Pop Culture Princess

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Sunday, August 07, 2016

Bad Movie Month takes on Three Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain

Welcome to Bad Movie Month and to our theme Wrestle Movie Mania, as we showcase a handful of wrestling superstars trying to shine on the big screen.

We're off to a bit of a late start, due to having some birthday fun with my sis(Happy Birthday again, Steph!) but trust me, our first film is not something to rush right into.

Round One of Wrestle Movie Mania gives us  Hulk Hogan strutting around in an outfit that makes him look like a character out of a MST3K flick in  3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. Despite his star billing, Hogan is only a supporting player in this fourth sequel to the karate kiddie series who doesn't show up until about twenty minutes into the story.

He plays Dave Dragon, a live action hero for a children's show that happens to be ready for cancellation. Yet, Dave is making his last appearance at the very amusement park that our trio of junior warriors,including a techno-geek girl next door, is planning to spend the day in.

He does take a dramatic pause backstage, looking mournfully at his hairpiece, perhaps as a way of preparing to mourn the rest of his film career. Dave becomes the target of Medusa(Loni Anderson) and her army of henchmen as they take over Mega Mountain in a ransom scheme. Dave is acknowledged by head henchman Lothar(Jim Varney) as "an actor, but he could make trouble for us." Yeah,because it takes one guy in a lame Halloween costume with no weapons to stop a herd of heavily armed bad guys!

 Dave spends a lot of time in this movie being captured and knocked out, particularly by Medusa, who has a makeup job that would terrify Tammy Fay Baker.

 Her wardrobe choices range from a cheesy nun disguise that reminded my sister of the Sisters of Sin that appear at Ghost concerts to a black leather ensemble complete with short shorts, thigh high boots and a whip that she uses to take Dave down at one point.

 She also threatens to make him her "boy toy" which is both scary and nauseating at the same time. That scene came pretty close to upping the PG rating of this movie to PG-13 there, in my opinion.

Fortunately for us, Medusa and Dave mostly have a battle of wits, which means they've both evenly matched in bad puns and cliches. The banter between these two makes any episode of Adam West's Batman sound like Shakespeare:

Most of the movie is your boilerplate '90s Disney Channel set-up; the older boys are getting tired of ninja training with Grandpa and want to goof off with girls during the summer, little brother Tum-Tum still believes in being a fighter and having constant snacks(he's sort of the Theodore of the group if you're using an Alvin and the Chipmunks comparison), you get the picture.

The fighting scenes go from Home Alone antics throughout the amusement park to dull routines that made my sister check her phone apps out of boredom. However, I did find some entertainment value in Jim Varney as Lorthar, who my sis aptly described as looking like an evil John Waters.

Varney does at least commit to his performance as a out and out cornball villain, who stoops low enough to popping a kid's balloon and stealing an ice cream cone from another youngster at the park. He even has a sword fight with older brother Rocky as a girl is tied to the train tracks(okay, roller-coaster tracks but still..) and it's a shame that his mustache isn't long enough to twirl as he sneers wickedly there:

Don't despair,folks-Dave does get his hero moments, just in time to save his TV show, I might add. What a coincidence...not! Well, I guess that was in his contract, along with star billing.

This movie is as subtle as a cinder block with tons of dated references, including Dialing for Dollars and a riff on that old Tombstone pizza ad during Wild West show at Mega Mountain. I know the makers of this dreck weren't planning to make a film for the ages but the staleness of this story becomes more apparent with each pitiful pop culture reminder.

Back to Dave Dragon-I would say that his best hero scene is the one where he helps the boys launch their "instant torpedo" to save the park from a last minute bomb planted by Medusa. Hogan doesn't have to say much, he just swings that huge Mario Brothers wrench that was instantly available to him and saves us all by bringing this movie closer to the end credits:

This was the first 3 Ninjas movie that I've sat through in it's entirety(actually had to watch it twice, the horror, the horror!) and while the earlier entries are probably less lunkheaded that this, I don't think that I've missed out on much by not watching this series.

Well, tune in next time for more Wrestle Movie Mania,folks as we check out the goofy faces that Dean Ambrose makes in 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown. Yes, more sequel madness is on the way but don't worry, there will be a non-sequel or two by the time this schlock ride is over:

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