Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At

American Ninja (1985)

(From Joe Bob's Ultimate B Movie Guide)

The Kobudera. Ninja magic. Ninjitsu-to, the ability to seem invisible to cause fear and paralisis in your enemies


American Ninja Kung-fu face ripper made by those three Japanese ninja masters: Avi Kleinberger, Gideon Amir and Sam Firstenberg. And, of course, produced by those two avid students of oriental martial arts, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. These are the five guys who originated the ancient Chinese battle cry "Next year in Hong Kong!" Michael Dudikoff stars as an Army private who gets amnesia and can't remember how he got to be the greatest kung-fu ninja master in the world. All he knows is, every time his supply-truck convoy is attacked by 30 or 40 black ninja masters, he just goes berserk and turns into the Mr. Goodwrench of martial arts and starts throwing deadly tire tools. There's a mean French guy named Mr. Ortega who wears pink ties and mumbles a lot about what a showoff Dudikoff is, but nobody can understand him because the soundman evidently put the mike in his navel. Mr. Ortega owns his own super-ninja master, and he tells the super-ninja master to kill Dudikoff so they can sell a laser missile to the Mafia.

121 dead bodies.
Eight Kung Fu scenes, four in pajamas.
One gallon blood.
Four motor vehicle chases.
Exploding car.
Exploding motorcycle.
Two exploding trucks.
Four exploding jeeps.
Exploding ship.
Exploding copter.
Exploding ninja.
Trash can Fu.
Watermelon Fu.
With Guich Koock, former owner of Luckenbach, Texas, as the evil Colonel,
Judie Aronson as the gratuitous bimbo ("What do you think I am, a jungle baby?"),
Tadashi Yamashita as the evil ninja.
Directed by Sam "Dynamite" Firstenberg.  4 stars

2000 Joe Bob Briggs. All Rights Reserved. Not an AOL Time-Warner Company in this lifetime.
"American Ninja" is available on video and on DVD

For this and other movie reviews by the artist formerly known as the host of MonsterVision, go to Joe Bob Briggs.com

Trivia about American Ninja, courtesy the Internet Movie Data Base:
Shinyuki: "The Black Star Ninja has betrayed the code."
Joe: "Then...he must die."
* Chuck Norris was originally cast to play the title role in the film
* In the movie trailer it was originally titled "American Warrior" but was changed to "American Ninja" by the time of the film's release
* Kurt McKinney auditioned for the title role but was considered to be too young

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