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.
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 »
A senator is targeted by the Pentangle, a right wing paramilitary group. His pal, a former CIA agent and martial artist, tries to help him. The group kidnaps the agent's sister and tries to hunt him down, "The Most Dangerous Game" style.
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 »
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 »
Joe Armstrong, an orphaned drifter will little respect for much other than martial arts, finds himself on an American Army base in The Philippines after a judge gives him a choice of enlistment or prison. On one of his first missions driving a convoy, his platoon is attacked by a group of rebels who try to steal the weapons the platoon is transporting and kidnap Patricia, the base colonel's daughter, who happens to be along for the ride. Joe rescues Patricia and gets her safely back to the base, but everyone else in the platoon is killed, leading his superiors to conclude that Joe is guilty of cowardice, collaboration or simple incompetence. At the same time, the rebel leader vows revenge against the serviceman who disrupted his plans, and sends an army of ninjas to assassinate him and bring back Patricia. If he wants to survive and save the girl, Joe's going to have to draw on every last ounce of his training.Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
In an interview in the late 1980s, Steve James said that when he signed on to do this film, he wanted to change a lot of the dialogue, like "no problems, whatever you say, partner." See more »
During the final battle, as Shinyuki uses his ninja training to become invisible, his disappearance is obviously stop-motion. The security guard in the background jumps a few feet over without moving. See more »
Pvt. Charley Madison:
Hey! I'm great at that game. Back home in California, I'm like deadly. Hold on, I'll teach you girls how to play.
Pvt. Charley Madison:
Hey, Buddy, come on. We need an extra guy to even up the sides. Hey, come on.
See more »
Scenes that were cut from the theatrical release in order to prevent time restraints are.
A scene where Joe enters his room and one of the troopers calls Joe a loser and then shoves him.
Jackson asks Joe if he wants to shoot some pool but Joe declines.
A scene of the Black Star Ninja and Ortega discussing whether or not the Colonel will change his mind about shipping the weapons.
Joe finds a dead corpse in the barracks the same day he gets blackmailed.
Black Star Ninja asks Ortega if Joe has any other relatives that's been trained the way of the ninja.
When American Ninja was released on VHS back in 1986 Ninja fever was rampant. Even in the sleepy little village where I lived in England, every single boy of my age dreamed of being a ninja. The school playground was rampant with us wannabe assassins in duffel coats!
In the aforementioned little village we only had one video shop, I spent weeks and weeks in a state of despair on Saturday afternoons, as we would go there only to see the dreaded "Film on loan" tab attached to the box.
Eventually we finally turned up one afternoon and it was there...With no "Film on loan" tab on it! my life was finally complete and we took it home. My parents were never really into the whole "film ratings exist for a reason" thing. Incidentally, neither were the parents of pretty much all my friends, ahhh...The 80's, these young un's today don't know what they missed.
Saturday evening finally came and American Ninja was inserted into the top-loader...As I sat eating my Vesta curry, My life literally changed in the following 90 minutes, I learned more than any teacher could ever show me at school, Joe was literally a god! This guy could do anything...Beat anyone! Most of my friends had already seen it and we were all finally on the same Ninja wavelength! We practiced Joe's moves, disappeared in a "cloud of smoke" (England gets a lot of fog in Autumn/ Winter) behind the school canteen, jumped over the tyres in the playground as part of our "ninja training school".
Watching it back a couple of weeks ago (now I am 38) It is total crap, but total crap of the highest order. I thought ninja's were actually, you know, supposed to be elite assassins. Here the baddie Ninjas seem to get away with being pretty mediocre to be fair, they miss the easiest targets, get knocked out by really bad punches and kicks, do lots of unnecessary front and back flips, and generally don't really perform very well. Our hero Joe also seems to have a problem, he acts like he has something uncomfortable inserted into his anus most of the time, even when he smiles.
The whole thing is just laughable.
But laughable in the best possible way.
Thank you Golan Globus and Cannon films, thank you Michael Dudikoff and Steve James, thank you the guy who did the music.
I am indebted to you all for this slice of my childhood that I can also enjoy now I am a grown-up, albeit in a different but still entirely satisfying way!
If you are in any way intrigued by the mystery that is American Ninja, I implore you to crack a beer, grab a big bag of crisps and settle down, you will not be disappointed!
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