Early-Morning Prime: American Ninja

Just when I was starting to suffer another case of writer’s block, Amazon Prime rides to the rescue.

Thanks to my Jacked Russell Miles waking me up (about three hours before I would have LIKED to wake up), I had a couple of Diet Mountain Dews and pulled up Amazon Prime.

And what do you suppose was there to greet me?

One of the all-time greatest it’s-so-bad-it’s-good movies: AMERICAN NINJA!!!

Basic plot: amnesiac soldier/martial arts expert Michael Dudikoff (who looks more like Kevin Turkey Bacon) vs. “Black Star” ninjas and black-market dealers (nothing says “villainous” quite like having the word “black” in your organization’s name).

Oh my sweet Lord, this movie is bad. We’re talking truck-crashing-into-a-tree-that-looks-like-its-made-out-of-paper-mache-and-blowing-up-on-impact bad.

But awesome, as in bad-guy-unloads-an-uzi-at-a-stopped-car-and-only-manages-to-hit-the-back-wheel awesome.

American Ninja has all the hallmarks of a bad action movie: a throwaway female love interest, cheesy special effects, suitcases of Monopoly money, ridiculous weapons, villains dressed in black trying to sneak around in broad daylight, and a body count that rivals anything Stallone was ever in.

What else would you expect from a 1980s Cannon Group film, the same folks who were responsible for such profound, illuminating works as Missing in Action and Invasion USA?

In all honesty, if it wasn’t for Miles waking me up, I may have never known that American Ninja was available for viewing. So I owe my Jacked Russell a few extra treats.

Now when I’m sleepwalking through work today, I can think about that scene where a bad guy gets shot, but rather than just falling down he clearly throws one leg over the railing before jumping.

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