Awfully Good: Surf Ninjas

Before you see BATTLESHIP, revisit this Awfully Good maritime classic that's slightly less silly than Liam Neeson playing naval games with an alien.

Surf Ninjas (1993)

Director: Neil Israel
Stars: Ernie Reyes Jr., Rob Schneider, Leslie Nielsen

Is there a plot?

Two American surfer brothers learn they're actually royalty from a mythical Pacific island called Patusan and must return to fight the evil Colonel Chi and reclaim their throne.

What's the damage?

If I can be perfectly honest, I'm a little disappointed that this column existed so long and amongst the myriad of emails and messages, not one single person has suggested SURF NINJAS. Where's the Ernie Reyes Jr. love? Does nobody else remember this movie from their childhood? Am I the only person who owned a Sega Game Gear?

This summer, Rob Schneider is…an Asian! And he’ll learn that eating food with sticks isn’t as easy as it looks! THE ASIAN. Rated PG-13.

What sets SURF NINJAS apart is the sheer ridiculousness of it all. I can say without exaggeration, this movie has:

  • Keno from TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2: THE SECRET OF THE OOZE pretending to be a kung fu master but instead looking like a prepubescent girl in his Day-Glo shirt and overalls.

  • A 30 year old (still unfunny) Rob Schneider playing a 10th grade ginger kid who has the power to say "What if…" and make whatever comes next true.

  • Leslie Nielsen as a half cyborg, half Asian guy named Colonel Chi.

  • A Sega Game Gear handheld video game system that tells the future.

  • The Funky Cold Medina himself, Tone Loc as a brilliant, gravelly-voiced detective who, when their father is kidnapped in front of them by ninjas, tells the boys that's he's probably "out chillin' somewhere."

The Tone Loc Happy Fun Ride…available for a limited time at Pedophile Disneyland.

Somehow they manage to tie the above ingredients (and more) in to something resembling a plot. Does it always work? No. Does it work sometimes? No. It’s as awful as you think. The film’s rich Asian mythology seems to have been lifted by the writers from the menu at their favorite Thai restaurant. Even the great Leslie Nielsen is utterly wasted, as he shows up for a minute here or there for random slapstick involving a phone. But I guess that’s what you get when your movie was financed by Sega.

Hi, welcome to Patusan. You gonn get raped.

"Best" Line

Ah, those kids today with their newfangled sex slang.

BONUS: The most random throwaway joke ever.

"Best" Parts

1) I truly hope that Motosurfing was a creation of the writers and that no kid was ever lame enough to think this was cool. (Also, is that cop at the end the snooty maitre'd from FERRIS BEULER?)

2) Arson…it was his destiny. (Keep in mind that’s their mentor, not the bad guy.)

3) Call him…Keanu.

4) I hate to inundate you with clips, but this might be the tackiest trailer ever made.

Nudity Watch

None, but SURF NINJAS does feature a young Kelly Hu, who unbelievably turned 40 this year despite looking 20.

Enjoyableness Continuum:

Why choose between pirates and ninjas when you can have both? Buy this movie here!

Play Along at Home!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • Rob Schneider says, "What if…"
  • Someone says, “Kwantzu!”

Double shot/ Finish your drink whenever:

  • Leslie Nielsen encounters an elephant..

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email and give him an excuse to drink.

Tags: awfully good



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