So I just rewatched both Master Ninja flicks. And as I have briefly mentioned I watched The Master back in the day. And not in passing. I made a point of watching it regularly. Not sure why…now. But to my early-teenage mind, it had ninjas! And while I probably did not know Van Cleef by name, I would have seen some spaghetti westerns by then.
But both episodes back to back were a treat. Helping me come to terms that this show really Sucked.
I know it was in keeping with the style of the show at the time, but did nobody ever ask how to be stealthy? Could we turn down the lights at some point? And what is with the deadly-not deadly tone? Van Patton brutally murders a guy he only met once, then does not really hurt people who are trying to put him and a girl into a shallow grave.
And that does leave me with a couple of questions burning in my mind. Did Sue Shroder ever get her film degree? And more importantly, will we EVER get that sequel to The Second Hundred Years?
Maybe … but it gave us a GREAT song to earworm in our heads for all time.
I’ve got a treatment worked up for a reboot. Monte Markham’s character fought in the War of 1812, then got buried in an avalanche, thawed out and fought in the first World War, then is buried in an avalanche again, thawed out today and tries to get along with his great-grandson and great-great-great grandson.
I’ll bet Monte could still do it.
I think we all were into shows in our early teens that just did not hold up later. Some do. (Like MST3k.) Many don’t.
I still find it kind of hard to believe that I never noticed how many episodic shows I watched as a kid used the same exact formula in every single episode.
On its face, The Master shouldn’t have been a bad show. It’s just following in the footsteps of the 70s Hulk show. Which, despite every single episode following the same formula, continued to work time after time, and holds up on rewatch.
You’ve got our heroes wandering the country, running into someone who needs help, doing superhero stuff to help them, having an encounter with the bad guy chasing them, and then leaving town. Worked for The A-Team, too. Which was a much sillier show. The ninja theme is cool. And the idea that Max gradually gets better at ninja stuff as he learns the ropes (so to speak). The Master’s missing daughter (who has always left town just a short time before our heroes arrive) provides good reason for them to be on the move.
But… yeah. It doesn’t have much substance, does it? And it’s not great at the ninja antics. It’s also, sadly, another one of those shows that jumped onto the Japanese martial artist trend while making sure the main character is white because they presumed (perhaps correctly) audiences wouldn’t bother with an Asian lead.
Still, I can see it being enjoyable to watch back in the days of the A-Team and Knight Rider. And it makes for some classic MST fun.
Okay, but we all know the real Master Ninja Dance Song, right?
When we saw this song in the 90s, we always said … “Oooooh NO Ninja, No Ninja, no!” This was when both Ice and the TMNT were at their height though and at the time this was actually popular if you can believe it.
And for anyone who never actually saw “The Master” when it aired on TV, it actually did have a GREAT introduction and music…
That intro makes you believe it would be a really awesome show. I actually saw this when it aired and I remember liking the pilot but couldn’t find it much after that and I guess it got cancelled so I never got to find out it was weak. What was my surprise when it showed up while I was in college as an MST3K episode. I also saw “Automan” at around the same time, and I liked that too even though it was probably even dumber than The Master.
Oh, man. Automan!
I watched that as well. Let’s face it, if it was remotely genre, I watched it. Manimal, Misfits of Science, The Pheonix. (There’s a deep dive for ya)
But yeah, Automan might be the worse show I have ever seen. Even then I knew it was terrible.
Yeah I wouldn’t have been surprised at all if Automan had gotten the Master Ninja treatment on MST3K. It would have made easy pickings because it was such a cheesy show.
Those Van Pattens are so headstrong.