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American Ninja

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:48 am
by Banjo
So they screened American Ninjas 1 and 2 at the local horror/scifi (and ninja) movie festival yesterday, with the director Sam Firstenberg there in the attendance and doing a Q&A after both movies. Naturally had to go there, cause not many things were better when I was 9 than American Ninja! It was a really cool experience, the audience was just in the right mood (beer) for the somewhat technically lacking and 80es cheesy stuff. Also, beer :)

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Firstenberg had great anecdotes from the half-assed scripting process: "at some point someone introduced science fiction elements to the script and we just went with that", to some of the stuntwork (how they went through three stuntmen for the motorcycle jump stunt in the first film, with everyone pussying out and the stunt coordinator having to do it himself) to moviemaking process - he gladly announced that he's a hack/director for hire, with no artistic ambitions "just give me a work and I will do my best at it" and about how "there needs to be 45 minutes of action in a 1.5h film, one sequence at the start, one at the middle, one at the end. and a chase!" and using that as an "apology" how the story does not always make sense because they have only so much time left after the action sequences.

Managed to have a few words with him between the screenings too, generic pleasantries but seemed like a really nice chap. My regret is that I didn't get to claim Crapopolis is a fansite of him and get an official endorsement :( Also will miss today's screening of Avenging Force because I am watching another film.... sad.

I think we are mostly of the age to have been kids in the ninja-craze (except Biggus who is geriatric and the Gov who was never a kid or excited about anything) so maybe this ramble was interesting :)

Now off to buy beer and stuff for today's movies. 6 certain and 2 optional ones on my list.

Re: American Ninja

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:56 am
by Android
Nice! I confess that though I am indeed of ninja-craze age, I'm not familiar with these films. I do remember the TV show with Lee Van Cleef, "The Master" (actually called "Ninja Master" in Latin America). Probably a piece of crap, but I liked it back then.

Anything else that's interesting in your scifi/horror festival?

Re: American Ninja

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:04 pm
by Wizard in Glass
Hell yes, I remember the ninja craze of the 80s! :D American Ninja was always cool, but Sho Kosugi was my favorite ninja back in the day (okay, he still is).

Thanks for sharing this with us. I don't ever get a chance to go to stuff like this...I'm actually still kinda miffed I couldn't get off work to go see Roy Thomas this past August at a local comic con (Sgt. Slaughter and Ron Simmons were also there, so I guess the appropriate thing to say is....DAMN!).

One of our theaters does the Fathom Events stuff where they'll show older movies/broadway stuff/ international films/sporting events on the big screen. No Q&A or guest appearances, but it was pretty cool seeing Ghost Busters and the Dark Crystal in theaters again (saw 'em both at the drive-in when I was a wee lad). And, as a testament to my dorktitude, my Valentines Day present from my lady was taking me to see the US theatrical release of Mazinger Z: Infinity back in February. They're actually doing showings of the original Superman, in commemoration of the 40th anniversary, this week. And once again, work conflicts with me getting enjoying from life.

Re: American Ninja

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:04 pm
by Android
Fun fact: Mazinger Z's was the first sticker album I ever had. The "stickers" weren't even real stickers and you had to glue them to the album!

Re: American Ninja

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 am
by Banjo
WiG wrote:No Q&A or guest appearances, but it was pretty cool seeing Ghost Busters and the Dark Crystal in theaters again (saw 'em both at the drive-in when I was a wee lad).
Cool. I live near the national film archive theater here, so I go to such screening quite often. Not always (or even usually) genre stuff, but interesting oldies/classics from all around the globe nonetheless. Really enjoy that stuff compared to the generic multiplex experience. They usually have themes for each season, like 5 of them - either based on director, genre/thematics, country or something like that. And they have special screenings few time every season, like trilogy marathons and whatnot.
Andy wrote:Anything else that's interesting in your scifi/horror festival?
Yeah. I actually ended up going to see Avenging Force too because an interesting ladyperson joined our group so I changed plans at that moment. Firstenberg had more cool stories to tell and Dudikoff beat up a transvestite and threw him into the bayou. :)

Other stuff I saw included Keep an Eye Out (a very absurd piece of froggieland comedy), Lords of Chaos (the story of some of the more silly stuff that happened around the Norwegian black metal scene when some silly gits were taking it seriously), Lifechanger (a really neat little movie, which was built around horror tropes of a body switching monsterman, but was also quite much just a subversion of "stalker love story" tropes, reminding us that no you don't get the girl that way and your "love" is not real, etc. unlike the 80es romantic comedies tell us), Vincent Price as Matthew Hopkins the Witchfinder General (which is always fucking awesome) and The Relaxer, which was an absurd little thing about a fella playing Pacman nonstop around Y2K :D

Re: American Ninja

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:52 am
by sunface
Oh wow... I need to post here.

YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

Re: American Ninja

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:41 am
by sunface
OK now that you've had a couple of days to get ready for this, here's my post.

Erm. Uhh. Hmm.

American Ninja rules!

It's been forever since I've seen it, but this post has inspired me to check it out again. I've been reading an AV Club series called "A history of Violence" which takes the "best" (very subjective) action movie of each year starting I think in 1968, and discusses why it's great and how it had an impact. It's a fascinating series as the author clearly thinks that some movies are amazing but had a negative impact on future movies, so this isn't just a love fest.

I really hate modern action movies. There are some that are great, but really it's CGI that's ruined movies. Maybe this sounds like an old guy bitchin' about kids these days, but whenever a movie with a bunch of practical effects comes out everyone fucking LOVES it. Mad Max, Mission Impossible, blah blah blah, people go crazy for it but then it's not repeated. I guess it's just a lot cheaper and easier to film actors in front of a green screen.

American Ninja laughs at your green screen.

Re: American Ninja

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:33 am
by Banjo
Sunny wrote: I've been reading an AV Club series called "A history of Violence" which takes the "best" (very subjective) action movie of each year starting I think in 1968, and discusses why it's great and how it had an impact. It's a fascinating series as the author clearly thinks that some movies are amazing but had a negative impact on future movies, so this isn't just a love fest.
Oo! Thanks for bringing this to my attenton - had not heard of it before. Seems like a great series on a quick glance! :)

Re: American Ninja

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:00 am
by sunface
The same author is now doing one on superhero movies that's also worthwhile. The history of violence series has ended I think, probably only to get one update a year.

Re: American Ninja

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:18 am
by sunface
Wow, they just updated it with Mandy.

Anyone seen this? It looks fucking weird but I've heard nothing but great stuff about it.