BBB Best of 2016

Finally, we’ve made it! Ricardo Medina, special guest Michael Richards (C.E.O. of Phastraq VFX) and yours truly count down our lists of Best Hip Hop Instrumental Albums, Hip Hop EPs, Hip Hop Albums, Live-Action Movies (VFX), Animated Movies, and the Best and Worst Movies of 2016!

 

– Matthew

(Un)intentionally bad movies – Godzilla (1998)

Before I even pay my $35 to watch the No. 1 film that I’m hyped about for 2014, I decided to look back at a film that remains one of the most memorable summer blockbusters of the 1990s – for better or worse: 1998’s “Godzilla”. Directed by Roland Emmerich, and released during the heyday of late 1990s Hollywood films, “Godzilla” is the American re-imagining of the iconic Japanese film monster of the same name.  And though it made a shit-ton of money in the box office, it was critically panned (with many viewers and critics rating it as one of the worst movies of the 1990s) and dismissed by fans of the Japanese Godzilla franchise of the mid-1950s to early-1990s – and the entire country of Japan as a whole. 16 years from its release, was this film  “bad meaning bad” or “bad meaning good” like Run DMC sang in “Peter Piper” (If you don’t know that song, YouTube it. Don’t worry. I’ll wait)? Let’s find out….

 

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GODZILLA (1998) –  After the sudden attack of a Japanese shipping vessel by a colossal sea creature, Dr. Niko Tatopoulos (played by Mr. Ferris Bueller himself, Matthew Broderick) is called upon by the U.S. military (immediately after starting his research on radiated earthworms in Chernobyl) to investigate. After spending roughly 15 minutes of runtime globe-trotting (giving the film a “Meanwhile, in this part of the world” set-up similar to that of “Independence Day”….and “The Day After Tomorrow”….and “2012” – also from Roland Emmerich), the creature itself (let’s call him Godzilla – for argument’s sake) chooses New York City (labelled in the film as “THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS” – I shit you not) as his newest stomping ground. Niko’s involvement with the military catches the eyes of both a pretty TV newswoman by the name of Audrey (Maria Pitillo) – who just so happens to be Mr. Worm Man’s ex-girlfriend – and a French Secret Service agent named Phillippe Roache (Jean Reno, star of the CLASSIC 1994 action film “Leon: The Professional”). Along with a cameraman (Hank Azaria), a military leader (Kevin Dunn), an anchorman (Harry Shearer) by the name of Charles Caiman (I SHIT YOU NOT – the dude’s fucking name is Charles CAIMAN. Charles…..CAIMAN (Caiman latirostris), Mayor Ebert (more on him later), these three characters must team up (before the film’s end) and work together if they are to survive the monumental onslaught of….. GODZILLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAI’ll stop now.

 

Now I’ll confess: I did appreciate “Godzilla” when I first saw it in 1998. It was a summer movie and as such, it delivered “everything” a summer movie in the 1990s was designed to deliver. And it was from Roland freaking Emmerich, the guy who brought out the SPECTACULAR (and admittedly cheesy) alien invasion sci-fi adventure “Independence Day” – a film that I still genuinely enjoy – two years ago. But with “Godzilla”, I felt the same way I felt when I walked out from “Batman & Robin” the year before: a tad bit underwhelmed. I knew that there was something wrong with the film, but my teenaged mind was unable to figure out what it was. Until I watched it on cable a few years after and realized that this movie, to quote Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura from “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls” (ANOTHER movie that I was unaware of how much it sucked ass back in 1995)…..is RE-E-E-E-EEEEEEEEALLY not good.

 

First off, the titular character. How big exactly is Godzilla? In one scene, he leaves a gigantic footprint on a New York street, yet in another scene, he fits himself snugly inside of a SUBWAY TUNNEL!! But for some weird reason, he finds himself incapable of entering the Park Avenue tunnel (which, according to Google, is LARGER than a fucking subway tunnel) where our heroes make their escape. He has the ability to breathe fire, but he only applies that skill ONCE in the film! And why does his iconic scream sound feminine? Then again, that may be due to the fact that Godzilla’s ASEXUAL. No, ladies and gents, that’s not a spoiler alert. This is a major plot point in the film, and one of the main things that viewers – myself included – remember the MOST about this film. And yes, ladies and gents, it is one of the film’s biggest slap to the faces of everyone who calls themselves Godzilla fans. Secondly, the creature design. Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking sci-fi summer blockbuster “Jurassic Park” in 1993 presented its dinosaurs in full detail, mostly at daytime, adding to the sense of realism the film created for its audience. Godzilla is shown ENTIRELY at night time, with shadows and rainfall used in a failed attempt to hide the crude visual effects of its design. And speaking of rainfall, “Godzilla” is right up there with more superior films like “Blade Runner” and “Se7en” as movies with constant rainfall, since about (roughly) 7/10th of the film consists of rainy scenes.

 

Thirdly and fourthly, the actors and acting. The film’s talented cast do their best with the script given to them by writer Dean Devlin (who also wrote “Independence Day” and Emmerich’s Civil War epic “The Patriot”), but even they look and sound terribly awkward delivering its corny, clichéd, laughably bad and facepalm-worthy dialogue. Take these two lines from Hank Azaria, for example, when he enters into the Madison Square Garden: “He trashed the Garden. Oh, man! NOW I’m pissed!”; “WHOA! This is where the Knicks get showered and everything”. Matthew Broderick is miscast as the film’s protagonist. Now I get that the writer and director of “Godzilla” didn’t want some muscle-bound action hero going toe to toe with a mutated lizard. Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) from Spielberg’s “Jaws” (the first summer blockbuster ever made, and still one of the greatest), for example, was leagues apart in character from shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw). But even Brody managed to confront and conquer his fears of the ocean, and defeat the shark – BY HIMSELF – in the end.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, there are “Jaws” references in this movie, the most obvious one being this line of dialogue: “We need bigger guns”. Now that’s fucking clever!

 

Matthew’s character Niko is the film’s “voice of reason” and the one to root for/relate to – even if he has absolutely NO chemistry with Maria Pitillo, and even when by the film’s conclusion, you give one less fuck about him. And he does offer helpful advice to the military in understanding Godzilla. But he neither conquer his fears (whatever they are, they aren’t stated and/or justified in the narrative) nor perform any heroic act in regards to defeating the creature. When he’s not running away from Godzilla, he stands, weirdly, in awe, as if seeing a big-ass lizard run through the streets of New York more than five times isn’t enough. And speaking of awe, there are a number of ludicrous moments where characters stand still – as opposed to RUNNING – as Godzilla lumbers towards them . Clearly they haven’t seen that much Giant Monster Movies during their childhood, or they would’ve remembered the golden rule: When you see a giant creature doing damage around you or running towards you, RUN LIKE A BITCH!!! But back to actors. Two years prior, Will Smith (who proved he had the chops to star in an action film with Michael Bay’s “Bad Boys” in 1995) rose to worldwide stardom with his charismatic, relatable and alien ass-kicking lead performance in “Independence Day”. And Jeff Goldblum (who also starred in “Jurassic Park”) played the scientist who used his intellect to help Will Smith’s Air Force character defeat the aliens. Now Jean Reno’s military-trained character of Phillippe Roache is way more badass and takes more initiative than Niko. Unfortunately, he’s more prominent in the third act than in the first and second, his character is uninteresting and undeveloped, and he’s French. So why didn’t Emmerich cast Jean Reno (who proved that he can do action films with “The Professional”) as the lead and Matthew Broderick as the co-star, you ask? Because ladies and gents, this is an AMERICAN remake of a Japanese film! Why the hell would you cast a French actor as the lead in an American remake of a Japanese film?! That’s just DUMB!!! Hopefully, you get my point.

 

And now for Mayor Ebert – played by Michael Lerner (star of such films like “Elf”, “Mirror Mirror” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past”).  Emmerich, I guess, probably figured that the perfect way to get back at iconic film critic Roger Ebert (RIP) for ripping the shit out of his 1994 sci-fi flick “Stargate” in his equally legendary movie review, would be to have an actor play a farcical version of him (right down to the white hair) – in this case, an incompetent Mayor. There’s even an advisor to Mayor Ebert named Gene (Lorry Goldman). I’ll give you a hundred dollars if you can figure out the relation between Ebert and Gene. In his review of “Godzilla”, Ebert felt that he was let off lightly, as he “fully expected to be squished like a bug by Godzilla”. Now that’s saying something.

 

Regardless of its ginormous flaws in acting, visual effects and title character, “Godzilla” still delivers moments of silly summer movie spectacle that one expects from a Roland Emmerich film. The musical score by David Arnold and Michael Lloyd is banal and bombastic (in one moment, it even rips off the late film composer Bernard Herrmann’s terrifying score from “Cape Fear” (1962), but it fits well with the film’s “end of the world”-like tone. There are some decent-looking action sequences that will either thrill audiences or make them laugh their asses off, like when the military uses Army helicopters to overpower Godzilla, only to demolish a slew of buildings – like the fucking CHRYSLER BUILDING, believe it or not – in their wake. And the story, while overlong and peppered with non-Godzilla, pseudo-dramatic moments which could’ve been sent to the Recycle Bin of a Windows 98 PC during editing instead of being left in the film’s 138 minute running time, is still entertaining and far from boring.

 

Overall, Roland Emmerich’s “Godzilla” fits within the category of So-Bad-it’s-Good Movies, along with Movies with Constant Rainfall like I mentioned earlier.  It is highly disappointing by “Gojira” standards, but it still makes for dumb summer movie fun – especially if you’re inebriated. “Godzilla” serves as a prime example of 1990s Hollywood glitz and grandeur, where films got bigger in scope and scale, and filmgoers’ brain cells diminished summer after summer with every loud, explosive, visual-effects laden blockbuster movie thrown at them. It’s also an example of how popular musical artistes (at that time) were exploited…oops, I meant persuaded to use their music to draw audiences into watching a crappy film. Like the song “Come with Me” from Diddy formerly known as Puff Daddy formerly known as P-Diddy. Check out the video below – and feel those brain cells getting smaller and smaller, while Godzilla gets physically bigger and bigger. Gotta love the 90s!

 

 

MY RATING: 1 1/2 out of 5 stars (“That shit cray!”)

 

– Matthew

 

Double Feature – “The Conjuring” (2013) & “Sharknado” (2013)

Now before you start singing the “One of these things is not like the other….” song from Sesame Street after observing the line-up for today’s review, let me explain. I had intended on writing on “Sharknado” earlier (matter of fact, I saw it two weeks ago, and had planned to review it with  “Pacific Rim” and “Atlantic Rim”), but life got in the way – as it always does.  After reshuffling my schedule, I made the decision to include “Sharknado” into today’s write-up alongside the new haunted house horror flick “The Conjuring”. So before I express my innermost thoughts on “Sharknado” before my brain explodes, let me forego the traditional explanatory introduction and get right to the action.

 


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“THE CONJURING” – New year, new haunted house/demonic possession/exorcism movie based on a true story. Ah, Hollywood. You never cease to amaze me. Okay, that was a really shitty way of starting this review. But seriously though, EVERY YEAR, there’s ALWAYS a horror movie about a haunted house or a demonic possession or an exorcism. Usually, it’s based on a true story, or inspired by true events.  And believe me, it’s something about the phrases “based on a true story” or “inspired by true events” that scares the bejesus out of the casual moviegoer. “The Conjuring” is the latest offering in the “true story” sub-genre of horror films and it’s directed by James Wan – the guy responsible for the twisted brilliance that was “Saw” (2004), the aight “Insidious” (2011), the hopefully good “Insidious: Chapter 2” coming out this September, and the it-better-be-great-or-else-I’ll-burn-the-fucking-theater-down “Fast and Furious 7” slated for release next summer.  The story, set in 1971 Rhode Island, centers on Edward and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson from “Watchmen” and Vera Farmiga from “The Departed”), husband-and-wife paranormal investigators  who probe the disturbing events occurring in the farmhouse of Carolyn and Roger Perron (Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) and their five daughters.

 

Now I’m rather hesitant when it comes to watching horror movies in the theater. No, I’m not the type to scream orders at the on-screen characters (“RUN, BITCH, RUN!!!”, “HE GON’ KILL YOU!!!”, “WHY THE FUCK DID YOU OPEN THAT DOOR?!!”) or throw my popcorn in the air after each and every jump scare. Personally, there’s not that many horror movies nowadays that are worth paying full admission price to see.  But truth be told, “The Conjuring” is a rare exception.  First of all, the movie was rated R by the MPAA for sequences of disturbing violence and terror. Not gratuitous nudity, not sexual content, not even graphic violence. Disturbing violence and terror.  In other words, it’s rated R for being SCARY!  That itself sets the movie apart from the number of recycled, rehashed-formula horror flicks that come out yearly.  “The Conjuring” relies on old-school scare tactics, as opposed to generic scenes of blood, guts and dismemberment (no, I’m not referring to this year’s remake of  “Evil Dead”), to freak out its viewer.  Fortunately, these tactics are clever and effective in jolting the viewer and aren’t reduced to cheap jump scares like those in your typical horror flick (“There’s something behind you!” *CUE JUMP SCARE MUSIC* Oh, it’s just my cat Pussy!” – You know, typical shit like that).  I found myself highly impressed by the film’s old-school, circa-1970s look and feel, from the cinematography handled by John R. Leonetti and modeled by James Wan after 1970s horror films to the yellow-coloured scrolling text of the film’s opening disclaimer and title. The performances are strong, especially from its leads Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. The script by Chad and Carey Hayes (who also penned the lame-ass 2005 “House of Wax” remake, which is ONLY memorable for Paris Hilton’s EXCELLENT death scene. Seriously. I can’t remember ANYTHING else from that fucking movie) is well-written and evenly-paced. The sound design and musical score also deserves credit. My main gripe, however, with “The Conjuring” was that (spoiler alert…..sorta) some the scares in the first half of the film were already shown in the film’s trailer. So when I saw them again on the big screen, I couldn’t help but wish I hadn’t seen them earlier, or had them revealed to me initially. But despite that, I truly enjoyed “The Conjuring”. It’s a smart, entertaining and creepy-as-hell haunted house/demonic possession/exorcism movie based on a true story that’s living proof that old-school scares are still effective in this day and age. And believe me, after you see this movie, it will resonate with you long after you leave the theater. True story.

 

And now the moment the two of you were waiting for……or at least I’d like to imagine you did.

 

 

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“SHARKNADO” –  In the year 2013, there has been quite a number of moments that changed the way we look at television: the shocking climax of the “Rains of Castamere” episode in Season 3 of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, the death of a few key characters in AMC’s zombie survival series “The Walking Dead”, the revelation at the season finale of ABC’s “Scandal” that I heard about, but never saw since I haven’t even started watching “Scandal” yet. Yes, I know, SHAME ON ME!  Anyoo, there is one other moment that deserves to be listed in terms of the most memorable TV this year…..at least to me, that is: the climax of SyFy’s latest foray into intentionally bad cinema “Sharknado”. I won’t get into full detail about this scene, but I will say it involves a gigantic shark, an older Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering) from “Beverly Hills 902010” (REMEMBER THAT SHIT?!!) and a chainsaw. Even if you haven’t seen “Sharknado” in its epic splendour, you may be familiar with this scene – whether you saw a clip of it on TV, or saw a GIF of it online. But following the showdown between the chainsaw-wielding Ian and the gigantic shark, is a certain Jonah-from-the-Bible-inspired moment that made me lose my fucking mind!  That moment defied everything at that point: logic, gravity and common sense!  When I saw it, I instantly threw my hands up, left the room where I was watching the movie and LMAO’d over what I just saw! It was truly the FUNNIEST, INSANEST, most jaw-dropping, oh-no-they-didn’t, are-you-fucking-kidding-me, how-high-were-these-people-when-they-made-this-shit moment I have ever seen on television.  If HBO has its infamous “Red Wedding” sequence from “GoT” to be proud of this year, the SyFy channel has that moment from “Sharknado”! I shit you not!

 

About the movie? Well, it’s produced by The Asylum (SIDE NOTE: in my previous reviews, I mistakingly assumed The Asylum as a VFX company. In fact, it’s a film studio and distributor. So for providing that wrong information, I humbly apologize). It stars Ian Ziering as Finley “Fin” (Yeah, I know. Funny, right?) Shepherd, an ex-surfing champion turned L.A. beach bar owner who parted ways with his wife April (Tara Reid), daughter Claudia (Audrey Peeples) and son Matt (Chuck Hittinger) thanks to a divorce.  Fin hangs out with his attractive employee Nova (Cassie Scerbo), his best friend Baz (Jaason Simmons who played Logan Fowler on “Baywatch” – REMEMBER THAT SHIT?!!), and an old drunk named George (John Heard). One day, off the coast of Mexico, a tornado swallows up a school (I believe that’s the correct term. I could be wrong) of sharks. In L.A., the threat of Hurricane David (the first of its kind to hit California) looms over our fearless foursome.  When the hurricane does hit, flooding occurs in various parts of Los Angeles. Fin, with the help of Nova, Baz and George, sets out to rescue his family from harm. Soon enough, FIn reunites with his family, and together they ward off sharks of different varieties while seeking shelter. As you may have guessed, the sharknado (of course, I’m referring to the weather phenomenon. For other uses, see Sharknado (disambiguation)) reaches within seeing distance of our heroes, and now they have one shot to stop it (i.e. the tornado) /them (i.e. the sharks) from destroying Los Angeles and biting/swallowing/providing a healthy source of seafood for its denizens respectively. How will they accomplish this, you ask? Ask Matt, Fin’s son: “Instead of waiting for live sharks to rain at us, we’re getting into (that) chopper and throwing bombs into the tornado, blasting those bastards to bits!”.  Thanks, Mr. Exposition.  Dumb ass.

 

“Sharknado” has EVERYTHING you expect from a SyFy Original Movie: shitty script, shittier visual effects, one-dimensional characters, unintentionally bad dialogue and of course, gigantic animals that kill for no reason other than the fact that it’s a “horror film” and they’re supposed to be killing machines.  But what makes this film special is the absolute ABSURDITY of its premise alone. SHARK-NADO?! A TORNADO with SHARKS inside it? Fucking absurd, I know! Then again, if a house can find itself in the wonderful land of Oz thanks to a tornado, then I guess SHARKS can find themselves suspended in mid-air in the middle of Los Angeles. Sigh. Only on the SyFy Channel.  But despite its slap-you-upside-your-head=for-saying-it-with-a-straight-face premise, “Sharknado” is, shockingly enough,  a VERY ENTERTAINING TV movie.  And honestly, when’s the last time you saw one of those? The movie is fast-paced, the laughs are both intentional and unintentional (which is very surprising for a SyFy Original Movie), and the ridiculousness is non-stop. Even the editing is laughable. In an early beach scene, bright exterior shots are inter-cut with darker ones. There are numerous cutaways of gushing water – clearly done to cover up the film’s already-tiny budget ($1,000,000 according to IMDb). The acting is bad (especially from Tara Reid who still can’t act for shit) – and the dialogue spoken by these actors is even worse. But the dialogue is so funny and so WTF, that you won’t care about bad acting. Here’s two examples. In one scene, Fin is driving through flood water with Nova, Baz and George. Nova notices a shark in the water. “That’s a tiger shark”, she says. Fin asks “How do you know that?”. Nova responds “Shark Week”.  I was literally in stitches when I heard that line. Seriously!  In a later scene, Nova tells this gut-wrenching……….ly story to Matt about how her grandfather died at the hands….oops, I mean teeth….of a shark. “They took my grandfather. That’s why I really hate sharks”. Mr. Exposition, seeking a response to console the poor girl, says: “Now I really hate sharks too.”. Funniest…..response……EVER!!

 

And what’s a review on “Sharknado” without the sharks themselves? The only thing realistic about the sharks is the footage shown during one scene where a shark finds itself in the pool of a retirement home.  These sharks find themselves capable of breath, even when they’re suspended in mid-air in a fucking tornado, they drop out of the sky at will, they use flood water to smash their way through windows and devour human beings and die easily by handgun bullets and shotgun blasts provided by Nova who’s amazingly skilled in using a shotgun (though it’s never explained how).  One issue I had with this movie was the lack of non-Caucasian characters. There was a female Chinese surfer who calls Ian Ziering’s character “grandpa” in an early scene in the movie. And there was a black man in one of the retirement home scenes in the final act, but unfortunately he’s placed far in the back, and shot out-of-focus that you’d easily miss him. Apart from those two individuals, the rest of the cast is primarily white. Even J.J. Evans from “Good Times” had some screen time in the 2011 SyFy Original Movie “Super Shark”. J.J. fucking Evans! Kid Dynomite! Anyhoo….

 

“Sharknado” is, by far, one of the best worst movies I’ve seen all year.  Who knows? After a couple more viewings, it may find itself in my upcoming “Top 10 Best Movies of 2013” list. Ah, who I am kidding? It’ll easier find itself in my “Top 10 Worst Films of 2013” than anything else. Then again, I’ve been meaning to add a “guilty pleasure” segment to my best and worst movies lists – so maybe (I’m not guaranteeing anything) “Sharknado” will be my guilty pleasure movie of 2013. If I could rate “Piranha 3D” (not to be confused with “Piranha 3DD” – i.e. the worst movie of 2012) as my guilty pleasure movie of 2010, then why not “Sharknado”? Time will tell.  This movie truly changed the way I looked at television, and it changed the way I looked at sharks. And tornadoes for that matter. It’s far from scary, far from intelligent and far from boring. Unless you genuinely abhor everything SyFy Channel, you should check this movie out as soon as you can.  Like Lifetime’s “Liz & Dick”, “Sharknado” is a certified so-bad-it’s-good cult TV movie. And with a sequel in the works, you’ll be hearing about “Sharknado” for a long time to come. Now if only Animal Planet can muster up some competition.

 

MY RATING:

“THE CONJURING” – 4 out of 5 stars (“See this movie”)

“SHARKNADO” –  1 1/2 out of 5 stars (“That shit cray!”)

 

– Matthew

(Un)intentionally bad movies – Ninja Terminator (1985)

When I was growing up, I always looked forward to the martial arts films that were shown every Saturday afternoon on the local television station Channel 4.  These films weren’t the CLASSIC martial arts films of the 1970s, like “Enter the Dragon”, “Drunken Master”, “Five Deadly Venoms” and “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin” among many others. They were the cheesy, low-budget, “fight scene every 5 minutes” films of the 1980s. Some were good and some were FUCKING AWFUL! But I didn’t care at that time in my life. I was young, and seeing guys jump and flip into the air, and kicking their opponents in slow motion was the SHIT! Those cheesy kung fu films can either be viewed online (YouTube has a lot of those old-school kung fu movies, just in case you were wondering) or bought from your friendly neighbourhood bootleg DVD provider.

A popular type of kung fu film that was shown on Channel 4 was the “ninja movie”.  This sub-genre of kung fu films were widely popular in the 1980s. This genre died when “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, “Power Rangers” and “3 Ninjas” (remember that shit?!) made the term “ninja” accessible for kids. This is clearly evident today with the popularity of the Japanese manga/anime “Naruto”. Hollywood tried to resurrect the ninja sub-genre with 2009’s “Ninja Assassin” with mixed results.

Which brings me to “Ninja Terminator”, a classic (for all the wrong reasons) ninja film directed by Godfrey Ho. Mind you, he’s no Steven Spielberg when it comes to his movies, but he is, and should be known, for his “cut-and-paste” technique. In a nutshell, he spliced pieces of other martial arts films into ONE movie in a ridiculous attempt to make a longer, more cohesive narrative. The end results of his experiments yielded some of the most unintentionally hilarious films ever made – according to Wikipedia….and YouTube. The names of these films (“Ninja Thunderbolt”, “Rage of a Ninja”, “The Ninja Squad” etc. etc.) aided in their hilarity. You can find the trailers for these films on YouTube – and trust me, they’re fucking ridiculous!

I stumbled upon “Ninja Terminator” a couple years back, and watched it out of curiosity. By the end, I thought it was the funniest (in a bad way) and most absurd martial arts films I’ve ever seen. I re-discovered it on YouTube last night and thought to myself “Maybe I should watch “Ninja Terminator” again with an open mind and then write a review on it”. Obviously, I was idle. But here we are, with my review of “Ninja Terminator”.

Warning: this longer-than-usual review contains spoilers, and pictures. ‘Cause what’s the use of reading lots of words if there aren’t any pictures, right?

The film begins with a blatant rip-off of the Columbia Pictures logo (you know, the one with the Statue of Liberty) as shown above. The music played starts with a musical refrain similar to a section of the “Star Wars” theme song composed by John Williams. This is the first example of Godfrey using unauthorized music and images for his films. It doesn’t stop there. You have been warned.

And then the cheesy 80s theme song for “Ninja Terminator” begins. This music is so cheesy and so 80s that it makes me want to open out a large cardboard box and attempt to do some breakdancing. And then, we see the title of the film. Apparently, the name of the show is really “A Ninja Terminator” since there’s a big “A” sticking out from the left side of the frame.

And then, the story begins. We open to a Japanese temple, where a group of Caucasian ninjas (I SHIT YOU NOT) are partaking in a bizarre ceremony. This ceremony is part of the 20th anniversary of the ninja empire (You can take a minute to let that sink in….and laugh your ass off! I’ll wait). The Caucasian ninjas proceed to open a box, after which they take out three pieces (left and right arms, and head) of a golden statue of a warrior. It is revealed that this statue is the GOLDEN NINJA WARRIOR. I have to put it in capital letters since they STRESS on it so goddamn much! Suddenly, the “SUPREME NINJA” shows up, dressed in red with a ridiculous black cape. He does the cliched bad guy laugh, but adds a distinct “A” to it – so it sounds like “A-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”.  He does some quick, Naruto-like hand gestures in front of the GOLDEN NINJA WARRIOR. This makes his ARMS, (not his body, ladies and gentlemen…..his fucking ARMS!) invulnerable to sword attacks. The scene ends when he does another “A-HAHAHAHAHAHA” laugh.

The next day, 3 ninjas (remember that shit?!) in black steal the statue. One of the ninjas is Harry, played by the superb actor (I’m being ironic, guys) Richard Harrison. It can be assumed that Richard was stoned while acting in this film.  I mean, look at his eyes!

Anyhoo, a group of RED ninjas give chase. Of course, they are killed by the black ninjas. Cut to Hong Kong, 2 years later. A red ninja catches up with one of the black ninjas and kills him. First and foremost, why in God’s name did it take the bad guys TWO YEARS to find the guys who stole their precious statue?  This is but one of many unanswered questions in “Ninja Terminator”. Later, a  Chinese man in a blonde wig (check the pic below) named Tiger is ordered by his Caucasian boss to find the GOLDEN NINJA WARRIOR.

The Caucasian boss believes that the sister (named Machiko) and brother of the dead ninja knows where the statue is, and so Tiger sends his goons to kill them. What they do however is kick the shit out of the brother, killing him in the process. It isn’t shown what happened to Machiko, as the next scene shows Harry in his apartment. Dressed in a green camouflage ninja outfit (Naruto, eat your heart out!), Harry is seen slicing a watermelon into neatly-cut pieces. In one scene, he even helps his wife when the crabs that she is about to cook fall onto the ground. Sitting on the couch while his wife screams for help, Harry takes a kunai and throws it onto the back of one of the crabs. WOW! Talk about being a considerate husband!

In the next scene, Harry calls a Chinese guy named Jaguar (or how they pronounce it in the film: JAG-U-AR) Wong from his (infamous) Garfield telephone. Jaguar is a friend of Harry, and is asked to find Machiko before the bad guys do.

Jaguar is presented in the film as a BAD-ASS. He actually delivers the kung fu in the film, as he beats goon after goon (who always appear in groups of three or four for some reason) sent by Tiger. Actually, everywhere Jaguar goes, someone is trying to kill him or kick his ass! In one memorable scene, he asks three guys (who are shown throwing and catching a baseball) for directions to the restaurant in which Machiko works at. All the guys had to do was simply tell Jaguar where the restaurant is. Instead, they pick a fight with him.  After he kicks the shit out of the 3 guys, he asks again for directions. One guy lying on his stomach replies in pain: “It’s over there…..”. The restaurant was just across the street. You gotta be fucking kidding me!

Anyhoo, Jaguar finally meets Machiko and offers to help her. He also follows another woman in the slowest high-speed car chase in an action movie I’ve ever seen! The woman is named Lily, who is Jaguar’s ex-girlfriend. They talk some shit about the past and then suddenly, Jaguar, being the bad-ass that he is, kisses Lily. Of course, you know what that means! OH YEAH! A TV-PG sex scene! After the sex, Lily reveals that her new boyfriend is a goon named Victor, who just so happens to be working for Tiger. PLOT TWIST!

Meanwhile, Harry has problems of his own. The ninja empire is pissed about the GOLDEN NINJA WARRIOR fiasco and wants his head (cue the “Imperial March” song from ‘The Empire Strikes Back”). In one scene, the empire sends a toy robot (you know those cheap, battery-operated toy robots that were made in China? Yeah, something like that!) to send a recorded message. Harry has 3 days to return the statue or else. I’m assuming that this toy robot is perhaps the “NINJA TERMINATOR” in the film’s title. I could be wrong, since there’s no fucking point to the title anyway!

Now back to Jaguar’s movie….. I mean, story. Machiko is in the restaurant celebrating her birthday. Suddenly, there’s  a power outage. The lights come back on, and Machiko disappears…. UNDERTAKER STYLE! She was actually kidnapped by Tiger’s goons, where they proceed to torture  her for info about the missing statue. Jaguar winds up in a trap set up by Lily (that BITCH!) and he is caught by Tiger’s goons also. Lily is shown in the next scene being proposed by Victor, who promises that he will quit the goon lifestyle and start a family. We all know that’s an excuse for Victor to get some nookie, which he does get…. in another TV-PG sex scene, complete with unauthorized Pink Floyd music (don’t ask).

Through sheer luck, Jaguar manages to escape his captors, and returns to ass-kicking mode. The goons then tape Machiko’s torture and send the cassette to Harry via the toy robot. Harry and his wife sit down on the couch and watch the poorly-shot video. Harry calls Jaguar and tells him to KINDAP LILY in retaliation to Machiko’s torture. Harry’s wife is probably thinking: “This is what I get for leaving my ex for a fucking ninja!”.

Jaguar does as ordered. He finds Lily and tells her that he has to kidnap her in order to save Machiko. Lily willingly agrees to help Jaguar, and fuck up Victor in the process (that BITCH!). Jaguar calls Victor and tells him that he kidnapped Lily. Machiko is revealed to be tied up in Tiger’s place, with a timebomb strapped to her. Victor, who has the remote, meets Jaguar and gets his ass kicked. Jaguar takes the remote, drives back to Tiger’s place and saves Machiko. And this would be the last time we see Machiko for the rest of the film. What happened to her at that point? I don’t know, and I don’t fucking care!

Jaguar goes back and confronts Tiger, at last!! A lengthy fight scene occurs between the two, and Jaguar emerges as the winner. WOO-HOO! We now return to Harry, who confronts a red ninja who has the headpiece of the GOLDEN NINJA WARRIOR. A fight scene occurs between the two, and Harry emerges as the winner. WOO-HOO! The red ninja, who is amazingly still alive, admits defeat and claims that he can never return to the ninja empire. Harry takes all pieces of the GOLDEN NINJA WARRIOR and slowly walks away. Suddenly, the red ninja does a Naruto-style hand gesture and BLOWS UP! Seriously! He…fucking…..BLOWS…..UP! Look at the pic, goddammit!

Harry unwisely breaks the rule of “walking away from an explosion”. You’re not supposed to look back when the explosion takes place. But this is what Harry does, and then, after 82 minutes of waiting, we finally see the credit “THE END”.

LAST WORDS: There are movies that are so bad, they’re good and then there are movies that are so bad, they’re bad. And then there’s “Ninja Terminator”. This shit defies gravity, logic and common sense.  It’s also really fucking hilarious, depending on your sense of humour. Apart from the okayish fight scenes, everything else in this film falls flat. The story, or should I say stories of Harry and Jaguar, are poorly written and ACTED. The dialogue is laughable and the dubbing is generic and pathetic. Questions are still left unanswered in the film: for example, what happened to the Supreme “A-HAHAHAHAHAHA” Ninja? Whatever happened to Machiko? And where can I get one of those Garfield telephones? I may never know. “Ninja Terminator” has to be seen to be believed. Fortunately, this masterpiece is still on YouTube, so if you’re still curious, I suggest you watch this shit! However, I suggest that you have a bottle of alcohol nearby while watching this film. You’ll either get drunk enough to watch the entire film, or knock yourself out with the bottle instead of watching the rest of it. I could have talked about other films that’ll be talked about for the next few weeks like “The Descendants”, “The Artist” or “Hugo”. But I just HAD to talk about this shit. Besides, how are we to know what makes a good film if we don’t know what makes a bad film? Think about it.

By the way, here’s the trailer for “Ninja Terminator”. If this doesn’t motivate you to watch this timeless classic, I don’t know what will  😀

– Matthew