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...The Ninja were basically rural types who had to think outside the bushido box, and therefore got a reputation for deception and trickery; the legends of mystical powers came later. It's like assigning magical powers to The Beverly Hillbillies[1] and then having them topple governments and hire out to the highest bidding supervillain. Okay, my version of The Beverly Hillbillies movie probably would have sucked, too, but it wouldn't have been dull.
Dr. Freex of the Bad Movie Report, in the intro to his review of the Godfrey Ho Ninja Movie Ninja Phantom Heroes

Jenkins: Did you hear that?

Woman: No.

Jenkins: Because it's a ninja. Run.

Notes

  1. Though now that I think of it, that's not too far off the mark - Ellie Mae could commune with animals, Jethro was nigh indestructible, Granny could move with rapid speed and Jed was some sort of Zen master. I bet if you started some crap with Jed in a bar, you would suddenly find yourself on the floor bleeding all the while swearing that the poorly-dressed patriarch never moved. I bet Darth Vader would've thought twice about picking a fight with Jed Clampett. I'm digressing already. That's a bad sign.
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