Saturday, August 22, 2015

Podcast: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)

Your Stupid Minds finishes off the summer ninja series with a ninja movie of the teenage mutant turtle variety: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III! Our heroes in a half shell (or full shell, if you want to be accurate) return for their final non Michael Bay film appearance.

When a magical lantern transports April (Paige Turco) back in time to 17th century feudal Japan (and the prince Kenshin takes per place), the turtles must travel back to save her. The turtles almost immediately muck everything up and intersperse their heroic deeds with dated early 90s pop culture references.

Featuring the often referenced photorealistic turtle scroll.
Michelangelo falls in love with the rebel leader Mitsu (Vivian Wu), and Raphael flies a kite with an adorable boy named Yoshi (Travis A. Moon). Meanwhile, the Japanese honor guard who replaces the turtles in the present have a great time with Casey Jones (Elias Koteas) playing hockey and arcade games.

Some Notes:

Direct download.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Podcast: Ninja Apocalypse (2014)

More ninja movies! The post-production company Big Boss Creative wanted to break into the lucrative direct-to-DVD racket, so they asked distributors what they wanted to sell. Their questions were answered with the mixed bag of “ninjas,” “post-apocalypse,” “zombies,” and “The Warriors,” so they slapped all of those ideas together into an 82 page script, added some cheap After Effects CGI, and made Ninja Apocalypse. Starring some stunt men who were available in the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area, as well as Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Electra, Showdown in Little Tokyo), and Ernie Reyes Jr. (Surf Ninjas, Ninja Turtles II).

Cage (Christian Oliver) is the leader of the lost ninja clan and goes to a peace summit with his best warriors for some reason to help unite the clans. When the ninja leader (Tagawa) is killed at the summit, Cage is falsely accused to the murder and all the clans hope to catch him before he escapes. On his way to the surface he and his clan mates fight ninjas, zombies, reptile men, and sexy lady ninjas for their freedom. They also have cool blue fire kicks and energy blasts.

Some Notes:
  • Despite the existence of a reptile-themed gang, we never make any reference to the Tunnel Snakes.
  • Tunnel Snakes rule.
  • We're the tunnel snakes.
  • That's us.
  • And we RULE RULE RULE.
Direct download.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Podcast: The Hunted (1995)

More ninja movies on Your Stupid Minds! This time we attempted to find an underwhelming movie to put an end to this ninja episode massacre. We thought we had a perfect candidate with 1995’s The Hunted starring Christopher Lambert in his first non-Highlander movie on YSM. As it turns out, this movie is great!

Paul Richie (Lambert) travels to Nagoya Japan on business and has a lovely date with Kirina (Joan Chen), a supposedly Japanese woman despite being obviously Chinese. After a date in the park listening to the traditional Japanese drummers, they go back to her hotel for a night of sultry hot tub sex. After Richie leaves, ninjas show up and murder Kirina.

Richie tries to stop them, only to be hit with shurikens and nearly stabbed to death. After being attacked again in the hospital by ninjas led by the nefarious Kinjo (John Lone) who come to finish the job, he teams up with a samurai Ichiro (Yoshio Harada) and his wife Mieko (Yoko Shimada) to hide out on their secret samurai island to wait for Kinjo.

Some Notes:
Direct download.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Podcast: Ninja III: The Domination (1984)

Another ninja movie! This time with actual ninjas and not some snot-nosed kids, it’s the Cannon Group’s Ninja III: The Domination! Offering little to no continuity to its predecessors Enter the Ninja and Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja III involves a headstrong telephone company employee/aerobics instructor Christie (Lucinda Dickey) possessed by the ghost of a mystical ninja who recently went on a cop killing spree at a nearby municipal golf course.

After some questionably strong seduction tactics, Office Secord (Jordan Bennett) joins Christie in her apartment for V8 juice-infused sex near her arcade machine for the unreleased game Bouncer. Soon after she surreptitiously begins murdering the cops who took down the ninja using her newly-infused martial arts skills and floating Ninjato sword. Will Officer Secord stop her before she murders all the leery cops? Is a newly-arrived eye-patched Japanese man a friend or foe? Pick up the Blu-ray and find out!

Some Notes:

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Podcast: 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1995)

Your Stupid Minds continues its unofficial ninja theme with a film that, despite having “Ninja” in the title, essentially has karate action masquerading as ninjutsu. 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up is the third film in the 3 Ninjas franchise and contains all of the original cast members! Shot almost concurrently with the first film, before a legal dispute forced the producers to shelve it and recast two of the kids in 3 Ninjas Kick Back, Knuckle Up was finally released three years after the original with mostly unaged child heroes Rocky (Michael Treanor), Colt (Max Elliott Slade), and Tum Tum (Chad Power).

The trio and its elderly grandfather (Victor Wong) travel somewhere close to an Indian reservation during summer break, and find themselves volunteering ninja services to local Native Americans terrorized by an evil garbage dump owner Jack (Charles Napier), who pollutes their land and kills their children. The boys use their karate ninja skills to rescue the father of little girl Jo (Crystle Lightning), and fight full grown adult goons who are constantly humiliated and physically bested by children.

Some Notes:

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Podcast: Miami Connection (1987)

It’s a long time coming for this Your Stupid Minds Essential Viewing List (YSMEVL), but we finally got around to reviewing 1987’s resurrected martial arts masterpiece, Miami Connection starring Orlando’s own native-by-transplant son, taekwondo master instructor Y.K. Kim. The film received a second life when Alamo Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson made a $50 eBay bid on a lark for the 35mm print. It was such a hit that the Drafthouse began distributing it, and it quickly became a cult classic.

In the mean streets of Orlando, Mark (Y.K. Kim) and his contingent of best friends forever taewkondo students/orphans create Dragon Sound, a band with a positive message taking the local metropolitan area by storm. A rival band does not take too kindly to this, and after an unsuccessful martial arts fight with the club owner, decides to take its frustrations out on Dragon Sound. This does not go well, and the confrontation quickly escalates to gang warfare, biker involvement, kidnapping, and ninjas.

Essential Viewing: Dragon Sound's hit song "Friends."

Some Notes:
  • Purchase and rental options available on Drafthouse Films's website.
  • Essential Viewing 2: The biographical clip Who is Y.K. Kim, which outlines how Kim saved the world through a combination of grit and taekwondo skills.
  • Essential Viewing 3: Against the Ninja - Dragon Sound.
  • If you have trouble keeping track of the main characters, here's a guide:
    • Mark: Korean guy. Taekwondo Skill: Excellent.
    • John: Gangly tall guy. Taekwondo Skill: Great.
    • Jack: Redneck Rufus Sewell (and the screenwriter). Doesn't like stupid cocaine. Taekwondo Skill: Adequate.
    • Jim: Black American. Taekwondo Skill: Adequate.
    • Tom: Musical talent. Looks like John Oates. Taekwondo Skill: Poor.
    • Jane: Girl. Sister of Jeff. Lead singer of Dragon Sound. Taekwondo Skill: Poor.
    • Jeff: Bad guy. Worst actor in Miami Connection. Beard. Taekwondo Skill: Good.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Podcast: Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)

Your Stupids Minds attempts to right the wrongs of the past by finally reviewing one of our favorite bad movies, 1991’s macho martial arts masterpiece Showdown in Little Tokyo. Running at a brisk 79 minutes and starring YSM favorite Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV, Masters of the Universe, In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds), as well as Brandon Lee (The Crow), Tia Carrere (Wayne’s World) and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Elektra, Mortal Kombat), Showdown is about a giant blonde Swede Nipponophile who teams up with a half Japanese partner who doesn’t even like sushi!

An evil yakuza boss (Tagawa) overpowers all of the LA gangs with brutal and stereotypically Japanese violence, so it’s up to Chris Kenner (Lundgren) to use his superior Japanese-ness to take him down. Along the way he rescues a lounge singer mid-seppuku (Carrere) and literally carries her to his Epcot-style Japanese house. It all leads up to a “showdown,” if you will, in Little Tokyo’s big parade, complete with dangerous fireworks wheels and horsemen with sharpened period-accurate katanas.

Some Notes:
  • There are a lot of homoerotic elements to this film, including multiple shirt rippings, Dolph's leather jacket, and lines like "You were too busy whackin' on each other," and "I'd like to cut off some parts of Yoshida's anatomy."
  • Directed by Commando's Mark Lester and cinematography by Mark Irwin.
  • Available to rent on YouTube, but this version omits the dummy scene, so watch the old DVD without any special features.
Direct download.