Surf's up! Time to save the world.
Let's face it, in the 90s being a ninja was cool. There was ninja turtles, ninja kids and (unfortunately) a ninja Chris Farley. And though their mainstream popularity has dwindled since then, they remain part of a universal culture fascinated by men in pajama pants.
While ninja films aren't a personal favorite of mine, I have known to indulge every once in awhile with one of my personal favorites being New Line's Surf Ninjas (1993). Right on the cusp of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), Surf Ninjas benefited from an extraordinarily fluke of casting a range of mutually talented and diverse actors. Among the cast is Leslie Neilsen (hit or miss), Rob Schneider, Tone Loc and Ernie Reyes, Jr.
The depth of the plot is about as thin as Van Damme's Double Impact (1991), orphans sent away by their parents in hopes of keeping them safe from some unspeakable villain, but the clever balance of laughs and action are enough to keep you watching until the end. The part of the film that I remember most fondly, however, was in fact a shrewd attempt at product placement by Sega. Throughout the film the younger brother, Adam, had a device that I later discovered to be a Sega Game Gear with which he could control certain events such as objects in the scenery or characters in the movie. All I remember really was that it was bad-ass and I wanted one which, in hindsight, explains why Sega offered to partially finance the film.
The sleek, full color wide screen made my green-screened Gameboy look pretty lame by comparison so I pleaded with my parents to get me one for Christmas that year... didn't happen. I ended up having to settle for playing my friend's Game Gear and as it turns out, the device was so bulky and the game so expensive that it really wasn't all that fun anyway. You may have produced a great film, Sega, but your gaming device blew chunks.