American Ninja (1985)
Back of the box. . .
“The explosive art of Ninjitsu combined with the lethal support of the U.S. Army, declare war on the unlimited violence of organized crime and the killing force of Black Star Ninja Assassins. One man stands alone against death from all quarters in this story of mystery, mystic and awesome physical power.
The force of a powerful evil against righteous dedication will have you on the edge of your seats.”
Director: Sam Firstenberg
Starring: Michael Dudikoff, Steve James, Judie Aronso
Watch the Trailer
In the documentary “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films,” it’s mentioned that MIchael Dudikoff was thought to be the next big movie star, but it never happened. Well, Cannon Films, when I was a kid, in my world, it did happen. And I was first introduced to The Dudikoff as Private Joe Armstrong in American Ninja. Don’t let this nostalgia fluff fool you though, it’s still a mid-budget 80’s action movie cranked out by Cannon Films. It’s a piece of shit. . . but it’s that special brand of Cannon shit that’s so enjoyable to watch. Steve James is great as Corporal Curtis Jackson, stealing the show as usual with his effortless charm and badassery. Watch it for the fights, super stealth, and “Ninja Summer Camp,” which is my name for the obligatory ninja training course that always finds its way into these movies.