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Man Movie Encyclopedia – The Octagon

September 12, 2019 | Posted by Caliber Winfield
Chuck Norris - The Octagon

Greetings, my beautiful people.

This week, we continue our Chuck-A-Thon with a look at his 1980 hit, The Octagon. Chuck Norris, ninjas, super ninjas, fights, this couldn’t possibly suck! Could it? Let’s find out, baby!

OctagonHeader

Oh my God. This movie starts off with some inner thoughts from Norris, and it uses this annoying effect with a shit-ton of reverb so it echos, and I can barely understand what he’s saying. After that, we open up with a group of men showing up to some sort of training facility, which appears to be lead by….THE BLACK STAR NINJA! FUCK YEAH!

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We then immediately cut to some rich dude leaving his crib, when he gets jumped and shot to hell. Must be super high levels of oxygen in there, because his blood is super bright red. We then cut to a performance of something, an opera, a dance, I dunno, and Scott James [Chuck] is there. He takes out the lead chick to a Mexican restaurant. She’s a horrible actress, for the record. She’s like Elvira in Scarface, super uninteresting and bland. They head to her place, and he can tell someone’s in the house. We know, because they do that GOD-AWFUL inner monologue. However, there’s a shit ton of peeps, like 5, and they all get an ass whooping, oh, and Nancy dies. Also, when he turns the lights on, there’s quite a few bodies about, all dead. They weren’t there before, so I don’t know if the ninja put them there after the lights came on or what. So, yeah, Nancy and her family are dead. Turns out her brother was one of the dudes who killed the rich guy in the beginning, as he was trained at the Octagon, which is the name for this camp that trains peeps to be ninja terrorists. Dig it.

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He goes to meet a friend, who I think is a hunter of some sorts, to ask about how ninja might have got into the states. His friend gives him the ol’ “ninja are long since dead” shpeel. They also touch on why Scott doesn’t compete anymore, and it’s because he injured a guy in competition. Which we never see, and is never mentioned again.
Scott is on his way to some where, helps a chick get her car out of a ditch, and she seems suspect. She ends up taking his car keys, leaving him stranded. However, before hand, she’s like “Hey, total stranger, here’s my address, stop by some time for a drink, total and complete stranger”. He then promptly shows up to get his keys, and the whole time she’s all about trying to have relations with him.

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After this, some bad dudes try and chase them down, but they evade capture. Turns out she owns a major news paper company, and was told by the same group that killed her father to basically stop reporting on these “terrorist” events or she’d be next. Scott then feels this is the best time to ask her to dinner. Hell yeah.
Meanwhile, at the Octagon, a dude gets his ass beat because he had the audacity to sleep. Seriously. These ninjas came in through the windows, then the leaders show up like “What the hell?! Why are you sleeping at night when it’s sleep time?! You’d be dead!” and then the muscle of the ninjas, this big ninja dude with serious ninja garb on, whoops on the dude. This dude’s outfit is complex and detailed. Looks like it’d be a pain in the ass to put on, and you know there are times where he’s like

Ninja Enforcer: Dude, I JUST took this stupid thing off. Please, can’t I just go out and punish them in my shorts & wife beater? Man, can’t we work out like a ninja-magic thing where I just go ‘it’s morphin time!’ and suddenly I’m in it? This thing is like putting on a damn suit of armor, man, it takes me forever. Ugh….FINE! FINE! But next time it’s just the mask and my bathrobe. Fuck you guys.

Well, after some snooping, Scott realizes she hired the bad guys to chase her down, as she wants Scott to be her bodyguard and kill this dude named Seikura, who is Scott’s brother, also known as the Black Star Ninja. Scott then decides to check the wanted section of his local newspaper, where he finds an add for mercenary soldiers. He heads to their recruiting office, which is literally a folding table. They get some info and take a picture, and once he leaves, one of the dudes is like “uh, that’s world renown martial arts champion Scott James”. Now, sure, he doesn’t say that, he just knows who he is, but it’s weird that Scott thought he’d go unnoticed. We then get a flashback scene of when he beat his brother, Seikura, in a race to get a sword. Seikura snatches it from him, says he doesn’t deserve it, and their dad just flips his shit. He’s literally like “You’re dead to me. Scott, he’s now your LIFE LONG ENEMY!”. I mean, holy shit, there are ZERO second chances in this family. As an adult, I would occasionally remind dad about that time my brother was a sore loser and as a result he had to become my LIFE LONG ENEMY.

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Holy shit, this movie….man, there are SO many moving parts, characters, and bad story-telling. OK, so the girl who wanted to hire Scott ends up dead by the hands of the ninja. Then Scott’s buddy AJ decides to go fight the ninjas and Seikura, so Scott goes after him. In the morning. Until then, he looks to get a good night’s sleep, but some ninjas attempt to screw that up. Well, that doesn’t exactly work out in their favor. They all die, as does the non-ninja group of mercs who came as back up.
OK, there’s also a chick who defected from Seikura’s camp. She’s rolling with Scott now, and is gonna show him where Seikura’s base is. Naturally, she fucks him. Every girl in this movie wants him.
So, his buddy AJ is of course immediately captured. There is a lot of this movie that takes place in broad day light, blue skies, shining sun, in the desert, and these ninjas are dressed, well, like a ninja. Just hanging out in the trees, or walking the perimeter. How is there not a single scene of at least ONE ninja speaking up? There has to be someone who’s been on tree duty for a week and is about to lose his shit because he’s dressed head to toe in all black, sitting in a fucking tree for 8 hours a day.

Disgruntled Ninja: Jesus, you guys, can I PLEASE just hang out in that tree in some shorts and a tank-top?! Yeah, I get it, we have the ninja-code and shit, but am I REALLY gonna be more visible with my calves & arms showing than if I’m a GIANT black blob in a tree in BROAD DAY LIGHT?! How come Steve always gets to guard the pool?! Any chance that during the summer months we can wear like…ninja-rompers or something? Seriously, this heat is oppressive and I’m gonna throw a fucking ninja star into my own brain the next time I see that temp gauge reach 100 degrees and I’m on guard-the-boiling-hot-tar duty or something.

So, Scott arrives to the camp, and tells the woman to absolutely not try and help. Because she’s a woman she immediately doesn’t listen.
Well, Scott gets in there and beats the hell out of a shit ton of ninja before getting captured. He sees AJ, who’s pissed at him, telling him it’s “his fight”. I love it. Dude hasn’t landed a single blow on anyone, is beat to shit, held captive with a knife to his throat but is all “I got’em RIGHT where I want’em!”. They let Scott go, and force him to go through a maze/gauntlet thing where he fights ninjas the whole time.
Scott then faces the super ninja, who hisses a lot like he’s Cobra Commander. I’m serious, he does it like 5 different times.

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The fight is pretty decent though, because it goes from sword, to sai, to hand to hand. Scott kills the super ninja when he jump kicks him into the fire, and while BURNING ALIVE the super-ninja still comes after him! Dude, super burly. For this, Seikura kills AJ. Then, after a big ass chase, and a LAME fight, Sikura dies in a very lame manner where he tries to sneak up behind Scott but eats his sword instead. Then the movie immediately ends.

MAN MOVIE TALLY:
1-Liners: 0
Guys Beat Up: 36
Guys Killed: 16
Swear Words: 3
Boobies: 0
Explosions: 2
Chase: 2
Broken Bones: 0
Fight/Shoot-Out At Motel?: No
Guy Get Girl? Yes
Guy/Girl Smoke?: No

MAN FACTS:
For the final scenes of the training compound being blown to hell, it cost them $200,000 to do it, and they went big time because it was cheaper than dismantling it all and taking the pieces to the dump.

The actor playing Chuck at age 18, is his son, Mike.

Richard Norton played a nobody henchman, as well as the bad-ass enforcer, Kyo.

C’MON BENNETT, LET’S PARTY!:
Yeah, The Octagon is a fucking mess. It’s fun in a Mystery Science Theater kinda way, but that’s about it. There’s just WAY too much story. They tried to cram so many characters, story, and character-archs into a freaking ninja film with Chuck Norris. You don’t need ANY of that crap! Just tell me Chuck is a bad-ass, his brother is bad, and he’s gotta kick his ass. Instead they just went all over the place with lame-ass characters, stories that went no where, or got where they were going and where they were going sucks. The fight scenes were fun, and I loved the stuff with the ninjas, and the ninja camp. I can never get enough of that. Chuck has his usual presence, and I always get a kick out of his constant nonchalant, but-you’re-5-seconds-from-an-ass-kicking kind of attitude he always brings.
Honestly, just check out the last 10 minutes or so of the movie, and you’re good.
**1/4 Head-Butts out of 5

Any questions, comments, drunk-ramblings, feel free to send them my way, I always dig hearing from you, the beautiful people.
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