Viking Night: The Octagon
By Bruce Hall
December 3, 2014
The United States government owes Chuck Norris an immediate apology. Not for obvious reasons, like the fact there is still not an aircraft carrier called the USS Chuck Norris, and not because his face still isn’t on Mount Rushmore. It’s because there are still terrorists. Have you seen the news? They’re all over the place, multiplying like mushrooms, making YouTube videos and tearing the Middle East a new one while the best our government seems to be able to do is send over a few drones piloted by recent high school graduates out of a trailer in Indiana. It is for this reason that all of us, collectively, owe Mr. Norris a heartfelt apology - and I'm sure he would accept it.
That's because as far as I can tell, he personally killed every last terrorist on earth in The Octagon. That’s right - Chuck Norris simultaneously invented and WON the War on Terror, way back in 1980. And these weren’t just any terrorists, they were terrorist ninjas. Or depending on your perspective, ninja terrorists. I know they sound like the same thing, but believe me, there’s a big difference. Terrorist ninjas are terrorists who are looking to consolidate their wardrobe, so they decide to become ninja. Ninja terrorists are (I assume) ninjas who would like to kill Chuck Norris but know that this would take at least 200 men, so they set up a terrorist training camp and put an ad in the paper.
So far, this sounds pretty cool. “Ninja terrorist” sounds like the most awesome Halloween costume ever, next to “zombie werewolf” or “terminator vampire”. But sadly, it’s easier to screw up a ninja film than you think, and it mainly has to do with trying to introduce a plot instead of just putting 30 guys in black pajamas in a room with Chuck Norris and letting him kick their heads through a basketball hoop.
It all starts when a Canadian diplomat and his family are murdered by what looks like the Symbionese Liberation Army...for some reason. This catches the attention of karate champion Scott James (Norris), but only briefly. This is because the shooters are merely terrorists, rather than terrorist ninjas, or even ninja terrorists. But while attending a dance recital with his friend AJ (Art Hindle), Scott becomes enamored with one dancer in particular - not because she’s attractive and limber, but because she use a couple of kung fu moves in her routine. He immediately picks her up and takes her out to dinner, where they spend more time discussing terrorists than is normal for a first date.
After dinner they head back to her place where she is promptly killed by ninja terrorists (NOT terrorist ninjas), who are in turn slaughtered by a series of increasingly sweet-ass roundhouse kicks.
Curious about the pile of dead ninjas he just created, Scott visits his friend McCarn (Lee Van Cleef), who happens to be a grizzled mercenary with extensive knowledge on both ninjas and terrorists. McCarn loves killing people but he hates terrorists, and doesn’t believe ninjas even exist. Unable to uncover any leads, Scott heads home, and comes upon a beautiful woman with giant ‘80s hair stranded with her car on the side of the road. When he stops to help, she is - I’m sure by coincidence - also attacked by terrorists who happen to not be ninjas in any way. After questioning her, Scott learns her name is Justine (Karen Carlson) and that the ninja terrorist in charge of the terrorist ninjas is a man named Seikura (Tadashi Yamashita), who happens to be Scott’s adopted brother.