Thursday, April 25, 2019

Phil's Cult Classics: ROBOT NINJA (1989) from Tempe Entertainment - April 24, 2019

ROBOT NINJA Slipcover Blu-Ray

Starring Michael Todd, Bogdan Pecic, Maria Markovic, Floyd Ewing Jr., Bill Morrison, James L. Edwards, Michael Kemper, Burt Ward, Linnea Quigley, Scott Spiegel
Written by J.R. Bookwalter
Cinematography by Michael Tolochko
Edited by J.R. Bookwalter
Produced by David DeCoteau, J.R. Bookwalter
Directed by J.R. Bookwalter
Originally distributed by Cinema Home Video
Re-released by Tempe Entertainment

By the late 1980's, video stores were booming, and there was plenty to rent on their shelves. At this time, the home video market became a cash cow for low budget, independent horror films and cult classics. Among the names that were synonymous during this era were Fred Olen Ray, David DeCoteau, Rick Sloane, and Jim Wynorski. But there was another name that snuck in late in the game but made some great low budget films for the mom & pop video stores. His name was J.R. Bookwalter, and, in 1986, made the 8mm horror film THE DEAD NEXT DOOR for video renters. In 1989, he made his sophomore feature that, unfortunately, didn't measure up to his expectations, and was abandoned by the filmmaker himself. Now, thirty years later, Bookwalter has repaired and restored this forgotten movie and has unleashed ROBOT NINJA onto the masses once again!

The film's official synopsis: Late one night, frustrated comic book artist Leonard Miller witnesses the brutal rape and murder of a young couple at the hands of ruthless small-town thugs. Seeking vigilante justice, Miller decides to become his most famous character, stalking the night intent on spilling the blood of any criminal who stands in his way! Painstakingly restored from a 2K film scan of the original 16mm A/B roll cut negative with a dynamic new 5.1 surround sound remix, this VHS-era classic returns in a streaming-exclusive 16:9 widescreen presentation for the first time ever. Written, produced, and directed by J.R. Bookwalter (THE DEAD NEXT DOOR, OZONE), ROBOT NINJA slashes, stabs, guts, pokes, and jabs its way to a climactic finale, putting a unique imprint on the superhero genre.

Bookwalter has done a fantastic job of restoring his movie, as well as going all out with the special features and improvements! There's a lot to list here, so bare with me for a second while I list them all! This is Blu-Ray/DVD 2-Disc Combo. Disc One is the Blu-Ray and offers the following: DTS HD-MA 5.1 Surround Remix, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Remix, Audio Commentary with writer/director J.R. Bookwalter, moderated by Matthew Dilts-Williams of Phantom Pain Films, Audio Commentary with executive producer David DeCoteau & producer J.R. Bookwalter, Audio Commentary with director J.R. Bookwalter, star James L. Edwards, associate producer Scott P. Plummer, co-creator David Lange, and special makeup consultant David P. Barton, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Dubbed Mix in German, Italian, and Castilian Spanish, Rebuilding the Robot: J.R. Bookwalter on the Restoration, Thank You Miss Barbeau: Interview with Linnea Quigley, Contemplating Coleslaw: Interview with Scott Spiegel, Dr. Goodknight's Neighborhood: Location Tour with Benjamin Bookwalter, "The Robot Ninja" 2013 Fan Film with introduction by director Johnny Dickie, Artwork & Promotional Gallery, Behind The Scenes Gallery, Production Stills Gallery, Optional English or Spanish Subtitles, and four Tempe Digital Trailers! *whew*

And now on to Disc 2 which is the DVD portion of the combo. Here are the following: The 1989 VHS Version in 4:3 Original Aspect Ratio (1.33:1, 80 mins.), Unreleased Dolby Digital 2.0 Original Stereo Mix, Audio Commentary with Doug Tilley and Moe Porne of The No-Budget Nightmares Podcast, Robot Ninja: Unmasked! featurette, Behind-the-Scenes Footage with audio commentary by director J.R. Bookwalter, Rough Cut Outtakes, "The Adventures of Robot Ninja" TV Show Promo, Newscast Outtakes, Location Preshoots, Original 1989 VHS Release Trailer, Optional English or Spanish Subtitles, and more Tempe Digital Trailers! Holy crap, I feel like I just ran a 100 mile marathon!!

ROBOT NINJA is a bona fide VHS rental cult classic that is long overdue of a resurgence of notoriety!! It's a fun, down and dirty, DIY indie film that provides the fun, action, blood, and gore for the ages!! Now, a whole new generation of genre fans can now bare witness to a film that was ahead of its time! With the Age of the Superheroes dominating the cinemas, what better time to revisit this awesome cult classic!! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

ROBOT NINJA is available on Blu-Ray/DVD Combo and Limited Edition VHS for collectors. To purchase a copy and other J.R. Bookwalter titles and Tempe Entertainment releases, please visit

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

No comments:

Post a Comment