In honor of his appearance at Actionfest on Sunday, this week is Chuck Norris week. The Octagon is currently available on instant Netflix.
WATCH: The Octagon (1980) – Rated R.
“A group of terrorist ninjas have been wreaking havoc on the life of a wealthy woman named Justine (Karen Carlson), so she hires former karate champion Scott James (Chuck Norris) to be her bodyguard. Aiming to take down the group of dangerous thugs, who happen to be led by his rival Seikura (Tadashi Yamashita), James must start with their training ground, known as The Octagon. Will evil prevail? Or will James have the last word?”
“If you are seeing ninjas, you are seeing ghosts.”
At last three years after Breaker! Breaker!, Chuck Norris gets a budget. Woohoo!
Chuck is much better here. His acting is still a bit wooden here. He had not yet learned the star formula of winking witticism – action scene – one liner – rinse and repeat.
This does have the absolute cheesiest voiceover ever. Explaining his thoughts is fine but they have his thoughts reverberate. Are they trying to indicate that other than the current thought, his noggin is empty? The reverb really reminds me of Friday the 13th and the cha-cha-cha-ha-ha-ha every time Jason is near.
Just a hint – when Chuck Norris tells you not to get up, it is in your best interest to stay put.
The extra money allowed them to get the gruff Lee Van Cleef to costar. He plays the enigmatic McCarn and is just wonderful. He helps make the first two acts bearable so we can get to the all important third act.
Art (The Brood, Invasion of the Body Snatchers) Hindle plays a hero wannabe who idolizes Chuck. A pre-Ghostbusters Ernie Hudson has a tiny part as Quinine. Who knew Ernie was so buff?
Chuck Norris vs. An Army of Ninjas! I wonder who will win? While there is waaaay too much talking in the first two acts, the third act features plenty of martial arts action with ninjas, terrorists, exotic weaponry, explosions and of course Chuck!
This is a cheesy yet enjoyable martial arts film. Leave your brain at the door and just enjoy all of the Chuck on ninja action.
For those of you with set top boxes, Netflix presents The Octagon in a nice looking HD transfer.
People Watch: Veteran character actor Tracey Walter (Batman, Conan the Destroyer) appears briefly and hilariously as Mr. Beedy.