September 18th, 2008
NC: Hello I'm the Nostalgia Critic, I remember it so you don't have to. Every once in awhile a film comes along that challenges the way we look at cinema, life, and reality itself. A film that dares to take risks, be different, and NOT succumb to the rules and boundaries that Hollywood has set up for them. This my friends, is one of those movies. I am of course referring to the indescribable genius...of Surf Ninjas.
Footage of Surf Ninjas
NC (voiceover): Now many of you may look at this film and say "Hey, this is the worst piece of shit I've ever paid money to see." But that's because you're not seeing the true symbolic meaning behind what looks like a gigantic load of elephant dung.
NC: For if we look at Surf Ninjas with open eyes and critical analysis, we may see something deeper than even the filmmakers could have possibly imagined. Let's take a look.
NC (voiceover): First of all, I should point out that this came out one year after Three Ninjas, which came out one year after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films. Which is quite daring, because many people could mistake this for an even worse rip-off of the Ninja Turtle franchise. But no, this is an original construct of unbelievable power, casting nothing short but the best of Hollywood's acting talent. Including famed dramatic actor Leslie Nielsen, whose film work is still considered to be at the height of cinematic excellence.
Montage of movie posters for some of his less...well, good roles
NC (voiceover): And who can forget that legendary screen presence Ernie Reyes, Jr. whose incredible performances as Menito in The Rundown, and cemetery warrior number 2 in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, still brings chills to the moviegoing public.
NC: And of course, one of the gems of American cinema, who is said to be the Marlon Brando of his generation, the master himself...Rob Schneider.
NC (voiceover): For indeed, how can anyone not swoon when he delivers such lines as:
Rob Schneider: She's afraid to show it, she's...probably not very attractive.
NC (voiceover): And how could you not cry as he recites in all his brilliant majesty:
Rob Schneider: (bad Scottish accent) Don't make me come out there and beat you with the leg of mine that no longer works, cause I'll do it!
NC (voiceover): And how could you, in all honesty, not orgasm at the delivery of such awesome power when he says:
Rob Schneider: I've got two words to say to you: David Carradine in Kung Fu.
NC: (gasp) Our hearts are with you, perceptive angel.
NC (voiceover): So at the beginning of this EPIC masterpiece, we find two brothers named Johnny and Adam. They are quote-unquote "surfer dudes" who hang out with their best friend Iggy. They take surfing so seriously that they even treat their car as a surfboard, rowing their way to school, not caring how no one has their hand on the steering wheel, putting dozens of lives at risk.
NC: Those lovable rapscallions!
NC (voiceover): They're excited because Johnny's giving a speech at school about a visiting monk named Baba Ram. But unfortunately, a la Saved By the Bell, he has totally forgotten about the assignment.
Johnny: I've got nothing.
NC: Already the film has sucked you in with its gut-wrenching suspense. How will Johnny get out of the speech if he has nothing prepared? Perhaps a last minute scribbling of notes or a totally improvise speech or uh...uh...
Johnny starts singing Baba Ram to the tune of Barbara Anne
NC: OF COURSE! A totally on the spot song rendition of Barbara Anne, a song that hasn't been popular in decades, and yet somehow everyone in the school is dancing and singing to its tubular melody.
NC (voiceover): But little do they know that NINJAS are looking to kill the two boys as they dress in the same color camouflage as the Street Fighter movie. This scene right here is obviously referencing Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now because as we all know, they are both on the exact same emotional wavelength.
Brando: Horror has a face...and you must make a friend of horror.
Johnny: What's tall, dark, wears a patch, and always seems to be on my butt?
NC: It's almost as if Ford Coppola directed both movies!
NC (voiceover): But luckily there's a one-eyed Asian Charlie Chaplin to the rescue. His name is Zatch and he tells the two brothers they are actually princes of the far off kingdom of-
Adam: Port-i-san? Aw, you mean those toilets at construction sites? Ew...
NC: This may seem like a lame joke. But it's not. It's genius.
NC (voiceover): So Zatch tells the brothers about the island of Pahtisan.
Zatch: It was the most peaceful place on Earth. Then one day the people gathered to celebrate the birth of crown prince Ah-tum, and his brother, crown prince Yanni.
The prince's face is superimposed by a headshot of Yanni, the musician
Zatch: But Colonel Chi, the foreign mercenary, devastated our country.
NC (voiceover): Notice the low-angle shot here. That is to indicate that Leslie Nielson is the bad guy.
Scenes from Citizen Kane
NC (voiceover): I'm often reminded of the low angle shots in Citizen Kane, the greatest movie of all time.
Kane: Don't you walk away from me! I'm Charles Foster Kane!
Adam: We just wanna drive. But the man won't let us.
NC: Can you see the emotional similarities to these magnum opuses? I CHALLENGE you to say no!
NC (voiceover): Also note Leslie Nielsen's look of absolute evil when he approaches young Zatch.
NC: That still haunts my nightmares.
NC (voiceover): So Nielsen gets knocked over and gets half of his face squashed by an elephant. It may seem like he's standing in that spot on purpose, or even getting under the elephant for no apparent reason, but my thought is that it's much like Botan and the shattering of his spear. He knows his destiny, and instead of running away from it, he embraces his doom, in a collaboration of zoom shots and what seems like lazy editing.
NC (voiceover): So thus, Nielsen has to wear a plastic mask on half of his face, no doubt symbolizing the duality of his character. In any other film, this would look positively retarded. But because it's in this film, it works. Meanwhile we learn that little Adam has the whimsical power to see images of the future. And what device does he use to harness his visions? Not fumes from the cracks of the Earth like the Oracle, not an enchanted fountain like the Mirror of Galadriel, but rather a Sega Game Gear that shows Adam exactly what's gonna happen in a matter of seconds.
NC: It's like the legends of Greek mythology live again!
NC (voiceover): Also notice the use of Playboy magazines here, even though this is so obviously a children's film.
NC: Always pushing the envelope this movie, challenging us with the THREAT...of sexual arousal.
NC (voiceover): So Zatch takes Johnny, Adam and of course adorable Iggy, to the center headquarters of all the Pahtisan people...a Chinese restaurant.
Zatch: Best Pahtisany food in LA.
NC (voiceover): There, Johnny is introduced to his future wife, who is arranged to marry him. Proof that people don't need to have relationships or similar interests, as long as they are both attractive, true love will shine through. But the ninjas arrive, and so, Johnny must discover his true ability as a ninja warrior, not through years of physical training, not through the hardships of mental wisdom...
Johnny somehow instantly catches a punch with one hand; Ode to Joy plays
NC: But through magic.
NC (voiceover): Notice the use of Beethoven's Ode to Joy, no doubt exactly the subject matter he had in mind when he wrote this epic piece. Notice also that the ninjas, rather than get up and fight some more, roll out of the way as if to say "I had my chance, and now, I must let others take my place."
NC: These guys are going where no other film dares!
NC (voiceover): After a local cop gets thrown into the mix, our heroes set ashore to the island of Pahtisan. Here, we hear more of the characters' wonderful dialogue as they quote such timeless phrases that will no doubt never age.
Montage of stupid lines
NC: How could they have predicted that phrases like "psyche" and "pumpin'" would be words used even to this day? I'll tell you how:
He leans in to the camera
NC (voiceover): So while on the island they run across even more nasty ninjas who hold our heroes hostage. But wait a minute, little Adam has an idea...Ah yes, running over the ninjas with their jeep. Notice how the ninjas at no point ever use their guns to stop the oncoming threat, even though they have plenty of time to do so. How fascinating. So they take the jeep, while fighting off the other soldiers using the ninja's most ancient weapon of battle: dynamite. Haha, that'll show those who value human life as a treasured gift! As if this film hasn't taken enough risks already, they actually dare to make a brave anti-smoking statement, in the middle of a chase scene no less!
Zatch: Yeah yeah, I know I should quit!
Iggy: Maybe you should get the patch. Look who I'm talkin' to.
NC: Yes inspired poet, let us all look into the deepest areas of our soul and see who we are talking to. G to the E with an N to the IUS, g-g-g-genius!
NC (voiceover): Which is quite interesting seeing as this film says Playboys are good, and yet smoking is bad.
NC: Mixed messages, or conflicting issues? Knock knock, who's there, genius!
NC (voiceover): After the chase scene, Zatch gives them all sacred headbands made out of tie-dye shirts and sends what's left of their bodacious army to the villain's evil fortress. Not since the end of Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory has a collection of warriors and fighters seemed so powerful and so moving, I dare you not to shed a tear while watching this awesome display. The only problem is, the villain's fortress is surrounded by another large stretch of water. How can our heroes possibly cross?
Adam envisions the forest around them being made into surfboards
NC: OF COURSE!
NC (voiceover): Turn the trees into surfboards! Absolutely brilliant. Even though these people have never surfed a day in their lives, Johnny, their fearless teacher, instructs them well.
Johnny: Remember, bend your knees, use your arms.
NC: AND THAT'S ALL YOU NEED! BEND YOUR KNEES AND SWING YOUR ARMS, SURFING IN TWO SECONDS, SUCK IT, SCORCESE!
NC (voiceover): But as if that wasn't enough, this film is also brave enough to confront racial sensibilities as well.
Cop: Brothas don't surf. When I get back to the hood won't NONE of the homies talk to me again.
NC: Yes! Brothers don't surf! Bringing into the light a stereotype I didn't even know existed! 911 emergency, what seems to be the problem? Yes, I seem to be having an overwhelming amount of GENIUS!
NC (voiceover): So our heroes infiltrate the heavily guarded fortress armed not with swords, not with guns, but with giant yellow flags. That should throw off the military armed goons! They're so terrified at the poetry of the moment that they don't even have time to use their guns and instead just fling themselves at the invading troops.
NC: Now I know what a lot of you are thinking: How could they possibly have those flags when they so obviously didn't bring them over on their surfboards? Well I'll tell you how.
NC is surrounded by a background of clouds and the word genius, and is shirtless, with the word genius on his chest, while he flails his arms and feels himself in ecstasy
NC (voiceover): So finally we get to the big showdown with Leslie Nielsen and warrior Johnny. Nielsen and Johnny start to fight, but Nielsen's mechanical hand starts to malfunction and forces him to...um...jerking off.
NC: Now I know a lot of you are wondering why on Earth did they put that scene there? Well I'll tell you why.
He raises his hand and the dramatic music from his last "Genius" outburst starts up, but then he stops
NC: I have absolutely no idea, I think it's pretty fuckin' disgusting.
NC (voiceover): So Johnny defeats the evil villain, brings order to Pahtisan, and makes a breathtaking speech that even Barack Obama would cry at.
Johnny: Just cause I was born into royalty, I'm not different than you. Put my face on a stamp, fifty cent piece, and let's call it a day.
NC tears up
NC (voiceover): And what epic masterpiece wouldn't be complete without...
They start singing Baba Ram again
NC (voiceover): Another rendition of Baba Ram, as Baba Ram himself sings the song wearing a beautiful necklace of yak testicles.
NC: So that's Surf Ninjas, one of the greatest movies, no no, greatest THINGS of all time. How can a movie be so great, so wonderful and so unbelievably groundbreaking? Because there's no movie like Surf Ninjas! There's no movie like Surf Ninjas, there's no movie like Surf Ninjas...there's no movie like Surf Ninjas...
The screen whites out and we come back to NC, lying down with a cloth around his head; the picture is sepia toned, like The Wizard of Oz, and someone is dabbing his forehead
NC: There's no film like Surf Ninjas...
Rob: Nostalgia Critic...Nostalgia Critic! (he slaps him) Wake up!
NC: Ow! Oh, Bhargo...Rob...Mike! What happened to me?
Bhargav: You got shot in the head pretty good there, Nostalgia Critic.
NC: But...how, how did it happen?
Rob: Oh, that was me. I shot you in the head, sorry.
Flashback to the end of Top 11 Saddest Nostalgic Moments vid, where NC is shot
Rob (offscreen): Sorry! My bad!
NC: Oh, I had the most horrible dream! And you were there. And you, and you!
NC: No, I...I dreamt I was watching a horrible, horrible movie! ...and I liked it.
Rob: What was it?
NC: Surf Ninjas!
Rob: And how was it?
NC: IT WAS THE MOST GODAWFUL PIECE OF RETROSHIT I EVER HAD TO SIT THROUGH IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!
Rob: Okay, okay...calm down, calm down.
NC: Oh but, I'm me again, and this is my room, and you're all here in glorious brown and white. And I'm never, ever gonna like anything ever, ever again!
He turns to the camera and lip-synchs to Somewhere Over the Rainbow; the credits come up, but then they are suddenly taken away
NC: But wait a minute! If I got shot in the head, then how did I survive?
Mike, Rob and Bhargav all turn to look at something; the camera reveals it is Optimus Prime
NC: Optimus Prime?
Optimus: Remember...I died for your sins.
NC: ...you know I really should've put him in the Top 11 Saddest Nostalgic Moments. (all agree) That was stupid.
The credits come up again, asking "Do you accept Optimus Prime as your lord and savior?"