Zombie Ninjas vs. Black Ops is a good example that you should try to never judge a movie by its title…
Zombie Ninjas vs. Black Ops is straight up B movie goodness, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s not always a pejorative term for films, and some of the most beloved films are B movies, think Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Foxy Brown, and Snakes on a Plane. I enjoyed Zombie Ninjas vs. Black Ops way more than I thought I could (or would).
Let’s start off with these ultra powerful, super brutal zombies. Let me be clear, the zombies are actually scary-looking. No, you will not find bits of flesh falling off in clumps like the zombies you’re accustomed to seeing on TV or in movies. They also aren’t aimless, carniverous drones shuffling and tottering about in search of brains to eat. A shadowy Japanese organization names Saisei has been testing their reanimation serum on dead mercs–the ninjas–in order to bring back damaged tissue to life, allowing dead mercenaries and soldiers to keep fighting on. Their goal was to exploit this new serum for their own ends. Yes, they’re dead, and the exchange between scientist Mali (Kira Lee Caine) and dashing hero Dillon (Adam T. Perkins) when they finally discover this is one of the best exchanges in the film, but they’ve managed to come back with all their murderous skills intact and nothing more except for a lot of rage. And no one is more ravenously enraged than the zombie ninja boss (UFC fighter Soa “The Hulk” Palelei). And they are ready to beat the hell out of anyone who crosses their path. They are ruthless and very angry. When they attack, they will not stop until you’re deader than dead. Oh, they won’t bite a chunk out of you, but they will beat the living daylights out of you until you do die. Male, female, it really doesn’t matter. Their attacks are fast and precise, but no less brutal. I love The Walking Dead and the like, but I do like a different take on zombies, and this definitely was a unique approach. In fact, that’s where some of the terror I felt came from.
Don’t expect the signature moaning or guttural sound effects that you’re used to in zombie movies and TV shows. These zombie ninjas sound like beasts with deep, bass-heavy groans that are more commonplace in dinosaur or giant monster movies. That’s not a bad thing however because along with the zombies’ gleaming red eyes, twitching and constant contortion as if they are in pain or trying to fight off some unseen force, the audio effect makes them come off as more menacing and monstrous. Now this doesn’t make much sense considering they are just human, but they were ninjas when they were alive in 2015. Just go with it.
To add a little extra drama to an already tense situation what with all the zombies running around killing indiscriminately, our hero Dillon reunites with members of his former tactical police team whose highly unpleasant leader and A.K. (Jason Britza), his second in command, have orders to kill all witnesses, or rather civilians, present during the breach in the building. That means Dillon, Mali, and everyone else that isn’t a part of the squad–including good guy defector Eddie (Korum Ellis)–is a target. We discover that someone is mind controlling the zombies as if they were under a spell, which gives the zombie ninjas an old school origin story based on Haitian vodou and West African vodun.
There were parts of the film that were cheesy, like the Old West style shootout between Dillon and A.K. which should have killed or injured them both, and at times Caine’s acting was a bit forced and unnatural, but she totally made my day when she told Dillon, “Dillon, I’m a fucking scientist. I do this for a living,” without an ounce of guile after he questioned her method of checking a zombie ninja’s vitals. There were a few questions that were left unanswered, but this may mean a sequel in future, which believe it or not, I’d watch without hesitation. Perkins and Palelei, who are simply lovely to talk to, were awesome as hero and villain, with Perkins’ American accent being pretty freaking convincing for the most part. The fight scenes were really well done for a movie without a big studio budget behind it, and I found myself waiting in suspense for one of the zombie ninjas to show up and maul the unsuspecting soul. I became genuinely vested in Eddie, Mali, and Dillon’s well-being and that’s because they really brought candor to their roles. It’s hard not to like them. I do wish Rody and Kylie would have explored Dillon’s origins more, but in a nonstop action/horror film, they ultimately opted to forego quite a few plot devices and details.
If you go in to Zombie Ninjas vs. Black Ops knowing the deal and not expecting some big studio blockbuster, you’ll find an enjoyable film to “Netflix and Chill” with… And there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
Zombie Ninjas vs. Black Ops: