Revenge of the Ninja (1983) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • After ninjas killed his family, Cho and his son Kane come to America to start a new life. He opens a doll shop but is unwittingly importing heroin in the dolls. When his friend betrays him, Cho must prepare for the ultimate battle.

  • After his family is killed in Japan by ninjas, Cho and his son Kane come to America to start a new life. He opens a doll shop but is unwittingly importing heroin in the dolls. When he finds out that his friend has betrayed him, Cho must prepare for the ultimate battle he has ever been involved in.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Tokyo, Japan: A family gathers at a peaceful temple amidst a quiet pond. One of them is a young woman carrying her newborn baby boy. Evil ninjas come along and waste them all. The young mother is able to hide her baby among some brush before the ninjas riddle her body with arrows.

    Cho arrives with his American friend Braden. Braden is trying to persuade Cho to come to America with him where Braden will front the capital for Cho to open a pottery gallery. Cho doesn't want to leave because his whole family is here, and his father and grandfather died on this land.

    They become alerted to the ninjas and waste them all. Braden takes out a few with gunshots and then proves skilled in martial arts as well. Cho mourns his slain young wife, Yoshi, but finds his youngest son, Kane, still alive among the brush where Yoshi placed him. Braden repeats his desire to bring Cho to America. If not for himself, then for his baby son. Cho's mother doesn't trust Braden and warns Cho that his karma will follow him all across the world, even to America.

    The scene fades to the American flag flying just above the state flag of California. It is six years later. Kane is now an elementary school student; he leaves school and is being walked home by his grandmother. Five bullies start to pick on him and he punches their faces in until Cho stops him, angry at Kane for fighting 'common street brawls.' Cho's mother reminds her son that fighting will follow them all no matter where on Earth they are. She implores Cho that he must teach Kane the ways of the Ninja.

    Cho begins teaching Kane, but reminds him that they are now vendors of traditional Japanese pottery and ceramic dolls, and although they keep the tradition of their knowledge of fighting arts alive, Cho's sword is sealed forever, and he and Kane are not samurai or ninja, in honor of Yoshi, who died because of 'the way.'

    As Kane demonstrates his prowess, a blonde woman, Cathy, enters the dojo and watches. She assists Cho in preparing the gallery for opening in return for martial arts lessons. Cathy is romantically interested in Cho as well, though he does not return her affections. Cathy spars with Cho and holds her own.

    Braden brings an investor to the gallery where Cho shows her the collection of ceramic dolls. The investor is fascinated by a doll of a ninja. Cho tells the investor some of the background of Japanese ninja. As Cho turns to talk with Braden about the gallery opening, the investor runs her finger along the miniature ninja sword in the doll's hands and is shocked as it cuts her finger; the miniature sword is truly sharp.

    Kane enters the gallery and tries to move a doll for a closer look. The doll falls from the pedestal and breaks on the ground, and a white powder spills out. Cathy scolds Kane, saying Cho will be very angry for breaking an expensive ceramic doll. Finally she gently tells him that she won't tell Cho that Kane broke it, but Kane has to promise her that he'll never touch the dolls again. She sends Kane off and carefully cleans up the mess.

    Braden's true colors are quickly revealed as Cathy (who is secretly Braden's lover) tells him about the broken doll; Braden is using them to smuggle and distribute heroin. This is the true reason why Cathy works for Cho without pay; she's watching the dolls for Braden. Braden is meeting with a contact named Caifano later that day and hopes to unload as much of the drugs as possible.

    Braden goes to see Caifano, who is a mob boss, to tell him that the dolls have arrived and are ready for delivery. Braden wants to unload the 'hot cargo' immediately, as his Japanese contacts want the money for the heroin immediately on delivery. But Caifano tells Braden that he needs to sit on it for a few more days. A heated dispute quickly follows with both Braden and Caifano warning each other not to cross them. Braden tells Caifano that he doesn't know Braden yet, and in the next scene it's quickly shown what Braden meant-- he is part of the evil ninja clan; a fully trained ninja. Braden is seen quietly rubbing out one of Caifano's men who pointed a gun at Braden during the confrontation with Caifano.

    Caifano and his men have a covert meeting with a vagrant contact who tells him that he probably won't be able to get his money today because of rumors of a large shipment of "H" (heroin) from Japan that's hitting the streets. The scene cuts to Braden's hand reaching into his suitcase. Just as caifano and his men are getting back into their car, the vagrant contact is assassinated by a ninja throwing star hurled right into his eye, right out in the open street while dozens of pedestrians walk right by, completely oblivious until the vagrant slides into a street-corner fountain, blood flowing into the water.

    The camera pans along the inside of a house; a man and woman are heard moaning as they make out in a hot tub. Braden's hand reaches into his suitcase (we know it's his because of what's inside). He takes out the man with a blown poisoned needle and then uses the blow gun to force the woman's head under the water of the hot tub until she drowns.

    Police and paramedics are on the scene. Two cops talk as Caifano arrives. The three men killed were Caifano's brother, one of his 'stoolies,' and now his nephew. Caifano argues with the lieutenant, who wants to know who is muscling in on Caifano's operations.

    The lieutenant goes to consult Dave Hatcher, a karate instructor for the police, and shows him X-rays of Caifano's brother, showing the extensive injuries and numerous broken bones that were precisely delivered at 90-degree angles like a machine, with no weapons. Hatcher says that the only men he's heard of who could inflict such trauma on the human body with no weapons of any kind lived in Japan 400 years ago. Hatcher does have a friend who he says is an expert on these clans.

    This friend of course, is Cho, Hatcher and Cho spar in Cho's dojo and Hatcher convinces him to speak to the lieutenant. Cho tells the lieutenant some of what he knows but is unwilling to help past a certain point, particularly since his gallery opens tomorrow. The lieutenant accidentally knocks over his coffee cup and CHo catches it before it hits the floor; without a drop of the coffee spilling out.

    Caifano calls Braden to give in. He'll meet Braden at the gallery in three hours with the money he promised Braden for delivery of the heroin. Cathy quietly picks up an extension phone from another room and eavesdrops on the conversation. But after Caifano hangs up, he tells two senior enforcers to go to the gallery and clean it out, bringing all the dolls to him, and to kill anyone who gets in the way.

    Braden goes to his chief enforcer, a huge burly Japanese man, and tells him not to let Cathy leave the house. He has Braden's permission to rough her up if she gives the enforcer trouble.

    Cho interrupts the robbery and attacks the men, punching their noses and kicking their nuts until they run to the van and try to drive off. Leaping tall fences at a single bound, Cho catches the van and does an acrobatic maneuver to smash through the windshield with barely a few cuts. He picks up the fight and kills all but one thug who fires at him with a revolver. Cho dodges the bullets as only a ninja with twice the speed of Batman can, and grabs onto the van as the thug drives away. Cho is dragged along the street, fighting to climb back into the van until the rear door breaks off and the last thug gets away with all the goods.

    The gallery phone rings. Cathy is trying to call, but the burly enforcer makes her hang up.

    Braden arrives at the gallery in full ninja regalia. Cho's mother hears him from the upstairs apartment. Braden sees all the dolls are missing and that Caifano has double-crossed him. He tries to quietly sneak back out when Cho's mother attacks him. They square off and she tries to throw a knife at him, but he catches it and throws it back, wounding her. She blows several darts to take him off balance and then vanishes with the aid of a smoke bomb. But Braden knows which wall she's disappeared behind and stabs through it with his ninja sword, killing her. He unmasks just in time for Kane, arriving home, to see him. Braden spots Kane but doesn't catch him.

    Cho arrives back home and finds his mother slain by a ninja sword. He grieves as he takes her medallion, the most precious heirloom of the family. Later, the police arrive and the lieutenant says he's put a missing child bulletin out on Kane, but Cho says that Kane is smart enough to hide and not return home until he must. Cho still declines to help the lieutenant with the police investigation.

    The burly enforcer tries to rape Cathy but is garotted to death by Braden. Knowing the connection between Cathy and Kane, Braden hypnotizes her and commands her to bring to Kane to him when she sees him.

    Hatcher goes to Cho with information on some ex-cons who might have information on the stolen dolls. The ex-cons laugh mockingly until Hatcher and Cho bust their heads, landing a gazillion bone-shattering punches to the points of their noses and nuts in the space of a single micro-milli-nano-second until the ex-cons squeal like little school girls.

    Kane finally comes home to find Cathy working out and practicing at the family dojo. Kane instantly senses something wrong with Cathy. She tries to grab him but he beats her up, holding her at spearpoint. But Kane doesn't want to kill Cathy and starts to walk away, giving Cathy the opportunity to scoop Kane up over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes and carry him off.

    Back at Braden's, Cathy has recovered her senses and is again protective of Kane, but Braden smacks her upside her head and tells one of his goons to 'get rid' of Kane. He calls Caifano and tells him that he's coming for him. Caifano gathers his entire entourage of underlings and enforcers who are all armed with military-grade weapons.

    Thinking Braden has gone, Cathy calls Cho, who has just arrived back at the gallery with Hatcher. Cathy rats Braden out to Cho, telling him that Braden used the gallery as a front for heroin smuggling, and that Braden is a ninja who hypnotized her into bringing Kane to him. Braden catches Cathy in the act and grabs her.

    Hatcher offers to help Cho and bring in the police, but Cho declines. After all, a single ninja is a gazillion times more invincible than all the cosmic forces of the entire universe and can utterly ZOMGBBQROFLSTOMPLOLOLOLN00BLETPWN a gazillion massive intergalactic combat starships single handedly just by farting on them, and can only be killed by another ninja in a knife fight (or, depending on who you ask, sometimes a drunken pirate with gold teeth and a cutlass).

    Braden has Cathy tied up inside the hot tub to be slowly scalded to death by hot water, while Kane is to be slow-roasted medium rare in a sauna.

    Cho opens up a secret wall in his dojo that even a zillion James Bonds and Sherlock Holmeses could never find in the whole span of time, and eyes all his most sacred ninja equipment, including his sealed sword. Donning his clothes, he prays and meditates, and breaks the sealing cord.

    Braden uses a metal collapsible bow to fire a special arrow right through solid concrete that lets him make a zip-line to get into Caifano's building. Alerted to a Caifano enforcer about to spot him picking a lot, he drops an assortment of caltrops (jacks with razor edges and points) and then some small metal marbles to make the enforcer trip and fall right on the point of his nose, where the caltrops slice his eyeballs and face into many many disgusting gobbets of finely cuisinarted flesh and gore.

    Cho arrives at Caifano's building, and the two ninjas, despite having different targets, proceed to assault Caifano's forces and use simple knives and ninja stars to cuisinart-slice all of their feeble flesh and bone into more disgusting gobbets of ooze and gore. Cho attaches metal claws to the palms of his hands that rip little holes in the solid concrete of the building's outer wall and climbs it without any of hundreds of random passers-by thinking Spider-Man is in town.

    Hatcher walks brazenly up to four enforcers still outside the building's front door and despite their army-scale automatic weapons, he punches their noses and kicks their nuts until flocks of tweety-birds fly in circles all around their heads.

    Cathy is still being slowly boiled alive and the hot tub has filled almost to the point of drowning her. Kane finally uses the sauna's red-hot coals to burn away the ropes around his hands without the slightest injury to them, and beats the enforcer up Bruce-Lee style with nunchakus. Cathy calls the police lieutenant.

    Instead of killing Caifano, Braden simply throws a knife through his gun-hand.

    Braden finds Hatcher, and even the police officer's awesome martial arts skills are useless against a ninja. Cho sees Braden kill Hatcher. The two ninjas lock eyes briefly before Braden stalks off.

    The two ninjas meet and enter a rooftop badminton court for their awesome ninja-duel showdown. The ninja vs. ninja battle rages across the court and then across the whole rooftop of Caifano's building, warping and mangling the very fabric of the space time continuum beyond all logic and reason, until Cho slices Braden's ninja mask in half, which destroys Braden in a galaxy-bending discharge of Cosmic Ninja Energy (tm). Kane finds his way to Cho and hugs him as Cathy looks on and smiles.

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