Archive for ninjas

Ninja Day 2010: Revenge of the Ninja (1983) melts my brain with awesomeness

Posted in 80s, movies, ninjas, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , on December 6, 2010 by Paxton

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I’m continuing my celebration of Ninja Day all this week with reviews of ninja movies. Today I look at one of the greatest ninja movies of all time, Revenge of the Ninja starring Sho Kosugi.

Revenge of the Ninja poster

Revenge of the Ninja is the second in an unofficial “trilogy” of ninja movies by The Cannon Group in the mid-80s. The first movie in that trilogy was Enter the Ninja (1981) and the third movie was Ninja III: The Domination (1984). All of them starred Sho Kosugi.  However neither of those movies were anywhere near as good as the middle movie, 1983’s Revenge of the Ninja. Let’s take a walk through this movie’s plot and see all the unbelievably awesome and ridiculous moments contained within.

So, the movie starts in Japan. Sho is there with his wife, young son and parents. Sho is off talking to his friend, Braden, an old white dude, when a group of like 6 ninjas show up and slaughter the family. I’m not sure why the family died, some old ninja master must be jealous of Sho’s bad ass awesomeness and sent his army to kill them all. The movie doesn’t really do a good job of explaining it.
ineffective ninjas Sho teeth
So this group of ninjas come in and kill everyone and then lay in wait for Sho to show up. When he does arrive, they pop out of the bushes and try to kill him by shooting arrows at him.  However, these are the worst ninjas ever and they underestimated his grim determination to kick ass and Sho catches two of the arrows in his hand and then catches the third arrow IN HIS MOUTH. Surprisingly, watching Sho catch a ninja arrow in his teeth didn’t cause the ninjas to crap their gi’s and run.  However, they must have been out of arrows after this display because they stop shooting and jump out of the bushes to surround Sho instead of just shooting him with his hands and mouth full (like I said, WORST NINJAS EVER). All the better for him to ninja kick some ass.

And Sho does kick their ass rather handily. Afterwards, Sho decides to follow his friend Braden back to America and start over with his young son (who wasn’t killed) and his mother (also survived).

Braden Evil Ninja 1
By the way, this is Braden. The old white guy who is also, apparently, a ninja. I guess he lived with Sho’s family for 20 years in Japan and learned their ninjitsu. However, Sho doesn’t realize that Braden is evil and is using Sho to smuggle drugs into the country. Notice Braden’s ninja outfit.  It looks like it’s made of silk and he wears a mask underneath his ninja mask.  Awesome.  And evil.

gangsters
Braden is working with these also ridiculous gangsters to smuggle heroin into the country through Sho’s Japanese art museum. Obviously, they try to double cross Braden and steal the heroin themselves.  What kind of gangster doesn’t use a scantily clad or topless woman as a masseuse?  The gay kind.

Kane vs Bullies Kane vs Bullies 2
Anyway, it’s six years after the ninja attack in Japan. Sho’s son, Kane (actual real son Kane Kosugi) is in elementary school. There is a ridiculous but awesome scene in which adorable little Kane in his pink Izod sweater kicks a bunch of older bullies’ asses. I don’t know why it’s in there, but I love that it is.

Sho vs Blondie
This is Kathy. She’s the typical 80s blonde. She works at Sho’s museum. And she’s also working for Braden to smuggle the heroin. In her first scene, she shows up in Sho’s family dojo without pants and tries to seduce him. This is the first of many times we see Kathy in skimpy outfits.  However Sho turns it into a lesson and begins to spar with her and pretty easily kicks her ass. Of course she holds her own for a bit because everyone in this movie knows some form of martial art.

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Ninja Day 2010: Behind the scenes of Cannon’s American Ninja

Posted in 80s, movies, ninjas, pop culture with tags , , , on December 5, 2010 by Paxton

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And so dawns another Ninja Day.  Take this time to reflect on the awesomeness of a bad ass ninja.  Every year this blog celebrates Ninja Day and has done so since 2006.  Click here to see all my Ninja Day articles.

While today is officially Ninja Day, next week will be Ninja Week on the Cavalcade.  I’ll be reviewing ninja movies next week.  All having to do with the ridiculously deadly ninja, and all are vintage, from the 80s and awesome.  As a matter of fact, at least two of them star one Sho Kosugi.  He was THE 80s icon for the ninja who recently (last year) starred as the bad ass villain in Ninja Assassin.  I’ll be reviewing at least two of the movies in the Sho Kosugi 80s ninja “unofficial” trilogy I discussed in my Unofficial Movie Trilogies article a few months ago.  Want to see what they are?  Tune back in next week; same ninja time, same ninja blog.

Today, though, for Ninja Day, I want to discuss the 1985 movie, American Ninja starring Michael Dudikoff.

American Ninja poster

Specifically, I want to talk about the trouble The Cannon Group had getting it to the big screen.  The movie has an interesting history that I think will make a good tale for Ninja Day.

Cannon Films

The production company, The Cannon Group, made many of the ninja movies back in the day during the big 80s ninja boom.  Their main ninja star was Sho Kosugi.  During post production on Ninja III: The Domination Cannon started pre-production on a movie called American Ninja.  Of course, it was going to star their main ninja, Sho Kosugi, as the villain.  At the time, I don’t think they had cast the title character. Here’s some early promotional art for the Sho Kosugi American Ninja.

Sho Kosugi in American Ninja
(Via VintageNinja.net)

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Ninja Day 2010 is stealthily creeping up on us…

Posted in 80s, movies, ninjas, pop culture with tags , , , on December 3, 2010 by Paxton

Ninja Day Banner

That’s right. Ninja Day 2010 is three days away on Sunday, Dec 5, 2010.  Are you ready?  If you keep turning around thinking you’re hearing something behind you, don’t be scared.  It’s just Ninja Day creeping up ninja-style ready to gut you like a rainbow trout.  Just go with it.

What do I have planned?  Well, on Ninja Day I’ll discuss a popular 80s ninja movie and some of the behind the scenes drama that almost led to it not being released.  Next week, I’ll continue Ninja Day with a bunch of reviews of ninja movies.  Most are vintage 80s, but one was released last year.

So come back on Sunday and next week, sit back, relax and let the explosive awesomeness of badass ninjas fighting fill your heart with warmth and love…and death.

Shark vs Ninja

Ninja Day 2009: Movie review of Ninja Assassin

Posted in holiday, movies, Ninja Day, ninjas, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , on December 5, 2009 by Paxton

Ninja Day Banner

YES! Today, is Ninja Day, my friends!  Finally, I wait all year to don the black pajamas and stalk around my neighborhood without getting arrested.  The time is nigh!!

Yesterday, I talked about what makes a bad ass ninja, BAD ASS.  Today, I’m going to talk about ninjas and the movies.  There has been a long history of US ninja movies, but those have MOSTLY died out here in the US since the late ’80s. I loved all of those movies, roughly 90% of which starred the awesome, Sho Kosugi. However, despite some fairly recent movies having ninjas in them (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Elektra) there haven’t really been any ninja-centric movies in the last few years. This past Thanksgiving changed that trend with the release of the movie, Ninja Assassin. In honor of Ninja Day, I saw this movie and would like to review it.

Ninja Assassin

So, the movie opens up with a pretty intense scene. You see these young Asian “gangster” types hanging out in their hideout playing pool and drinking. The leader is getting a tattoo and complaining about the needle hurting and being kind of a bitch about it. The crusty old dude giving the tattoo essentially says, maybe you aren’t man enough to get this tattoo. The young Asian leader of course pulls this ridiculously large pistol (fully plated in gold, mind you) and threatens to paint the ceiling with the crusty old guy’s brains. At this point, even people from space can see where this is headed. And after the delivery of a wax sealed envelope filled with black sand, every single one of the young toughs are systematically slaughtered in the most intensely violent ways. The first guy literally has half his head torn off by a blade flying so fast you only see the blur. And that’s how everyone else dies. You see mostly the dark blurs (ninja) and silvery blurs (ninja stars) as they reduce everyone in the room to a bloody pile of limbs. It’s fast, violent and every bit as balls out awesome as you think it’s going to be.

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Ninja Day 2009: Things that make a Bad Ass NINJA…well, BAD ASS

Posted in humor, Ninja Day, ninjas with tags , , on December 4, 2009 by Paxton

Ninja Day Banner

Tomorrow, Dec 5, is Ninja Day, my friends. Time to break out the katana, sharpen it up and prepare for all the face and gut stabbing that’ll be required on this most glorious of days!!  It’s gonna be a gut/face stabbing extravaganza.  Are you prepared?

Since it’s Ninja Day Eve, I thought I’d go ahead and post this year’s ninja celebratory article today.  I get a lot of hits on my previous Ninja Day articles for mainly two reasons.  One, the articles are about BAD ASS ninjas (duh) and two, THEY ARE ABOUT BAD ASS NINJAS.  Seriously, check them out. This blog has been celebrating Ninja Day since 2006. And that is not going to stop on my watch.

I get plenty of comments about the copious amounts of ninja love on this blog.  I’m always asked “how can I, too, become a bad ass ninja like yourself?”.  Good question, but let’s make one thing clear; you can become a ninja, but that won’t make you bad ass like myself.  However, since this is a valid question I thought I’d impart to all my “ninja civilian” readers what makes a bad ass ninja.  What do ninjas do on a daily basis that make them so much more bad-ass awesome than a normal person?   You constantly have to work at being BAD ASS and a ninja.  Like P-Diddy said, “Mo BAD ASS, Mo Problems” (I’m paraphrasing).

So here are a few things that make a bad ass ninja (like myself), well, BAD ASS.

Bedside Battle Monkey
The first thing you should know, I can’t wake up to a regular alarm clock.  Regular alarm clocks are for normal people who aren’t bad ass ninjas. Awesome ninjas like myself need something more dangerous to get us out of bed and out the door.  Personally, I wake up to the attacks of a monkey in robotic battle armor that is trained to kill me (pic above).  Seriously, that monkey is literally trained to tear out my stomach and dance around with my entrails like he’s at some psychotic rave party.  To start my day, I must fight this Battle Monkey Alarm (BMA) in order to get out of the house. And believe you me, this monkey is trained well.  Our battles are like 3 hours long.  Not only does this get my blood pumping in the morning (and not just figuratively), it keeps my killing instincts sharp.  When the insides of my bedroom are covered in Battle Monkey’s gore and feces (even battle monkeys like throwing poo) I can then continue my morning with my next ritual, a hot cup ‘o joe.

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It’s Ninja Day 2008!!!

Posted in holiday, humor, life, Ninja Day, ninjas with tags , on December 5, 2008 by Paxton

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That’s right, it’s that time of the year once again.  December 5th.  The Day of the Ninja. Today is a day to celebrate the lethal, the invisible, the AWESOME…Ninja.

Regular readers know that this blog celebrates Ninja Day every year.  See last year hereAnd 2006 here.

Many people ask me what it’s like to be a ninja.  Really, being a ninja is just like being a normal person, except faster and more awesome.  People also want to know if just by being a bad ass ninja do I get out of many fights or, every once in a while, do I get to deliver a glorious and spectacular ninja death unto some poor soul’s sorry ass.  The answer is, I get to deliver ninja justice onto people everyday.  Sometimes multiple times in a day.  Let’s take a look at a few of the attacks I see on a daily basis.

Pax Enter the Dragon

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Google Gmail: Now with ninjas!!

Posted in Gmail, Google, ninjas, reviews, technology with tags , , , on November 25, 2008 by Paxton

gmail_ninjaI joined Google’s Gmail service back in March of 2005. At that point, you could only join by invitation. I was able to find a guy that had a Gmail account on one of the tech websites I usually visit (PCMag.com) and got him to forward me an invitation.  Once I was approved and given a log on, I tried it out.  I was immediately in love.  Google Gmail is simple, elegant, and has TONS of space to store all of your emails.  It’s because Gmail started offering 2.5Gb of storage that Yahoo! Mail had to up their limit too.  While Gmail’s form factor, or interface, is minimal (which is typical Google), the functionality is fantastic.

Gmail has many cool features that I enjoy. Instead of folders, it uses labels. You can affix multiple labels to a message and search on these labels. Makes finding emails easier. Also, Gmail will sort your emails into groups. Emails with the same subject get stacked on top of each other into a message thread called a “conversation”. This lets you see all the emails pertaining to a subject instead of having to search through 15 separate emails for a piece of info. It also lets you see each email within the context it was sent. This particular behavior takes some getting used to, but I love it now that I am.

For the first few years Google added small items of functionality to Gmail, but the online interface remained the same.  When you logged on, this is pretty much what you saw.

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