This movie introduces us to superspy, adventurer, and uh…ninja, Duncan Jax (played by Ian Hunter, not the Mott the Hoople singer, although that may have been more interesting). We are about to embark on a spy-ninja-pulp adventure featuring Jax and a baboon named Boon.
Early in the film, after the opening James Bond-like credits and fight scene, we find Jax in a luxurious casino located in a Comfort Suites in Van Nuys. He meets an Asian woman there. Remember her. She’ll be important later. This is foreshadowing, your guide to quality cinema.
We are then introduced to all of Duncan Jax’s trademarks. While the Saint had his Hirondel, and Bond his Aston Martin, Jax has a four-by-four. No doubt from a dealer in Van Nuys. For some reason, whenever he’s about to fight, he slips on a chain mail mask, maybe to protect his delicate features. And, oh yes, he has his ninja baboon, Boon.
The action then shifts to the organization for which he works. Actually, it’s never quite clear if they are part of the government, or a private organization or what. But, they really want to go to an impregnable island fortress and defeat the Scarlet Leader, who’s like way evil.
After meeting a couple comically inept characters, we are then transported to an island, where a few ninja fights and battles on ATV cycles, we’re actually ready to learn about the title of this film.
Okay, remember the “unmasking” part? Well, during the climactic fight scene between the Scarlet Leader and Jax, the Scarlet Leader is revealed to be, the Chinese woman from earlier in the film.
Now for the “idol” part. The Scarlet Leader has a piranha pool, which at the bottom is, a golden Buddha idol, which is stuffed with jewels. It then appears that the good guys scamper off with the jewels.
We are now ready for the sequel.
What were they thinking when this film was made? My only hope was that tongue was firmly planted in cheek. If not, then this movie is pretty bad. Chock full of cliche’s, this James Bond wannabe has got it all and more. You know you have a winner, when Duncan Jax is introduced to his support team and they all have descriptive nicknames (e.g. Blade is the knife expert, Wires – explosive expert, Crusher – the big bruiser, etc…). My favorite scene is during the raid on the neo-Nazi camp (Nazis are important for this kind of film) and one of the Nazis rides an ATV behind a tent, there are sounds of bones breaking and the Nazi flies out in front of the tent and lands of the ground, then one of our heroes rides out from behind the tent on the ATV and for good measure runs over the Nazi’s head. How could someone write this with a straight face. I won’t even mention some of the other hilarious scenes but if you can find this on late cable or satellite (I don’t think this film merits a trip to the video store) consider watching it.
The Future of Duncan Jax and Ian Hunter
It appears there wasn’t a future for this character, nor its interpreter. Oh, there was a sequel, involving, like Indiana Jones, Nazis. But remember those Duncan Jax action figures in the Christmas catalogues? Well, nobody does. The Order of the Black Eagle was the last hurrah for Duncan Jax, and it appears that Ian Hunter has no film credits before or after his roles as Duncan Jax.
Bad and cult movie companies should really think of packaging these as a bad weekend double feature package in memoriam of an aborted film series that tried to have it all.
Did we mention his sidekick is a Baboon…You have to see it to believe it.