American Ninja Movies Explained in These Fists Break Bricks Excerpt

Are you a fan of martial arts movies and need to know extra about them? Then you definately owe it to your self to learn Mondo Books’ upcoming These Fists Break Bricks: How Kung Fu Motion pictures Swept America and Modified the World. Written by Grady Hendrix (Paperbacks from Hell) and movie historian Chris Poggiali, with a foreword from kung-fu cinema remixer and mastermind RZA, the guide conveys the outrageous cultural shifts that led to such an appreciation (and appropriation) of martial arts cinema in America, with completely stunning and zippily accessible prose.

Collider has an unique excerpt from the guide all in regards to the sense of “Ninja Fever” that had American popular culture in its grasp within the mid-Nineteen Eighties, resulting in the buck wild, Cannon Movies exploitation franchise American Ninja. Try the guide passage under, and in the event you’re loving what you learn, make sure you try the complete These Fists Break Bricks guide when it is launched on December 7, 2021.

A poster for Enter the Ninja

Picture through Mondo

RELATED: Kung Fu and Wuxia Motion pictures to Watch if You Love ‘Shang-Chi’

“What is that this? Ninjas? Drug pushers? My males being kidnapped and murdered? That is actually starting to get on my tits!”

— American Ninja 2: The Confrontation

In 1985, America reached peak ninja. Ninjas conquered comedian books: Storm Shadow shredded spinner racks in G.I. Joe, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shot out of the sewers and straight into stardom. The ever-present Japanese-American actor Mako, a frequent face on M*A*S*H* and McHale’s Navy, performed a ninja on an episode of Magnum P.I. (“The Arrow That Is Not Aimed”), The Best American Hero (“30 Seconds Over Little Tokyo”), and in a TV pilot that aired on ABC (The Final Ninja).


Remco launched ninja motion figures each small (their “Ninja Strike Drive” line) and huge (the “Secret of the Ninja” line, which generously included not simply ninjas, however Shaolin monks, judo kings, commandos, karate black belts, taekwondo warriors, and Thai kick boxers). Dungeons and Dragons added ninjas as a personality class, Kawasaki’s new Ninja 900 and Ninja 600 bikes outsold all their different bikes. Parfums de Couer racked up $20 million with their Ninja beauty line which included fragrance, physique spray, and lotion. The corporate’s president stated of the ninja title, “It’s brief, pronounceable and Oriental…Most People don’t actually know what the phrase means.”

He was flawed. Everybody knew it meant cash.

An ad for Way of the Ninja

Picture through Mondo

One Halloween, a New Jersey costume store offered 250 ninja costumes and claimed they may have offered 2,500 extra. Fixed calls pressured them to document a terse message on their cellphone, “We’re out of Ninja costumes.” When a shock order of ninja costumes arrived two days earlier than October thirty first they offered all 40 of them in below three hours. In Tampa, Grasp Jhoon Rhee opened his newest taekwondo faculty with an advert selling a two-for-one low cost and “Halloween NINJA costumes ON SALE!”

At $39.95 with a further $6.95 for the hood ($10 further to return in camouflage), ninja costumes grew to become the reasonably priced badass vogue selection for malefactors all over the place. The felony ninjapocalypse started in 1984 when two youngsters wearing ninja fits and armed with samurai swords invaded the house of Laverne & Shirley actress Penny Marshall, holding her hostage and stealing a number of hundred {dollars}. Regardless of claiming they have been simply “out to have enjoyable” they obtained 3 years in juvie.

Over the following few years, individuals dressed as ninjas stole Halloween sweet from youngsters, slashed bike seats on vandalism sprees, knocked over gasoline stations, blew blowdarts into the doorways of Chinese language eating places, robbed nightclubs, took hostages, and dedicated homicide. Disgruntled former staff, ex-boyfriends, and typically complete strangers confirmed up on faculty campuses, in again yards, and in homes carrying swords, uzis, and crossbows. A few of these pretend ninjas racked up actual physique counts, like serial killer Charles Ng who murdered over 11 ladies whereas engaged in an elaborate fantasy that he was a ninja warrior.

“It’s attending to be a problem within the streets…most everyone tries to place it below the rug, but it surely’s an ongoing downside,” one karate teacher in Buffalo stated. Cops set stakeouts for marauding gangs of neighborhood ninjas. A delegate to the Maryland Basic Meeting, Nancy Murphy, cosponsored a invoice to make throwing stars lethal weapons, saying she needed to struggle the “kung fu epidemic.”


Picture through Cannon

Cannon Movies craved a bit of the motion, however they’d misplaced their in-house ninja, Sho Kosugi, to his personal success in motion pictures like Revenge of the Ninja and Ninja III: The Domination. Nonetheless, they’d a terrific title, American Ninja, and they also presold it as the newest from the workforce behind their hit movie, Lacking in Motion: star Chuck Norris, director Joseph Zito, and author James Bruner. It didn’t matter that none of them needed to make a ninja film. Norris had lately learn an article in Reader’s Digest about terrorists in America so Bruner wrote him a ninja-free script about terrorists on American soil. Their concession to Cannon was Chuck’s codename: American Ninja. Golan realized this was a waste of an excellent title so he despatched the MIA crew to make Invasion U.S.A. and bought Sam Firstenberg to direct American Ninja primarily based on an uncredited rewrite by Bruner. Mannequin-turned-actor, Michael Dudikoff took over the Chuck Norris function and Mike Stone choreographed the motion of what grew to become one of many biggest bar mitzvah movies ever made.

Meet Joe Armstrong (Dudikoff), an American soldier with amnesia. When his convoy is attacked by attractive ninjas who need to kidnap the colonel’s daughter for sexual activity, he instinctively defeats them utilizing his beforehand unknown ninja abilities. Handled with suspicion due to the ninja rituals he clings to that remind him of his misplaced previous, it’s not till an aged ninja teaches Dudikoff the good traditions of his individuals (ninjas) that he’s in a position to embrace his heritage and change into a person. A ninja man who beats orange, crimson, blue, and yellow ninjas sporting wrist lasers. This celebration of manhood climaxes when, as a substitute of studying the Torah, he jumps out of an exploding helicopter. Mazel Tov!

American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987) reunites Stone and Firstenberg with co-stars Dudikoff and the inimitable Steve James, as two Military rangers/ninjas investigating a sequence of lacking marines on an island so anti- American that troopers should put on jams and muscle shirts as a substitute of their uniforms so that they don’t antagonize the locals and in addition to save cash on costumes. Ultimately it’s revealed that the Marines are being kidnapped and was genetically engineered ninja warriors to guard highly effective drug sellers.


Picture through Paramount Tv

There can be three extra American Ninja motion pictures launched in 1988, 1989, and 1993, every of declining high quality and every that includes declining portions of Steve James and Michael Dudikoff, however regardless of ending with a whimper and never a bang, the American Ninja motion pictures are the one Cannon motion pictures with licensed merchandise like motion figures, suction cup throwing stars, and plastic ninja swords.

Cannon’s ninja growth taught audiences that ninjas are available in each shade of the rainbow, they’re snug killing us with lasers and flamethrowers in addition to with their naked palms, and they’re very, very profitable. Pity poor Eric Van Lustbader whose hit guide, The Ninja, launched the wave however whose status movement image adaptation died in improvement hell, whereas Golan and Globus made financial institution not simply on the field workplace but in addition on residence video the place Ninja III: The Domination and American Ninja offered at the least 70,000 items apiece. Ninjas moved the needle when it got here to residence video.

“The joke is you place ‘ninja’ within the title and you may promote a pair thousand further copies,” the vp of Grasp Arts Video, Rod Hurley, stated in an interview.

These Fists Break Bricks is obtainable December 7, 2021. Pre-order from Mondo right here.

Olivia Liang on the New Model of ‘Kung Fu’ and the Unhealthy-Ass Combat Scenes

She additionally talks about what she discovered from her time on ‘Legacies’.

Learn Subsequent

About The Writer

Related Articles

Back to top button