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August 1, 2018

A Binge Too Far #1: American Ninja

Welcome to A Binge too Far, the new column that was named after my favorite A Bridge too Far (1977), and which will be presenting you each time with film-by-film reviews of classic (and some not so classic) franchises or movie series which I had neglected seeing so far. Without further ado, let’s start with American Ninja.
American Ninja (1985)

Joe (action movie legend Michael Dudikoff, in a role that was originally intended for Chuck Norris) is a soldier of many pseudonyms and an obscure past, of which he cannot remember much as at some point he had lost his memories. However, what he remembers clearly is his martial arts skills that will help him get a lot of opponent ninja butt kicked.

During an armed hold-up and attempt kidnapping of Patricia Hickock (Judie Aronson) Joe alone manages to save the girl from the hands of evil guerillas and as much evil ninjas, which only serves to generate the awe and hatred of the master ninja (Tadashi Yamashita) who now seeks for revenge.

Produced by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus now legendary Cannon Films, this is one of their most famous actioners, and although it wasn’t the one that kick-started the 1980s ninja craze, it was one of the pivotal films from that particular cinematic movement that crossed other markets as well.

Directed by renowned action film director Sam Fistenberg, this is as misogynist as were the 1980s, but you won’t be able to help it but feel charmed by the cheesy dialogues and the awesome ninja and shootout action (more than 110 people die onscreen).