As you’ve probably heard, Demi Moore is going through a pretty difficult time right now and recently checked into rehab, and whenever that happens to a celebrity, I like to do a “Before They Were Stars” feature on them to harken back to a more innocent time… like when she was being rescued by a master ninja! In 1984, Demi made a guest appearance on the pilot episode of a short-lived TV series called The Master, starring Lee Van Cleef as a master ninja who travels the country with an annoying sidekick in a beat-up van in search of his daughter. Given that Van Cleef was 59 years old at the time and never had any martial arts training that I know of, no points for guessing that all of his actual ninja scenes were performed by a stunt double in a mask. Anyway, The Master only lasted 13 episodes before cancellation and its first two episodes were eventually edited together by some low-rent video company and released on VHS as a feature-length movie called Master Ninja. Master Ninja would find immortality forever when it was riffed on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000… which, of course, is where this clip is from!
Behind the Curtain