NEW YORK NINJA: Vinegar Syndrome Announces a Blu-Ray Release of the Lost 1984 Cult Ninja Film from Filmmaker and Star John Liu

By: John M Jerva

Back in 1984 during the widespread craze of the Ninja action film, filmmaker, martial artist and actor John Liu was going to add his own creation to the mix with the insane and wildly campy B flick New York Ninja. The movie, which when you view the newly released teaser trailer, definitely looks like an oddity in the ninja subgenre with its out of place comedy and subpar action sequences but it should find a place in the hearts of those genre fans who search out for cult treasures like this.

Unfortunately, the film was scrapped during post production and subsequently, all sound materials, scripts and treatments for the film were deemed lost forever. Just when all seemed hopeless, cult Blu-Ray distribution company Vinegar Syndrome has stepped in to save the day and have even enlisted the voice talents of martial arts legends Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock to help finish dub the movie. That certainly bodes a purchase of this film alone for fight film fans. Check out the key art, trailer and press release below!

Internationally acclaimed and film focused genre cinema home video distributor, Vinegar Syndrome, is proud to announce the formation of Vinegar Syndrome Pictures. VSP is a fresh sub-branding dedicated specifically to the production and distribution of carefully curated, often daring, first fun, genre-based feature films exclusively photographed on motion picture film.

VSP’s initial release slate will kick off with NEW YORK NINJA, a wild action comedy originally directed by and starring John Liu, and produced by legendary New York exploitation producer Arthur Schweitzer. While NINJA was shot entirely on 35mm in 1984, the project was abandoned during production resulting in all original sound materials, scripts and treatments going missing. The rights and unedited original negative were subsequently acquired by Vinegar Syndrome, who have meticulously constructed and completed the film, enlisting the talents of genre film superstars Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Michael Berryman and Cynthia Rothrock to voice the leads. NINJA will receive its world festival premiere this Fall where it will be presented by Vinegar Syndrome’s Kurtis Spieler, who spearheaded the project, with additional details on home video and digital distribution to be announced.

Wilson and Rothrock weren’t the only voice talents enlisted to help finish New York Ninja as the trailer reveals that Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Barbara Linnea Quigley (Silent Night, Deadly Night), Vince Murdocco (Ring of Fire), Leon Isaac Kennedy (Penitentiary), Matt Mitler (The Mutilator) and former adult film star Ginger Lynn Allen also lend their voice talents as well.

Judging from the trailer, New York Ninja, is most assuredly a niche film and it’s campy nature might not go down well with many but there is a market for this sort of thing and with the stars involved in helping finishing the project long thought lost, that will certainly draw people’s curiosity to check it out and purchase it upon release. Liu’s Ninja uniform alone warrants a few laughs when revealed in the trailer.

Stay tuned for more release info to follow. In the meantime, check out the campy fun of Vinegar Syndrome’s new announcement trailer below!


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