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JulyDiaz

Episode 157 - Surf Ninjas: LIVE!

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I think this is the best movie I've ever seen.

Well it's not the worst movie I've ever seen but did yo--

Psyche!

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With the issue of how they could have made the trees into surfboards so fast, why wasn't there a montage? It worked for another comedy where a community just happens to have the one traditional skill they can use in an unconventional way to defeat a villain menacing them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COxA9rhGddo

 

But then again, depicting the surfboard-creating process would require showing them chopping down the trees, which would be ill at odds with '90s environmentalism. Even if there was some sort of line about replanting the trees like the line about quitting smoking. Just as the Jurassic Park sequel The Lost World took its title and dinosaurs from Arthur Conan Doyle's book of the same name, but left out the part where the heroes reach the dinos by cutting down a tree:

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It was a pun. The monk's name was Baba Ram, so Johnny cleverly turned "Barbara Ann" into "Baba Ram" for his welcoming presentation.

Damn.

 

That was one of those classic dumb Zucker-style puns that I clearly missed.

 

This movie gave me ADD.

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The whole time they were doing the running gag with Leslie Nielsen scrambling to answer his phone, I was thinking "surely caller ID must have been around by the early 1990s?" I mean sure, it took time for it to be as ubiquitous as answering machine messages, but surely a super-villain would have ways of getting cutting edge tech he particularly needs. And he does have call waiting!

 

Indeed, here's a news article from a full year before Surf Ninjas came out about the early caller ID services that were already available, and which were even prompting anti-caller ID countermeasures:

http://articles.balt...-call-rejection

Then again, why doesn't he just have a cell phone? If Robin Williams in Hook can have a cell phone as part of his job as an attorney two years before Surf Ninjas, why can't someone who controls the resources of an entire country obtain one? (Insert joke about the lawyer being the larger-scale evildoer.) Or why not a pager, a technology which was in use as early as the 1950s? Also, if he communicated orders via pager codes, he would avoid saying them loud and clear in front of all the henchmen and prisoners within earshot who could potentially offer ear-witness testimony about his criminal plans.

 

Then again, Leslie Nielsen feels the need to blab to everyone about his one Achilles' heel weakness. Having it be water is kind of non-intimidating (as the Agony Booth review of Santa With Muscles sarcastically tells that movie's main villain, "My compliments on hiring a henchwoman who can be defeated by a bucket of water. Very menacing. While you’re at it, maybe you oughta call up the Wicked Witch of the West, I hear she’s looking for work.") But it works when it's

(although the witch's weakness is set up in the book version). Or with
, which is odd come to think of it. But then Dracula never ran to answer phone calls.
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About the Imperial Palace (the restaurant in the movie).

 

When the host takes the princes through the kitchen, did anyone else notice the dozen or so dishes lined up on the pass? Shouldn't there be an expeditor present to make sure that the orders get served in a timely manner? Shouldn't there be tickets to tell the cooks what the orders are? Without tickets or an expeditor, how do the waiters know which dish goes where? Maybe the Patusani cooks and waitstaff have telepathy and therefore don't need any of these traditional forms of communication to run their restaurant properly.

 

That would also explain why the cooks spent the fight hanging out back like they were just waiting out a fire drill. Otherwise, wouldn't you want to hightail it as soon as a bunch of sword-wielding ninjas invaded your restaurant? Maybe they were just cool with the prospect of being brutally murdered.

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But then again, depicting the surfboard-creating process would require showing them chopping down the trees, which would be ill at odds with '90s environmentalism. Even if there was some sort of line about replanting the trees like the line about quitting smoking.

They wouldn't have even had to do that! Homeboy straight up creates surfboard-shaped trees out of NOWHERE with his mind. So they weren't even cutting down existing trees. But even if they were, he could have just created more!

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Saw some people complain about the movie. I personally find most of the HDTGM movies unwatchable (some notable exceptions do exist: Gymkata, The Room, Death Spa, Speepaway Camp, etc.). But having watched does make the episodes more enjoyable so it's usually worth it. What I do in case of having to watch such doosies as Battlefield Earth or an epic like Stealth is play them on a faster playback speed. Sweet spot for most HDTGM movies seems to be x1.3 but for some I will happily go to x1.5, and for particularly boring sequences as fast as x2. It can chop off up to 30 minutes from a 90min movie, which is not negligible. Plus it makes some sequences funnier :)

 

About this episode in particular, I just want to say, when Paul introduced Nick, the actor who played Adam, I literally freaked out! I loved both the moment and his commentary on the experience :) Also, when Paul brought up the novel version of the film—flawless. Especially given the fact that he had the chance to do it in the beginning of the episode but he still saved it for later! Paul, kwan-tsu, dude!

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^ Heh, as chance would have had it, I had to be somewhere yesterday and had just a bit over an hour to watch the movie before I left, so I watched much of it 50% sped up. It helped that there were lots of pointless sequences where nothing much happened! I thought that there would be parts with action too fast to follow at that speed, but there were surprisingly few in a movie about surfing and ninja-ing, two usually fast-paced activities.

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What if all the HDTGM fictional vaguely Asian nations are really one nation? Like THE PHANTOM used to protect Bengala, but he didn't have a son so Raul Julia was able to take over and call it Shadaloo. Then JCVD showed up an liberated the place, but installed some kind of puppet dictator who was Johnny and Adam's dad. Except Leslie Nielsen wanted to bring things back to the Shadaloo days, which is why he has to have weird outfits.

 

I would say that the Phantom's nation was more vaguely African than vaguely Asian, but Wikipedia says that “In the 1996 film, Bengalla is located in Asia instead of Africa.” Still, it's too landlocked to be the island country of Surf Ninjas, even though (as pointed out in the HDTGM episode for The Phantom) an island would be the obvious location for the base of someone dedicated to fighting pirates!

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There's even more inappropriate sexual innuendo in the movie than discussed in the podcast! After the “pick up the pace” line, Schneider says “if she’s afraid to show it she’s… probably not very attractive.” Which is clearly implying that he was going to say "gonna blow it", which is even more suggestive in its possible meanings than "pick up the pace". Even his substitute term "attractive" is more sexually oriented than, say, "pretty". And then the little brother says “way to close the deal, Casanova”! OK, Playboy was something that would be in the culture at the time and even relevant before the Internet (it played a prominent role in the PG-13 Disney movie Adventures in Babysitting!), and a historical figure like Caligula had some name recognition from the notorious Penthouse movie, but why are up-to-the-minute '90s California youth name-dropping an 18th century Italian contemporary of

?
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Maybe some reviewers are deliberately avoiding 5 stars to avoid being features on HDTGM? (Not this one, given that it's from 2000. But there's always the possibility of precognition. Or time travel.)

 

Gotta love the lineup: "a one-eyed warrior, a beautiful fiancee, an LA cop, and an annoying friend."

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The off-hand mention of finding out about Leslie Nielsen's method acting via the IMDb message boards is kind of sad, since said message boards were shut down last month! So it must have been towards the end. For all their flaws, having a place set aside for discussions of virtually any movie no matter how obscure or dated has its uses!

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As I was watching this I couldn't help but wonder how I'd never seen it given the sheer number of shitty kids films I saw in the 90s. Then when Rob Schneider was doing the whole what-if thing it suddenly struck me that someone had recommended this to me and I'd just never seen it - so I knew someone who not only thought that Surf Ninjas was a funny film but that Rob Schneider was the funniest part of it. Fuck the 90s were bad, good riddance

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One WTF line I haven't seen discussed: the Game Gear-playing brother saying "I've played this level before." On its own, that would be at odds with the game only showing stuff immediately before it happens. But just a few shots earlier, a close-up of the game screen clearly shows that it just arrived at level 2. So everything before then would have been level 1. Especially since the level 2 opening screen says that it takes place at the restaurant which they just arrived at.

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There's also the crystal-clear voice in the Game Gear of the princess saying "help!" Digitized speech clips in video games existed as early as

, but were uncommon. Early synthesized voices were low-quality due to the crude state of the tech (as with the announcer's voice in
of Bloodsport fame) and even as that improved, they had to be low-quality to fit in limited storage space. The sound clip saying "SE-GA!" at the beginning of the first Sonic the Hedgehog game was 1/8 of the entire size of the game! Voices in 1990s portable games particularly
, even more so than on
(both of which were less powerful than 1980s arcade machines).

 

Does the actual Surf Ninjas game have voices, and if so, of what quality?

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Is it me or is there an absurd amount of fight scenes that occur in a restaurant in this movie? While I'm not exactly sure of the precise ratio of "in a restaurant" versus "not in a restaurant" fight sequences, I do know that they definitely fight in a restaurant twice in this movie--which might not sound like a whole lot, but for a 90 odd minute movie, I'd say that's kind of excessive. It's even more ridiculous when you consider that--in a movie called Surf Ninjas--the amount of "in a restaurant" fight scenes are equal to the total amount of surfing scenes found in the entire movie.

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Hey video store owners: get the hot new PG RATED movie by "the director of Bachelor Party" starring "Saturday Night Live's hilarious copy room guy Rob Schneider" ("and his two friends") and "Wild Thing Tone Loc, star of Poetic Justice and Posse"!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJ2Z2-mddq0

(And yes, as it says, Tone Loc is actually on the soundtrack album, despite being conspicuously absent from the musical performances in the movie itself.)

 

You also gotta love the originality in saying that "It's 3 Ninjas meets Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!" Especially since 3 Ninjas called itself a mix of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with another movie, Home Alone. Couldn't they have referenced a recent surfing movie like Point Break?

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Listed to the Damn Prophecy!!!

 

We are told that Patusan was the most peaceful place on earth for over 4,000 years. We are also informed that there's a prophecy that predicted it would fall at a certain time to evil and then eventually restored to peace once the oldest prince turns 16. So in that the native people believe this prophecy and it in fact comes true, then I ask:

 

1. Why were they not preparing for the evil uprising? They were informed that the peace would be broken by BLOODSHED at the "seventh cycle after nemfull as eagles to the moon." Fucking fortify the gates and practice! Keep the celebration for prince #2 to a minimum.

2. Even if people didn't initially believe the prophecy, after the BLOODSHED took place and peace was broken... why would Zatch not tell Mac to be open and honest with both boys. Tell them of what happened to their people and that one day you will rise up and lead the resistance... John Connor style! Also why didn't Zatch just go with the boys and he and Mac could raise them in some kind of Bloodsport mixed with My Two Dads scenario?

 

Anyway... Great movie to watch and review. Love to all at HDTGM. Really, really helped this week when I was dealing with a loss.

 

xo

 

Pete the "s-man" Scudese

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OTOH, giving the brothers license to grow up "John Connor style" would be the only way to make their early-'90s California lingo even more obnoxious.

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I have a real problem with the ending of this movie and in particular the political landscape of Patusan. Patusan's monarchy seems to be characteristic of a divine right of rule all central authority resting in its warrior king. The difference in the systems of governance between the monarchy (johnny's father) and the dictatorship (Colonel Chi) would be pretty minimal, both systems stemming from complete rule by a central figure. If you were an average citizen of Patusan you would have seen little difference in your life between to the change in governance. additionally the average citizen probably would follow the logic that the warrior king had been bested by another warrior king giving colonel chi the right of fealty. Johnny by returning and besting the new warrior king would take his rightful place and begin leading the people in a somewhat less oppressive rule but by denying his claim to the throne he has now left the people of Patusan in essential anarchy. He essentially says you're a democracy now go figure it out. This would likely lead to a hostile take over of the more powerful of Patusan's citizens or an outside power to take control again. My bet is that Iggy realizing the opportunity would seize control once Johnny has left forcing, Johnny to return to the island yet again to conquer an inept dictator, Surf Ninjas 2?

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Great episode, they pretty much covered anything I'd ask about.

 

A few notable omissions for me though. How exactly did Colonel Chi not only survive but succeed in his invasion after getting squished by the elephant? All Uncle Eyepatch had to do is finish him off and invasion over. It's not like Nielsen would have access to a hospital on an island he invaded ten minutes previously.

 

The invasion itself was incredibly weak sauce as well. Apparently a nation of island warriors is capable of being overthrown by what looks like a couple dozen guys.

 

Also why we're they so eager to get back to Santa Monica after being named Kings? I thought all they gave a shit about was surfing? That island seems like a pretty solid option for them.

 

Not too mention they dont have a fucking home to go to at the end of the movie. It's not like anything that happened to them in this movie at all benefitted them financially. So all they have to look forward to in Santa Monica is crippling debt and the potential to be arrested for murder when all thepolice who didn't join them on their adventure finds a gaggle of burnt Ninjas in either the restaurant or house.

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