Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; the only type of kicking we advocate is kicking back…and also roundhouse. You’ve just smoke-bombed your way into the Internet’s most ninja-based bad movie column. Every week we knuckle down (or up) and punch apart a mega mountain of a terrible film. We’ll throw shurikens of snark at the movie’s faults in a sneak attack of thinly-masked adoration. Just when the movie is beaten down to the point of committing seppuku, we will distract it by offering it a disgustingly delicious themed snack.
This week marks the twentieth anniversary of one of the most important films ever made. A film that challenges convention and plumbs the very depths of the human soul. It also features ninjas. I’m referring of course to Lawrence of Arabia, or possibly 3 Ninjas. Yeah, no I definitely mean 3 Ninjas. This 1992 film asks the difficult, thought-provoking questions. Can kids be ninjas? Are they only permitted to do so in odd-numbered groups? Did Home Alone suffer from a karate deficiency?
In it, a trio kick-happy fighty-tikes are taught the martial arts by Sensei Inexplicably Asian Grandpa. They then use their kid’s-table-Bruce-Lee skills to take on Diet Steven Segal and Not Quite Odd Job aboard their drug ship. In honor of the anniversary of this masterpiece, we gathered together our go-to focus group, a.k.a Mrs. Tobias’ third-grade class, to engage in a vital scientific experiment. We gave them a series of mad libs designed to construct the perfect title for the next 3 Ninjas sequel. It would then be up to our hard-working Junkfood Cinema staff, all me of them, to build a concept around that title.
For the sake of upholding our certification with the IRB (the Imaginary Review Board), we will reveal our research methods. The mad lib read thus like…
3 Ninjas [Verb] [Preposition]
3 Ninjas Step Up
Having successfully rid the streets, or more accurately da streetz, of the sinister Snyder’s drug cartel, the three ninjas found very little call for their crotch-abusing, spin-kicky skill set. That is until they ran into Sensai Moose and followed him back to his dance dojo (his dancejo). It turns out the dastardly samurai gang had not taken so lightly to their World Jam Championship loss to Moose’s troupe, the pirates.
Point of fact, they killed all of the pirates in their sleep. At the instant they dishonored the step code, the samurais became de facto ninjas. Therefore, Rocky, Colt, & Tum Tum (as they confoundedly preferred to be called), agree to be trained by Sensai Moose and meet the evil ninjas in the ultimate arena of grudge resolution: combat dance-off.
Moves, and noses, will be busted.
3 Ninjas Fall Down
Drunk off the power they feel they possess thanks to their fighting prowess, these pint-sized martial artists seek out more crime to throttle in their local community. But given that 3 Ninjas takes place in possibly the most PG neighborhood in all of filmdom, finding other criminal elements is like trying to find a ninja in a haystack, or finding a ninja anywhere for that matter. You know, because they’re ninjas. Still aching to go feudal on some villains, the boys become roving shinobis of trivial law enforcement and good manners.
They ambush jaywalkers, they drive swords through the engine blocks of impolite drivers, and engage in the midnight arson of any McDonald’s that will not serve McMuffins minutes after breakfast time has expired. Their anger at a world that will not live by their personal boy scout bushido translates into the most wanton violence and destruction their quiet township had ever known.
Oh, and they all get crew cuts for some reason.
3 Ninjas Left Behind
While on a church mission trip to Jerusalem, the boys accidentally discover an ancient tunnel running under the city. At the end of the tunnel is an ancient (ok, it’s Jerusalem, from this point forward just assume anything they discover is ancient) tome holding a first-hand account of the birth of Christ. It turns out, through circumstances we couldn’t even begin to understand (due to lack of scientific and screenwriting but mostly scientific training), the boys are descended from the three wise men.
They are also made aware of the impending end of days and how their heritage saddles them with the task of preventing the apocalypse. According to the prophecy, Satan will dispatch his demons to the holy land to incite panic in the various religious communities. Satan, who as it turns out at that point was watching a lot of Michael Dudikoff films, decides his demons will appear as ninjas. It now falls to Rocky, Colt, and & Tum Tum to battle Satan’s akuma legion, or demoninjas if you will, through the streets of Jerusalem to prevent The Rapture.
This time around, their sensei will be played by Kirk Cameron.
3 Ninjas Break Bad
Mrs. Tobias, will you please instruct these miniature dolts that “bad” is in no way a preposition. I mean no disrespect, but your students are massively fucking up my results. Anywho, let’s continue. When the boys find themselves brought up in civil court for assault against the three half-wit burglars (which between them is in fact one-and-a-half wits), the desire to continue to uphold any sort of sense of moral correctness, or indeed impede any evil force, is stricken from their hearts. Not long afterward, Grandpa Asian Man is diagnosed with aggressive cancer. In desperate need of money for his treatment, and no longer feeling burdened by the mores of society, the boys become the premier meth dealers of their county.
This transition proves natural as they already know how to move within the shadows, disappear in order to evade capture, and go by the oh so pusher-sounding monikers of Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum; the latter taking to referring to meth as jelly beans. The movie starts off kind of fun and conceptually quirky, but gets really dark by the end.
For the last Mad Lib, we altered the parameters of the experiment. In recognition of 3 Ninjas High Noon at Mega Mountain, which technically must be recognized as it is unfortunately totally a real thing, we decided to have our subjects craft a title more in the style of the franchise’s preexisting, again sadly existent, fourth installment. The new formula read as follows and the such as…
3 Ninjas [Time of Day] at [Ridiculous Location]
3 Ninjas Tea Time at Crystal Lake
My guess is that the outlying weirdness of this selection can be attributed to unforeseen variables such as crankiness and low graham cracker intake. Undaunted, and a bit sleepy ourselves, here’s what we came up with. The boys are vacationing with their parents when they are forced to make an unscheduled stop at a rather infamous campground. Rocky’s girlfriend Emily wants to go exploring , figuring that they are safe in the daylight.
As it turns out however, homicidal Crystal Lake denizen Jason Voorhees is currently restricted by an ancient Japanese curse to only kill between the hours of four and five p.m. Colt foolishly, but admittedly serendipitously, uttered the cursed incantation upon finding a scroll in his grandfather’s luggage. Now the boys must use all their ninjitsu training to stalk Jason through the woods, striving to karate him back into his watery grave whilst agilely eluding his murder blades.
He may have a machete, but these boys are trained in the mystic art of…giving bad guys hilarious diarrhea.
Junkfood Pairing: Kit Kat-ana
This one is going to require some work on your part. What you’re gonna want to do is acquire the mold for a Kit Kat bar the size of a tree trunk, an item that most splendidly does exist. Once you have your delicious, unwieldy plank, begin to carve from it a traditional Japanese sword. If you can stop yourself from eating the chocolate blade, what you will have in your possession will be the time-honored ninja weapon that is the Kit Kat-ana.