There are some things in life that go perfectly together; things like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, and to a lesser extent, zombies and pirates. But far too often people overlook possibly the most perfect match ever conceived: ninjas and surfing. Amazingly enough, no one had thought to capitalize on this marketing goldmine until 1993, when the film Surf Ninjas hit the theaters. The movie starts by introducing you to two surf-loving (Asian) brothers, Johnny and Adam. They lead a pretty normal life, at least by nineties movie script standards; getting into mischief at school, dodging chores at home, and getting to the ocean as often as possible. However, this all changes when they discover that they are really the lost princes of an island kingdom off the coast of China. As it turns out, being princes of this island also grants the brothers magical powers. Johnny is given superhuman martial arts skills, while Adam gains divination abilities, by means of his trusty SEGA Game Gear. Now it is up to these two brothers to take back their homeland from a maniacal, over the top ruler.
I first saw this movie on video during my "ninja phase." I mean, I don't think that anyone ever really outgrows said phase, rather, I saw this movie as I was developing into this phase. Encouraged and primed by the likes of 3 Ninjas and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (both the cartoon series and the live action movies), I couldn't help but see this movie. At the time I was enthralled by the surfer jargon and crazy go nuts martial arts, not to mention the inclusion of a Game Gear. In fact, it was this movie that inspired me to get a Game Gear. This movie wasn't all fun and games though, it had some edge to it. At one point in the movie, Adam used the word "bitchin’." I thought I was some kind of rebel for watching a movie with language like that at age nine. The defining moment of this movie, for me though, was either when Adam played "hot or cold" with his Game Gear, or when the tribe of islanders got on their handcrafted surfboards for the first time, and expertly maneuvered them without any prior knowledge of the sport. The scenery is not something to overlook though, as most of the filming was done in Hawaii and Thailand, and is absolutely gorgeous. So, if you like ninjas, surfing, and/or good old nineties action/comedy, then this is just the movie for you.
If this movie alone cannot quench your thirst for surfing ninja action, then you can pick up the Surf Ninja video game for the SEGA Genesis, or the Game Gear (thanks Servo5678). That is if you can find your Genesis...
Lt. Spence: Brothers don't surf.
Johnny: Adam, you're driving?
Adam: Ain't it bitchin'?*
*This is the rebellious kind of language I was talking about
Johnny: How did you get out of the hand cuffs?
Lt. Spence: I had a key.
Johnny: But we searched you.
Lt. Spence: I swallowed it last Tuesday.
Adam: How'd you know you'd need it today?
Lt. Spence: I swallow it every Tuesday.
Ernie Reyes Sr. - Zatch
Ernie Reyes Jr. - Johnny
Nicolas Cowan - Adam
Leslie Nielsen - Colonel Chi
John Karlen - Mac
Rob Schneider - Iggy
Oliver Mills - Moto Surfer
Jonathan Schmock - School Cop
Neal Israel - Mr. Dunbar
The early years of my ninja phase