounded quite flat. There is not a score as such although heavy metal songs, mainly by Solarice occur at various times.
I only noticed a slight lip synchronisation issues at a couple of places. Pops and hisses were absent.
|Surround Channel Use|
A trailer for Zombie Resurrection (1:38) plays on start-up. This trailer can also be accessed through the “More from Left Films” tab in the extras menu.
A comparison of finished film footage and the auditions of a number of the actors, including Dracula, Frankenstein, Werewolf, Witches, Step and The Guide.
This is nicely done. A text screen gives the name of the scene plus the reason it was deleted or trimmed for the film. The scenes have dialogue but often not sound effects or visual effects. The scenes are:
Actually about a dozen variations.
A tribute to Executive Producer Brian Anderson who died in 2014.
Trailer for another film.
Until We Drop Down Dead by Solarice.
A combined trailer for Ninjas vs. Zombies, Ninjas vs. Vampires and Ninjas vs. Monsters.
Director Justin Timpane and co-producer Michael Dougherty sit and chat, with Dougherty asking questions. They are amusing and enthusiastic as they talk about effects, CGI and greenscreen, script intentions and changes, the motivation and backstory of some of the characters, cast members, pop references, errors, locations and the links to the other films in the trilogy.
Listed as the NVM Comedy Trekoff commentary this has director Justin Timpane and cast member Alexia Poe (who plays the Guide and is in the Trekoff film) sitting together. They elsewhere do a Podcast called Trekoff, hence the title. This commentary was recorded before the other commentary on this DVD and is full of loud and raucous laughter, inconsequential and inane comments, crude language, jokes, they get side-tracked and talk about marshmallows and nipples (male and female), and they do very occasionally talk about effects, plot points and locations. They, at least, are having fun.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
There does not seem to be a Region 1 release of Ninjas vs. Monsters at present. The Region 2 UK release is identical to our Region All version from Bounty. Buy local.
Ninjas vs. Monsters is funny and silly but what’s not to like about Dracula, Frankenstein, the Werewolf, the Mummy and witches fighting ninjas for the survival of the Earth. Everyone is having a whale of a time, so it is best just to put your mind into neutral and enjoy the mayhem.
The print is a mixed bag but there are no serious issues, the audio is Dolby Digital 2.0. For a low budget, independent film extras are reasonably decent.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|