An aging American ninja master and his headstrong young apprentice search for the elder man's daughter.






1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

After just completing his training at a ninja school, an army vet travels to the Phillippines and finds himself battling a land grabber who wants his war-buddy's property. He must also ... See full summary »

Director: Menahem Golan
Stars: Franco Nero, Susan George, Shô Kosugi
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After his family is killed in Japan by ninjas, Cho and his son Kane come to America to start a new life. He opens a doll shop but is unwittingly importing heroin in the dolls. When he finds... See full summary »

Director: Sam Firstenberg
Stars: Shô Kosugi, Keith Vitali, Virgil Frye
Action | Fantasy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

An evil ninja attempts to avenge his death from beyond the grave, by possessing an innocent woman's body.

Director: Sam Firstenberg
Stars: Shô Kosugi, Lucinda Dickey, Jordan Bennett
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

American soldier, obviously very skilled in martial arts, single-handedly takes on mercenaries in the Philippines.

Director: Sam Firstenberg
Stars: Michael Dudikoff, Steve James, Judie Aronson
Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.8/10 X  

When a scientists daughter is kidnapped, American Ninja (David Bradley), attempts to find her, but this time he teams up with a youngster he has trained in the ways of the ninja.

Director: Bob Bralver
Stars: David Bradley, Lee Reyes, Anne Dupont
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Matt Hunter, a former Military Intelligence man who resigned so that he could take care of his sister following his parents' death, goes to visit Larry Richards, a friend who's running for ... See full summary »

Director: Sam Firstenberg
Stars: Michael Dudikoff, Steve James, James Booth
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

The two American Ninjas, Joe Armstrong and Sean Davidson, team up to do battle against a terrorist and his band of Ninjas.

Director: Cedric Sundstrom
Stars: Michael Dudikoff, David Bradley, James Booth
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

On a remote Caribbean island, Army Ranger Joe Armstrong investigates the disappearance of several marines, which leads him to The Lion, a super-criminal who has kidnapped a local scientist and mass-produced an army of mutant Ninja warriors.

Director: Sam Firstenberg
Stars: Michael Dudikoff, Steve James, Larry Poindexter
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.4/10 X  

The third thrilling saga of Deathstalker pits him against the evil wizard and ruler of the Southland, Troxartes, and his band of undead warriors. Dashing Deathstalker is entrusted by the ... See full summary »

Director: Alfonso Corona
Stars: John Allen Nelson, Carla Herd, Terri Treas
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.4/10 X  

Jackson is back, and now he has a new partner, karate champion Sean, as they must face a deadly terrorist known as "The Cobra", who has infected Sean with a virus. Sean and Jackson have no ... See full summary »

Director: Cedric Sundstrom
Stars: David Bradley, Steve James, Marjoe Gortner
Rapid Fire (1992)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When student Jake Lo witnesses a killing, he finds himself caught between two feuding drug lords. Betrayed and set up by the federal agents protecting him, the only one he can trust is Ryan... See full summary »

Director: Dwight H. Little
Stars: Brandon Lee, Powers Boothe, Nick Mancuso
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

After a peace loving Japanese immigrant and his family become victims of a crime syndicate, a master ninja emerges.

Director: Gordon Hessler
Stars: Shô Kosugi, James Booth, Donna Kei Benz


Complete series cast summary:
 John Peter McAllister / ... (13 episodes, 1984)
 Max Keller (9 episodes, 1984)
 Okasa (6 episodes, 1984)


John Peter Macallister was a Korean veteran who, after serving, decided to live in Japan, and, while there, he studied Ninjitsu and became a Ninja. Thirty years later, he learned that he has a daughter, so left to find her. Apparently, though, he can't leave the sect that he is with, because it means that he is now marked for death. He manages to escape, and, upon arriving in the States, he meets Max Keller, a drifter who has a penchant for getting involved with other people's problems and helping them out if he can. Max and Macallister hook up, with Max helping Macallister find his daughter, and Macallister teaching him the ways of the ninja. At the same time, evading Okasa, one of Macallister's students, who is now sworn to kill him. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Master Is Here! He's the supreme warrior. Even his eyes can kill you. His student is the supreme heartthrob. His eyes can melt you





Release Date:

20 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Master Ninja  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (13 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The roof of the bar begins to collapse before the Master kicks it. See more »


Max Keller: Don't worry, I won't leave this bar through the window.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Formulaic but watchable
22 September 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ah the early 1980' I miss them! The era embodied a sort of innocence which dissipated towards the end of the decade and has sadly yet to return. Who can forget the fads of the time; In music we 'bopped' along to the sounds of New Romantics, pioneering synth pop acts and additionally were blessed with a wonderful array of 'big hair' heavy metal bands. On TV we enjoyed such classics as Knight Rider, Airwolf and the incomparable, The A-Team and in cinemas we were treated to probably the best decade for horror and action movies......yes, the eighties....ah, they were the days.

There was actually another craze that swept the western world during the early part of the decade also; What was it you may ask? Why it was Ninja Mania! We just couldn't get enough of these enigmatic stealth assassins in fact. The public obsession first began proper when the Cannon Film Group released the Sho Kosugi outing, Enter the Ninja in 1984. Kosugi himself went on to a semblance of super stardom literally overnight - this despite the fact that he was actually playing the films main villain! Such was the mystique and allure that these historical figures exuded on screen. Needless to say, more ninja flicks were swiftly put into production by a plethora of film companies, each trying to out do the last and cash in on the publics apparent insatiable fixation on all things connected to the ninja. It was inevitable of course that these seemingly semi-mystical beings would break out into other entertainment mediums also. This they did in the form of numerous comic books, novels, toys, games and in the instance reviewed here, a television series starring veteran actor, Lee Van Cleef and as it happens, the by this time living legend, Sho Kosugi.

The plot concerned Cleef's character returning from Japan where he had spent years studying the ninja arts, in order to find his estranged daughter. Also along for the ride was the token wise cracking side kick (as was a somewhat unfortunate trend of the eighties....) who becomes Cleef's new student. Unfortunately, our veteran ninja is also being hotly pursued by a fellow ninja from his clan (Kosugi) who is incessantly intent on sending him to the great beyond.

Despite ninja mania in full swing at the time, the show curiously lasted for only one season before disappearing as quickly, a ninja in fact.

Whilst mildly enjoyable in its own right, it has to be said that the series was unfortunately hampered by its incredibly formulaic treatment. As with the vast majority of eighties TV shows, the plot was never more ambitious than to set our heroes (who just like in every other eighties show), travelling around from place to place helping out those in trouble (invariably a sexy, feisty female) from evil property developers and the like. Every now and then to spice things up, Kosugi puts in an appearance and it's no coincidence that these episodes are the best of the series which sans his presence is somewhat pedestrian at best.

For a bit of nostalgia or else those still desperate for a fix of anything ninja related the series is probably worth a look as long as you don't set your expectations too high.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Want to buy all episodes gary-513
Theme song darkmoon44
Just watched the first episode last night Kurohashi
Discuss The Master (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: