322. Master Ninja I (1984)

Sounds like a video game. Master Ninja. I got quarters! “FINISH HIM!” Fatality? Friendship? The 80s comes right off the bone. Lee Van Cleef, Claude Akins, Demi Moore, Bill McKinney. A Master Ninja flees to America. His past attracts a sidekick and their Highway to Heaven begins. Originally a TV Series, the first two episodes were re-edited into Master Ninja. Model Cars, Boil-In-The-Bag IVs, Pop-Up Books For Adults, The Van Patten Project, A War of Background Music, Alternatives to Nunchucks, “MASTER NINJA THEME SONG!!!” “Look it… he’s black and blue from all that fighting”, “Okay Elvis, we know you’re in there”, “What did Lee Harvey Oswald shoot this footage?” “A Wand’ring Ninja I” or “We don’t really need to see that”?

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Note: Master Ninja I (1984) is a 90 minute combination of Episodes 1 and 2 from the cancelled television series The Master.

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The Van Patten Project.

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Just saw this one for the first time and that old '80s action show aesthetic is making me all kinds of nostalgic. Going on to 2 because this one was fun.

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Master Ninja Theme Song.

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Alternatives To Nunchucks.

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A War of Background Music.

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Saved By The Bell.

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Kill Your Enemy.

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The Master Theme Song.

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322 Promo.

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Master Ninja Theme Over MST3K Credits. Without Penn Jillette.

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Certain naysayers love to complain that current-day MST3K doesn’t punch and kick its targets as hard as it used to. However… I think it’s just possible that if they got hold of more repackaged The Master episodes now, they’d have more latitude to really go after some core flaws they only hinted at noticing in the 1990s. For example: the central theme of the show is that Whites are better than Asians at doing Asian things. Also, Asians are “barbaric” when they do those things, but White people doing Asian things are not. [sigh]

Both MN “movies” make for strong episodes which hold up to repeated watches. (Even if they’re not perfect. A few of the riffs have aged as badly as the fodder itself.) But for me, it’s a fondness mixed with considerable embarrassment that the original show ever got off the ground in the first place.

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Is 1306 nodding to this? The Yellow Dome?

I love how blatantly obvious it is that Lee Van Cleef doesn’t do any of his own stunts.

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Lee Van Cleef battled Heart Disease by the late 70s and had a Pacemaker inserted in the early 80s. Director John Carpenter once commented Lee barely finished Escape From New York (1981) and seemed in great pain during the shoot. This was years before The Master (1984). Lee had a heart attack in 1989 and died. Throat Cancer is acknowledged as a secondary cause of death.

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Oh yeah, I understand there was a reason why he didn’t do his own stunts, but it’s pretty silly to cast someone as a ninja when they have trouble getting out of bed.

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AGREED. The showrunners of The Master (1984) were apparently unconcerned with that reality. And Cleef wanted to work.

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This is topical, right?

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Yep. He IS the star of the experiment.

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