Surf Ninjas: the name says it all, really. Well, actually it doesn't. See, the ninjas don't surf - it's the princes that do that. And their army. Well, militia, really. Anyways. The point is, you've got ninjas, you've got surfing, you've got cyborg military dictators, and you've got Shinobi. What more can a movie need?
In 1993, Neil Israel, having already established his place as one of the top directors with such smash hits as Tunnel Vision and Americathon, released a new movie, with a bold vision of brightly colored ninjas, surfing, and mystical powers. This was Surf Ninjas.
Johnny and Adam are just your average Californian surfer dudes. Iggy is their comic relief sidekick, who enjoys wearing boxers at all times, and making omelettes. Their father, Mac runs a fast food place with 'killer shakes'. This idyll is broken when the aforementioned sketchy looking ninjas drop Mac and go aggro on the Food Hut. Zatch appears, telling them that they are the long lost princes of the kingdom of Patu San, and he is the former head of the palace guard, tasked with returning them to power. Standing in their way is the evil (seriously, this dude goes all-out, torturing villagers just for atmosphere) Colonel Chi who led a band of foreign mercenaries in taking over Patu San and now fears the return of the princes. See, it turns out there's a prophecy which says they'll come back with mystic powers - instant martial arts skills for Johnny and prescience for Adam - and whup his Cyborg butt.* After fending off another ninja attack, picking up Johnny's intended bride, and acquiring the help of Lieutenant Spence, they proceed to the island, where they rouse the natives to attack Chi's fortress. Unfortunately, it is on a heavily defended island, so they carve surfboards and surf around back. Woo. Battles ensue, plus hilarity and much stair-falling. Johnny gives the crown to the people and starts a musical group, 'The Babs'.
I didn't actually see this until high school, so I don't really have treasured childhood memories of it, but it's still one of my favorite stupid comedies. The completely ridiculous dialogue, plot, maps, costumes - in fact, everything, made it as much fun to laugh at the movie as it was to cheer on Adam's Shinobi games. Definitely not a movie to take itself seriously - as long as you don't expect an oscar-winner, it can be a lot of fun.
You've got your standard full-screen or wide-screen choice, English subtitles, scene selection, theatrical trailer, a trivia game where you try to identify movies from stills, and a horribly slow menu system.
Iggy: Boy, those uniforms really give them a chameleon-like ability to blend in with their surroundings.
Zatch (appearing suddenly): They have taken him.
Adam: Whoah, how's he do that?
Zatch: Like this: They have taken him.
Colonel Chi: Yes? Zatch! I should have known... Kill him! Kill them! Hold on for a sec, I've got call waiting. Yes? Kill them! Kill them immediately! Yes, now where were we? Kill them! Send more men to Los Angeles. Coach!
Iggy: Knives? Oh, yeah, seriously, that's something money can't buy. Knives. Once I went into a cutlery store and said, 'Here's a $100,000 can I buy a knife?' and they said, 'No! Money can't buy knives.' Which I guess explains why you never see any of them around.
And finally, you've got what every movie really needs more of - elephants stepping on Leslie Nielson.