Web Video: Ninja The Mission Force
Coming soon, on this screen!
Only a ninja can defeat a ninja.
Back in the '80s, infamous Hong Kong B-movie director Godfrey Ho teamed up with producers Joseph Lai and Thomas Tang to release cheap ninja films onto the market by taking existing Asian films and adding extra scenes featuring occidental ninjas doing ninja things, and dubbing the whole thing to tie the original movie in with the general plot of the new scenes. The result was the So Bad, It's Good Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies
In 2012, director Ed Glaser
decided to make a web series based around the concept
, shooting ninja scenes also featuring himself, and other actors such as Brad Jones
and Obscurus Lupa
, and splicing them in with scenes from assorted movies in the public domain. Each episode features a different film cut up and dubbed to fit the general plot.
That plot being that Evil Ninja Bruce (Brad Jones) wants the Avian Ninja Warriors (rubber duckies in ninja costumes) to gain supreme ninja power, but Interpol agent and ninja master Gordon (Ed Glaser in a silly wig, and numerous stock footage actors-slash-clever disguises) must stop him, with the help of his various allies throughout the world.
A second season came out on DVD in March 2013. Allison Pregler
is a new addition to the cast, Cheetah Lee.
This series provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: Of the Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies, of course!
- Obscurus Lupa's "Cheetah Lee" is an Expy of Cynthia Rothrock's various characters (Allison Pregler is a huge Rothrock fan); the name comes from Ninja Terminator protagonist Jaguar Wong.
- Bad Ass Preacher: Father Dragonclawpunch, the greatest Catholic kung fu exorcist the world has ever seen.
- Bad Boss: Bruce keeps a vicious killer tiger handy for the express purpose of offing love interests, slaughtering henchmen who have failed him... and killing those who took his lunch order wrong.
- In season 2 he kills mooks even when they have not failed him because it's funny.
- Even Gordon shows signs of this when he shoots one of his agents upon finding out he's still alive after he just said that agent would be the last to die for his cause.
- Big Bad: Evil Ninja Bruce.
- Big Eater: Evil Ninja Bruce, who eats incredible amounts of junk food to prepare for his confrontation with Ninja Master Gordon.
- Big "NO!": From Gordon, delivered in the most narmtastic way possible. Word of God says the original take ran about three times the length of the final version.
- Blatant Lies: "They call him the Man With No Name. His name's Tim. Nobody's ever seen him. Here's his photo."
- Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: Episode 1 has a Cheese Ninja.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Bruce urges his pet tiger not to spoil his appetite before "the big event in Episode 10".
- In the finale, Bruce gloats to Gordon that he'll never see the ultimate ninja power of the Avian Ninja Warriors, even though he has them all, because he's dying, and everyone knows the movie is over when the main baddie is dead. Gordon scoffs at this, which is followed abruptly by the words "The End"
- Brown Note: Emo-Dubstep-Country, which makes people insanely violent, even making them fight furniture.
- California Doubling: Via Gag Dub, both beachy California and Russia "double" for Wisconsin, Hong Kong doubles for Toronto, and a gladiator film doubles for Hong Kong's Little Italy part of town.
- Call Back: In an early episode, someone mentions Gordon saving a hamster from a volcano. In season 2, when Cheetah Lee meets Henry the Hamster, she mentions she thought he had died in a volcano.
- Catch Phrase: Gordon's Dull Surprise-laden "Okay, I will."
- The ubiquitous "What's a ninja?"
- Combat Pragmatist: Cheetah Lee tends to throw actual punches and kicks in her fights before getting to the silly stuff, unlike Gordon. Not terribly pragmatic compared to other series, but for this one...
- Combinatorial Explosion: In the office breakroom, Gordon puts 75 cents into a microwave, starts the timer, and after it goes off he opens it and takes out a can of soda.
- Crazy-Prepared: Mrs. Gordon and her self-video-taping project.
- Gordon's Secretary qualifies as well: the DVD commentary reveals that she always knows what Gordon'll need, and in "N is for Ninja", she shows up at work in the middle of the night, decked out in her clubbing clothes, because she knows Gordon'll be there.
- Gordon does the same in season 2 Having been sent to a secret mission in Antartica, he left Cheetah Lee video tapes in case Bruce came back from the dead. Like his wife, he can hold conversations through the tapes.
- Curse Cut Short: In "Ninja Exorcist," one evil ninja Mook's swear is cut off by the episode ending.
Ninja: "Well, motherfu-"
"Next week! A special Ninja the Mission Force special!
- Cut-and-Paste Translation: Obviously.
- Deleted Scene: In-universe example in "Ninja Exorcist": "Alien Lesbian Vampire Scene Missing. Sorry."
- Department of Redundancy Department: The trailer spoofs this trend on Ho's own trailers, culminating in "Ninja ninja ninja ninja".
- The title of the episode "Space Ninja in Space".
- "Next week: a special Ninja: The Mission Force special: an interview with former Godfrey Ho-actor Andy Chworowsky reveals the ultimate ninja secrets of the ninja."
- Deus Sex Machina: Kevin (played by John Travolta from The Boy in the Plastic Bubble) will spread the Ninja Zombie virus, which will be ready when he starts being attracted to women.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Season 2 falls heavily into this with characters always pointing out that they're "in the same room" as characters from the sourced film, or that they'll "look exactly the same" when a character is about to switch actors as they go from NTMF footage to a sourced film footage meant to represent the same character.
- The Empire: One of ninjas, no less, though the only members we've seen are Gordon and Evil Ninja Bruce. Interestingly enough, Gordon's line about still being loyal to it and that Evil Ninja Bruce is the traitor (for whatever reason) seems to indicate it's not fundamentally evil. According to Gordon, it used to be called "the Good Samaritan Ninja Empire."
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The secretary to Gordon, and now Cheeta Lee, is just referred to as the secretary.
- Evil Is Hammy: Even for a show as gleefully cheesy as this, Bruce still chews the most scenery.
- Extra-Strength Masquerade: You only have to say that ninjas are just a fairytale and people will believe you, even if you're talking to them about ninja business.
- Fantastic Racism: Yellow ninjas are looked down upon.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Evil Ninja Bruce sends Gordon an ultimatum in the most evil way either of them could consider possible - by putting ketchup on his corned beef sandwich.
- Filming For Easy Dub: In both Ninja Begininator and N Is For Ninja, dialog-less scenes were recut for dialog, so it was cut so characters would speak while the camera was focused on another character, or focused on a part of their body other than their head.
- Flash Back: In which Gordon is played by Orson Welles.
- Funny Bruce Lee Noises: Richard Harrison's character Steven starts doing these in his battle with the Mafia Don in Ninja Godfather.
- Gag Dub: Very, very much. All the voices are dubbed by somewhere between three and five people, and they don't hesitate to abuse the ability to redub existing films, including giving Brandon Lee a loud burp instead of a proper line.
- Genre Throwback: Obviously inspired by the Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies, but special mention goes to two Ho films in particular:
- Ninja Terminator, from which it borrows the Garfield phone and the Chinese toy robot delivery system.
- Ninja The Protector, from which it borrows the names of the main characters (Gordon and Bruce), Gordon's job at Interpol and the timeless "What's a ninja?" "Just a fairy tale. They don't exist.".
- Gilligan Cut: After Gordon gets in an office-related Ninja fight (notably the only fight he loses), he wonders if The Evil Ninja Empire has to put up with stuff like this. Cue Bruce complaining that someone put down hookers as an equipment expense.
- Gotta Catch Them All: The Avian Ninja Warriors.
- Guyliner: Both Gordon and Bruce wear lots of eyeliner when they are ninjas.
- Historical In-Joke: The Other Wiki was created by martial artists infuriated with the increasingly-aggressive sales pitches of encyclopedia salesmen.
- Hong Kong Dub: As part of the parody, only a few people dub the voices: writer Meagan Rachelle voices all the female roles and Ed Glaser voices all the males. The exceptions are Ninja Master Bruce, voiced by Brad Jones; the narrator, voiced by Stuart Ashen; and Andy in episode 2, voiced by former Godfrey Ho dubber and actor Andy Chworowsky. Season 2 adds another exception: new protagonist Cheetah Lee, voiced by her actress, Allison Pregler.
- Hurricane of Puns: Every dairy-related pun imaginable is tossed out in the Brandon Lee segments of the first episode.
- Gordon's secretary tells him she's found Tim's file, number, and hotel - and places on the table a nail file, a large plastic number 9, and a Monopoly hotel.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Season 1 episodes all use the word Ninja (for example, Night of the Ninja, Fists of Ninja), while season 2 episodes all use puns on Brucesploitation films (for example, Bruce Fights Back from the Grave, The Clones of Bruce, Bruce: A Dragon Story).
- I Meant to Do That: While toying around with his ninja weapons, Evil Ninja Bruce accidentally tears a mook's heart out with his ninja sword. Following a look of surprise, he lets out a half-hearted Evil Laugh before tossing the heart over to his pet tiger.
- Improbable Weapon User: Among other things, the ninjas battle using bacon, jump ropes, Frisbees, and bubbles.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: The DVD sales pitch is "Adding ninjas to classic movies that weren't fortunate enough to have ninjas to begin with."
- Inverted with "N is for Ninja", in which the ninjas originally in the Ninja Death films used for footage are now encyclopedia salesmen.
- Instant Costume Change: In keeping in with how ninjas operated in Godfrey Ho's films.
- Ironic Echo: Jennifer, on the tape, says "Gordon, you never could have known things would turn out like this!" Immediately afterward, Bruce calls and says "Gordon, you knew things would turn out like this!"
- Lampshade Hanging: A few jokes are made about how some of the editing is done.
- Medium Blending: In "Treasures of Bruce", original animation by the guy who did Press Start Adventures is weaved in.
- Mid-Battle Tea Break: During the season 1 finale, Gordon and Bruce sit round a table to play cards.
- Musical Assassin: DJ Ninjazz
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Evil Ninja Empire developed a Ninja Zombie virus and infected Kevin with it. The virus will be ready when he hits puberty and starts looking at girls differently.
- Oh no, the greatest ninjas of all. Dinosaurs!
- Overt Operative: Secret agent Timmy gets a courtesy call at the airport identifying him as a secret agent.
- Please Subscribe to Our Channel: There are two different endings to each episode asking the viewer to share the series. In one, Gordon is called by Bruce, and in one, Gordon is called by himself.
- Public Domain Feature Films: The source of half of the show's material. Movies such as Laser Mission, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, The Streetfighter and Planet Of Dinosaurs are featured and redubbed.
- Remember the New Guy: Bruce starts season 2 by vowing vengeance on Cheetah Lee for killing him, even though she hadn't ever met him before. It's implied he found out about her from reading Wickedpedia.
- Retraux: The episodes manage to mimic the cheap 1980s quality of the Godfrey Ho films it parodies. Even the exact, same Garfield phone from Ninja Terminator shows up.
- Robotic Reveal: By tearing off part of his uniform to reveal a circuit board, Gordon discovers that Bruce is a robot.
Gordon: You're a Robot!
- Unrobotic Reveal: The circuit board falls off almost immediately. Bruce isn't a robot. At least not yet.
- Running Gag: Ninjas don't exist. They're just fairy tales.
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Exaggerated plus Parodied. Before Gordon's wife vanished, she had finished a "self-videotaping" project wherein she looks into a camera and acts out one half of a conversation with him, which invariably matches up to whatever Gordon is saying or doing while he watches it.
- All the way up to knowing she'd get rescued and would end up staying concurrently with her non-taped self in bed with Gordon.
- She even brought props she knew she'd have in the future, such as a cup of coffee and even the Golden Ninja Telly that's actually bronze.
- In season 2, it's Gordon who does that, having been sent in Antartica.
- Stylistic Suck: As mentioned, it captures the style of the Godfrey Ho movies down to the "quality."
- Suckiness Is Painful: Emo dub country. One of the ninjas dies a horrible death listening to it.
- Technicolor Ninjas: The ninjas all wear brightly colored suits and headbands that read "NINJA" and yet everyone believes they're just a fairytale. For some reason Bruce particularly despises the yellow cheese ninjas more than any other.
- That Poor Cat: Gordon sends a message to an evil ninja scientist by throwing a frisbee, which hits a cat offscreen.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: While Bruce was a Bad Boss for the pettiest of reasons, in season 2, he goes even further by killing minions because it amuses him and even when they succeed, it's rewarded with death
- Wimp Fight: Gordon and Bruce briefly do this in "Fists of the Ninja."
- Word Salad Philosophy:
- The "motivational speech" the gladiator coach gives in Ninja Godfather;
"Listen up. They've got homecourt advantage and a star quarterback, but I know you'll still bake one hell of a soufflé out there. Just remember the secret ingredient. All I can ask is for you to remember your lines and keep the tempo. Lasso the cactus, bounce that hamster, and slam that walrus like you've never swallowed bubblegum! If they show you a root beer, take the manatee! ...Oh, and there's midgets out there. Did I forget to mention the midgets? Yeah, you're gonna wanna be careful with them. Of the midgets, I mean. Deal with it."
- From Ninja Exorcist:
"Project your mind to what you seek. Feel the flutter of the ostrich wing, roar into the teacup. Then you know."
"What if I'm in a fight?"
"Concentrate. Remember that the end is time, but the grass is wrong. Only a pebble knows its age. If a dog can't take it as a cat, the moon can come out of a grapefruit."
"Thank you master."
- You Look Familiar: Almost all of the ninjas not played by Ed Glaser or Brad Jones seem to be played by the same guy (Alex Mitchell, creator, writer and animator of Space Ninja). Brad's friend Ryan Mitchelle, director of Paranoia, also played a few different roles.