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There are some things in life that go perfectly together; things like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, and to a lesser extent, zombies and pirates. But far too often people overlook possibly the most perfect match ever conceived: ninjas and surfing. Amazingly enough, no one had thought to capitalize on this marketing goldmine until 1993, when the film Surf Ninjas hit the theaters. The movie starts by introducing you to two surf-loving (Asian) brothers, Johnny and Adam. They lead a pretty normal life, at least by nineties movie script standards; getting into mischief at school, dodging chores at home, and getting to the ocean as often as possible. However, this all changes when they discover that they are really the lost princes of an island kingdom off the coast of China. As it turns out, being princes of this island also grants the brothers magical powers. Johnny is given superhuman martial arts skills, while Adam gains divination abilities, by means of his trusty SEGA Game Gear. Now it is up to these two brothers to take back their homeland from a maniacal, over the top ruler.

I first saw this movie on video during my "ninja phase." I mean, I don't think that anyone ever really outgrows said phase, rather, I saw this movie as I was developing into this phase. Encouraged and primed by the likes of 3 Ninjas and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (both the cartoon series and the live action movies), I couldn't help but see this movie. At the time I was enthralled by the surfer jargon and crazy go nuts martial arts, not to mention the inclusion of a Game Gear. In fact, it was this movie that inspired me to get a Game Gear. This movie wasn't all fun and games though, it had some edge to it. At one point in the movie, Adam used the word "bitchin’." I thought I was some kind of rebel for watching a movie with language like that at age nine. The defining moment of this movie, for me though, was either when Adam played "hot or cold" with his Game Gear, or when the tribe of islanders got on their handcrafted surfboards for the first time, and expertly maneuvered them without any prior knowledge of the sport. The scenery is not something to overlook though, as most of the filming was done in Hawaii and Thailand, and is absolutely gorgeous. So, if you like ninjas, surfing, and/or good old nineties action/comedy, then this is just the movie for you.

If this movie alone cannot quench your thirst for surfing ninja action, then you can pick up the Surf Ninja video game for the SEGA Genesis, or the Game Gear (thanks Servo5678). That is if you can find your Genesis...

Defining Quotes: Lt. Spence: Brothers don't surf. Johnny: Adam, you're driving? Adam: Ain't it bitchin'?* *This is the rebellious kind of language I was talking about Johnny: How did you get out of the hand cuffs? Lt. Spence: I had a key. Johnny: But we searched you. Lt. Spence: I swallowed it last Tuesday. Adam: How'd you know you'd need it today? Lt. Spence: I swallow it every Tuesday.

Cast: Ernie Reyes Sr. - Zatch Ernie Reyes Jr. - Johnny Nicolas Cowan - Adam Leslie Nielsen - Colonel Chi John Karlen - Mac Rob Schneider - Iggy Oliver Mills - Moto Surfer Jonathan Schmock - School Cop Neal Israel - Mr. Dunbar

Sources: www.imdb.com The early years of my ninja phase

Surf Ninjas: the name says it all, really. Well, actually it doesn't. See, the ninjas don't surf - it's the princes that do that. And their army. Well, militia, really. Anyways. The point is, you've got ninjas, you've got surfing, you've got cyborg military dictators, and you've got Shinobi. What more can a movie need?

The Basics

In 1993, Neil Israel, having already established his place as one of the top directors with such smash hits as Tunnel Vision and Americathon, released a new movie, with a bold vision of brightly colored ninjas, surfing, and mystical powers. This was Surf Ninjas.

The Plot

Johnny and Adam are just your average Californian surfer dudes. Iggy is their comic relief sidekick, who enjoys wearing boxers at all times, and making omelettes. Their father, Mac runs a fast food place with 'killer shakes'. This idyll is broken when the aforementioned sketchy looking ninjas drop Mac and go aggro on the Food Hut. Zatch appears, telling them that they are the long lost princes of the kingdom of Patu San, and he is the former head of the palace guard, tasked with returning them to power. Standing in their way is the evil (seriously, this dude goes all-out, torturing villagers just for atmosphere) Colonel Chi who led a band of foreign mercenaries in taking over Patu San and now fears the return of the princes. See, it turns out there's a prophecy which says they'll come back with mystic powers - instant martial arts skills for Johnny and prescience for Adam - and whup his Cyborg butt.* After fending off another ninja attack, picking up Johnny's intended bride, and acquiring the help of Lieutenant Spence, they proceed to the island, where they rouse the natives to attack Chi's fortress. Unfortunately, it is on a heavily defended island, so they carve surfboards and surf around back. Woo. Battles ensue, plus hilarity and much stair-falling. Johnny gives the crown to the people and starts a musical group, 'The Babs'.

Review

I didn't actually see this until high school, so I don't really have treasured childhood memories of it, but it's still one of my favorite stupid comedies. The completely ridiculous dialogue, plot, maps, costumes - in fact, everything, made it as much fun to laugh at the movie as it was to cheer on Adam's Shinobi games. Definitely not a movie to take itself seriously - as long as you don't expect an oscar-winner, it can be a lot of fun.

DVD Features

You've got your standard full-screen or wide-screen choice, English subtitles, scene selection, theatrical trailer, a trivia game where you try to identify movies from stills, and a horribly slow menu system.

Memorable quotes

Iggy: Boy, those uniforms really give them a chameleon-like ability to blend in with their surroundings.

Zatch (appearing suddenly): They have taken him.
Adam: Whoah, how's he do that?
Zatch: Like this: They have taken him.

Colonel Chi: Yes? Zatch! I should have known... Kill him! Kill them! Hold on for a sec, I've got call waiting. Yes? Kill them! Kill them immediately! Yes, now where were we? Kill them! Send more men to Los Angeles. Coach!

Iggy: Knives? Oh, yeah, seriously, that's something money can't buy. Knives. Once I went into a cutlery store and said, 'Here's a $100,000 can I buy a knife?' and they said, 'No! Money can't buy knives.' Which I guess explains why you never see any of them around.

And finally, you've got what every movie really needs more of - elephants stepping on Leslie Nielson.

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