1.21gigawatts Review: Ninja Movies For The Kids

As stated, the 80’s and early 90’s was very lucrative for the ninja. People were spending money to see them fuck a lot of people up, and just be an overall bad-ass. Now, who spends money the best? Kids. They rape their parents for any and everything they want. So, anyone who wants to make money just needs to cash in on something kids can dig. Dig a lot.

One night, two duders named Kevin Eastman and Peter Lairid were hanging and banging one night, drunk as all get out, and were just fucking around. One of the things they came up with was the funny idea of turtles, that were ninjas.

The series was originally a comic book, and that’s what the first movie was based off, which is why it’s so much darker. Also, the turtles all wore red, instead of their identifying colors.

So, when Turtle Mania was at a fever pitch, we got the awesome first appearance of them on the big screen, 1990’s

It cost a cool 13.5mil to make, and grossed 200mil, and of course, I was a contributor. The first day we went, we were denied. All showings for the weekend were sold out, I was f’ning devastated. When I finally got the chance, holy shit, man. It truly blew me away, and was better than anything I could expect. It was far more adult than anyone could have imagined. It was dark, had a ton of violence, and the turtles swore. I’m surprised there wasn’t a backlash of sorts. To this day I still think it’s an awesome movie, and not just for nostalgia purposes. It’s a straight up, great movie.

Also, to this day, just as I thought the first time I saw it, April O’Neil was SO unattractive. C’mon, she’s suppose to be a babe, right? Well, she sure as shit wasn’t here. Hell, she looked like the kid Danny in a wig. But the second one, oooh yeah, they got it right.

Speaking of the second April, she came with the second Turtles movie, The Secret Of The Ooze. It was a pretty big departure from the first one. Gone was the language, gone was the darkness, and gone was the violence. In it’s place was more slapstick humor. We don’t get Casey Jones, but instead we get a nice linear replacement with Keno. A super bad-ass pizza delivery kid who knows like, 38lbs of martial arts. He’s played by Ernie Reyes JR, who at the time was 19, and had been trained in the martial arts since he was a child by his equal bad-ass, Ernie Reyes SR. JR had actually been in a couple classics before this, Conan The Destroyer, and The Last Dragon. He really helped carry the film with his charisma and uber-fast movement. I remember being bummed we didn’t get Beebop & Rock Steady, but was soon OK with that because Vanilla Ice was there! As all children back then, I was down with Ice, and this just put….well, the icing on the cake.

Number 2 is still a movie I can watch and enjoy, but it doesn’t compare to the first one. We will not speak of the third. What we will speak of however, is a movie that stars our friend Keno….

Hell yeah, baby! Leslie Nielson as a cyborg-samurai war lord, being thwarted by two surfer brothers who are heir to the throne of an island, as well as uber-fighters. Oh, and the youngest can see the future with his Game Gear.

Yeah, the plot is way out there, but it’s actually not that bad. The fight scenes are all great, there are actual moments of comedy by support cast members Tone Loc’ and Rob Schneider, and car surfing, but not Teen Wolf style.

With a mix of nostalgia, and the fact that it really isn’t as awful as you’d suspect, this is a movie I can still enjoy today. It’s so damn odd that Ernie Reyes never went any where after this. He was on fire, I thought. His father, Ernie Reyes, SR, is also in the movie. He’s a bad-ass named Zatch. You know he’s rad, because he has an eye patch, and knows depth perception is for sissy marys.

Rob Schneider does a fine job carrying his weight as the comedic relief. I know a lot of people dog on him, but I think the guy consecutively brings the funny. We will negate The Animal, and Deuce Bigalow 2.

Finally, we have the only thing that could rival the Ninja Turtles, fellow ninjas themselves, 3 of’em, in fact…

The day the video store finally took it down, and my Dad came home with it, I was beyond estatic. I put that bitch right next to my head, so I could just stare at it whenever I was in bed. It was such an awesome poster.

My friends and I all loved the movie, and whenever we’d hand out nicknames, whoever was too slow got stuck with Tum Tum, to which said person would throw a fit. Nobody wanted to be the fat kid. I always thought Colt was the biggest bad ass, plus his mask looked the coolest. Which, in turn, also pained me when he painted over it. The fucker.

The masks were beyond cool. My mom made me one out of paper mache, and I wore that shit like it was my life support. You all remember those bad motherfuckers, right?



Tum Tum

One of the things that bothered me as a kid, was the fact the ninjas wore plastic protectors over their eye slits. What the hell? Did they play basketball with broken noses on the side? I also didn’t like the use of machine guns, c’mon now. Snyder’s big burly body guard scared the crap out of me, as I’m sure he did all kids.

Now of course, watching this movie as an adult, it’s completely inane, except, oh, EXCEPT for the 3 burglars. As a kid, I couldn’t truly appreciate how fucking funny they were, but now I’ll take a time just to watch the scene, they’re awesome. In the sequel, they tried to replace them with some lame-ass copy cats. No thanks, motherfuckers.

The most insane part, and one I even noticed as a kid that was stupid, was once the kids were taken, the family and cops are waiting outside, talking, and Grandpa shows up. He’s in his stupid silk Ninja suit, and he looks fucking crazy. Seriously. If I was a cop, I would have thought he was some stroked out serial killer and shot him on sight. No shit, look at him;

Who parades around like that?! Geez,  man, you’re a Ninja, how about a little subtlety?

I stayed around for the sequel, 3 Ninjas: Kick Back, which wasn’t too bad. But by the time Knuckle Up came around, I was a pinch too old. But, I have seen High Noon At Mega Mountain. Naturally it’s incredible. As a piece of info, Knuckle Up was filmed a year after the original, and features the 3 original kids. It was stuck in developmental hell, and Kick Back was released first.

To those who have netflix, watch their stream of 3 Ninjas. It has different, and deleted scenes. Such as the boys losing the basketball game and such, and one of the bullies getting their asses kicked. Dig it, son.

Mmm, this stuff is GOOD

Alright, kids. That about wraps up Ninja month, I’ve got about one or two more articles, but I’m gonna wait on those so you guys can catch a breather. Coming up, we’re talking Nightmare on Elm Street. We’ve got a new movie coming, plus an awesome documentary coming entitled Never Sleep Again. Jeeuh.


~ by Caliber Winfield on April 10, 2010.

3 Responses to “1.21gigawatts Review: Ninja Movies For The Kids”

  1. Ah, man, TMNT was a completely insanely groundbreaking adult movie for a kid in its time. I grew up in a pentecostal Christian church in the heart of the southeast US, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing… Raphael using a terrible word like “damn” over and over? You’re right, that was a dark movie, and it changed the way I viewed movies and all the entertainment I watched from 2nd grade and beyond.

    3 Ninjas was of course a classic, and now I can appreciate it for even more reasons. One of the top all time Korean directors– Shin Sank-ok (“Simon Sheen” in America)– was responsible for most of the series (and did most of the work in Knuckle Up). After Kim Jong-il kidnapped him and his (famous actress) wife Choi Eun-hee in the 70s to force them to make movies for North Korea for many years, they somehow managed to dramatically escape to the US embassy and seek asylum there. They couldn’t go back to South Korea because of fears of persecution due to cooperating with the “enemy” in the north. So the dude just went to the US and made simple, silly movies like the Three Ninjas series, until he died a few years ago.

  2. Holy shit.

    I had no idea about any of that. That’s absolutely crazy.

    I’m glad I have informed people reading my site who can tell me of crazy shit like that.

    Ugh. Yeah, I grew up in a Baptist house. It sucked, man. Thank God when I was 15 my mom let me make my own choices, and soon realized herself how horrible organized religion is. But, that’s for another rant…

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