American Commando Ninja (1988)
Director: Lo Gio
Stars: Martin Chan, Daniel Garfield, Yolanda Kuk
You see the name listed as director? Don't be fooled my friends. Looking up Lo Gio only brings up two credits...this film and one from 1974. I almost gave Joseph Lai the benefit of the doubt that he had employed another hack to make his films but then in the closing credits I saw it...Story by Godfrey Ho.
I'm 100% convinced I just suffered through another Goddamn Godfrey Ho crapfest.
This movie is a rare one, as it's really one of the only martial arts films that was shot on video. Yep, not only is Godfrey Ho and Joseph Lai involved, but they brought their camcorders with them.
The "story" concerns a scientist with a germ warfare formula and several groups of people that are trying to retrieve said formula. They include a white guy in an office with a circus clown for a girlfriend, a crazy uncle with his own army and two nieces fighting over who will have the ugliest haircut, and a ninja and his new found bromance who are the heroes of this story. The two guys are named Larry and David. Please, curb your enthusiasm.
Unlike most of these films, it doesn't star Richard Harrison and it isn't made up with half a decent movie and half a movie where white guys run around with headbands that say "ninja" on them. But even without those obstacles, these guys manage to make a film that's completely fucking incoherent. Now that's talent.
Things I Took From American Commando Ninja
- Wise advice from this movie "never trust a scientist". That's why I know Jupiter's gonna crash into us any day now. Just you wait, assholes.
- If you know someone has a homing device on him, take the coat with the device on it and throwing it 20 feet isn't going to throw the bad guys off much. Maybe irritate them a bit though.
- Why is this girl wearing confederate flag shorts?
- Speaking of shorts, why the hell is everyone wearing short shorts. It looks like half the cast is only wearing a shirt and it creeps me out.
-And while I'm on the subject, whoever was the costume designer on this film should be put out back and shot. Lime green pants, tons of daisy dukes, and shirts of many neon colors. It's like the late 80's surf craze threw up on everyone.
- Apparently a mysterious form of martial arts is called...and I shit you not...Hocus Pocus. This ancient technique includes blow fire out of your fingertips and pulling a rabbit out of your hat...but a rabbit with a katana sword.
- I like when the uncle yells at one of the heroes about being too young to know suffering. "In our day, it was either starve or eat another person, and we LIKED IT!"
- Look out for the "Tusken Raider in Star Wars" tribute every time some fires a gun more than once. Also dig those magically appearing ninja stars.
- One of the girls is so stupid, she thinks her parents were killed during world war 2, despite being maybe 25 years old. Someone's getting an F in history.
- I was going to make a joke about how the final battle looks like it takes place on a giant playground until I realized it actually WAS being fought on a giant playground!
- The final scene is sweet, when Larry and David do the patented bro handshake and gaze into each other's eyes, holding back their true feelings. You don't believe me? The whole movie's on youtube. Go watch it and see. I expect an apology.