In the 1980s a new word entered the British lexicon, and was quickly brought into common usage. That word was NINJA. And they were everywhere. The most famous ones, perhaps, are those anthropomorphised sewer dwelling sub-adult reptiles. That’s right, it’s those pesky Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Created by Eastman and Laird in 1984 they went on to spawn cartoon series’, toys, games and several different film incarnations. Not bad for a series that was intended to be a parody of the comics of the day.
No-one, however, did more to popularise these Japanese assassins than Cannon Films. Their ninja films entered, revenged, dominated and made a minor action star out of Sho Kosugi. But now it was time for a home-grown hero, an American Ninja. Originally offered to Chuck Norris, he turned it down as his face would be covered for a considerable time. Yeah, because Chuck’s face is his fortune isn’t it? Enter the brooding Michael Dudikoff, who was hired for his, apparent, likeness to acting legend James Dean. Stuntman turned actor Steve James took up the main supporting role, a recognisable character actor who appeared in everything from TJ Hooker and Dukes of Hazzard to Brother from Another Planet and Weekend at Bernies 2.
Add to this mix director Sam Firstenberg, whose most famous film is Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo AKA Breakdance 2: Electric Boogaloo (probably the first time in recorded history that suffix has been used with the correct film). He was, however, Cannon’s go to Ninja director having already done 2 of the “Ninja trilogy” films, Revenge of the Ninja and Ninja III: The Domination. Is this a potent recipe that will create Ninja magic?
Join Ben and Foz as they hide in the shadows and see if an American Ninja can take out its target.