Sunday, March 20, 2011

Surf Ninjas (1993)

The 90's. That wonderful decade of ninjas, bright clothes, pop music, and bubbles. much bad taste packaged in pretty colors. Growing up in the 90's was like being surrounded by poisonous gummy bears. Look pretty, taste baaaaad.

I have alot of movies that I watched as a kid that really, really, really sucked. I knew that they sucked. I did not care. I watched them because they seemed interesting. I loved them because they were entertaining as hell.

There were several bad movie themes that permeated that decade. One was the idiot/ surfer stereotype who is a hero. "Bill and Ted Excellent Adventure" comes to mind. There was also alot of ninja obsessed movies. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle". "3 Ninjas" series.

Ninjas are freaking cool. When they're actually NINJAS. Not some suburban teenager running around in bright clothes or mutant turtle. No. Ninjas are stealthy and can hide themselves. Like the ninja that is hiding behind you. Ha, ha, made you look.

"Surf Ninjas". You can tell from the title what favorite 90's themes they put together. Normally I really, really hate surfer heroes. It's hard to love an idiot. But I watched this movie because of one major pull: Thailand. Well almost.

The movie never claims that it was in Thailand. I'm assuming the King of Thailand did not allow the movie makers to lay claim to that one. I don't blame him. It's not the greatest movie for Thailand to associate themselves with. But dammit, I'm in America. We got nothing!!!

I've mentioned before that I'm part Thai. Finding a Thai movie that is NOT about drugs or sex trade is pretty hard to find. Actually finding an English movie set in Thailand is rare. As a kid, I was desperate to latch onto something of my culture.

In the movie, there are two surfer adopted brothers named Adam and Johnny. They live a leisurely surfer life in a beach area in Los Angeles (Hermosa beach to be exact). Oblivious to a series of attacks by poorly disguised ninjas, the brothers and their father are attacked. A one eyed ninja comes to their aid but the father is still kidnapped. Distressed, the one-eyed ninja named Zatch whisks the boys away while explaining their back story. Adam and Johnny are long lost princes of a fictional city called "Pattusan" (it's a Chiang-Mai like place). In order to rescue their kidnapped father they have to travel to Pattsan and defeat the Colonel Chi played by Leslie Nielson.

You know if Nielson is in it, it's a wacky movie. Hell Tone-Loc is even in the movie as the cop who tags along with the kids.

Oh I didn't mention the ultimate groan factor. Rob Schneider is in it. Geez, that's a loud groan.

What else can I mention to add to how horrible this movie is?The storyline is simple and weak. Most of the characters are stupid and weak. so many plot holes that it should be swiss cheese.

And yet. And yet I love this movie. It's still a fun movie for me. The jokes are silly but I still smile. The action scenes are really fun to watch. I love the glimpses of thai culture (in the beginning of the backstory, you can hear a thai conversation in the palace). I love that the Sega could predict the future. I love the girl who is brought up to be his wife but later just walks away.

It's lighthearted and fun.No way should this movie be taken seriously or analyzed. Although some people have:

Sometimes I start chanting "Kwon Zoo Dude!" (they're chanting "to fight!" in a rough thai pronunciation). I still find myself going "I got nothing!" at work.

And no one gets me.


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