Ninja Academy: Music From The Movie
Review By: Gringo

(DEAR FRIENDS, click on song titles to experience beauty!!!)

It was so close to being yesterday's news. Well, yesterday being over a month ago. I'd written my review of Ninja Academy and with a heavy heart thought I'd never be able to write anything about it ever again. Then, it struck me. Not like a smack in the face, more like a great discovery type-of-striking me. Why not write something about the soundtrack to the movie? Okay, I can think of a number of reasons. In fact, I can think of more cons than pros. But it's the middle of the afternoon, I've got nothing better to do with my time and I've just finished watching the damn movie for the 1056th time. So you're stuck with a review of the music featured in Ninja Academy.

The original songs were written and performed, the end credits helpfully inform, by one Tom Marolda and his Grease Band. No, I've never heard of them either. Chances are that apart from this review, you're not going to be hearing of them in the near or distant future. I don't recall a single mainstream song or in fact any song written by anyone other than Mr. Marolda being featured in this movie. Some would blame the cheap budget the producers were working with. Others would wonder why I've started talking about the movie's budget when I'm meant to be reviewing the songs. Anyway! On with the musical fun!

Hokey Pokey

I have trouble working out what the lyrics of this song are meant to signify. Sure, it's a lively enough tune, but it seems to be the story of a strange woman who uses magic (the "hokey pokey" in question) to achieve what she wants. The bizarre thing is that Mr. Marolda makes her out to be some kind of robot or Frankenstein's monster, insisting that she has "all the pieces, and all the parts are working". But, hey, if she can perform magic tricks, who's complaining? This song is used for the training scenes which to be honest would be rather dull without this musical joy in the background.

It doesn't help matters that the music seems to come from one of those crappy keyboards that came out in the early 90's. The type where you could press a button labeled 'Drum' and hit a few keys, instantly experiencing a sound that was nothing like a drum, but instead a solitary DAT noise. Combined with the wacky synthesiser nonsense going on in the background, I can say with utmost confidence that the musical composition for this song is none other than DAT DAT DOO DOO DOO DAT.

I Love You Baby

What I love about this song is that it plays straight after a bad guy's been urinated on, so in a way it acts as a marker for one of the best scenes in the history of cinema, ever. All of the songs were written by Mr. Marolda, yet performed either by him or jointly with the Grease Band. To tell you the truth, the difference in styles isn't one you'll notice. That's because almost every song sounds incredibly similar to the last one. The reason I'm mentioning this is because I Love You Baby is the only song from the entire movie that doesn't sound like something which was played five minutes ago. It's still not very good though.

It also sounds like something the Barenaked Ladies would come up with, what with its crazy fun chorus and upbeat jingle jangle style. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, or that I hate the Barenaked Ladies. Well, in fact I saw the lead singer on some news-based programme or other. Something about his smug moon-face and the fact that his band have less range than Tom Marolda makes me want to injure them...I've lost track of what I was talking about, so on to the next song.

Something's Happninja

The soundtrack continues its miraculous ability of having absolutely nothing to do with the movie with this song. Sure, it's got the word 'ninja' in the title, but that's as far as its relevance goes. They don't even say the word in the chorus! Still it manages to become the movie's signature theme. It's all over the place; little snippets of it when the mime gets hit by a punch bag, when a couple of the students find a nudist colony (sure, right in the middle of crowded Southern California woodland) or when the American actor playing super-spy 007-11 spouts his ever-changing 'English' accent. With a soundtrack like this, you have to wonder why Ninja Academy never got a theatrical release. It's a shame, because almost all of the cast never made another movie. Not even a sequel!

Unfortunately, because it sounds much like that other Marolda gold-disc classic Hokey Pokey, this song loses something in terms of quality. For some reason, in Ninja Academy there's a heavy reliance on the montage scene. These tend to be silent jumbled-together shots of comedy fun, like the ninja recruits going for a jog. Such fun! The reason the music plays over these scenes is because it's a lot more pleasant listening to that than listening to a bunch of sweaty, unfit actors trying to jog. Or so you'd think. One chord from the Grease Band and you'll be left in some doubt about which is the more attractive option.

Fallin'

This song is used in the movie's big love scene. The only problem being that the love scene is in fact just the wet dream of one of the students, who has his mind set on wooing (yes, wooing) the daughter of the bearded one who runs the academy. The scene involves a lot of twirling around in a swimming pool - with some particularly gratuitous close-ups of both participants. To emphasise the fact that it's a dippy love scene, Fallin', another classic Tom Marolda song, is played for the duration. Poor Tom is so in love, it seems, that he "can't eat" and keeps fallin' off "his feet". How is this possible? Does he have detachable feet? I think the Grease Band need to sit their leader down and have words with him about his lyrics. Alternatively, give him lead-soled shoes to steady his balance.

The song isn't particularly memorable (then again, none of them are). It's just a slowed down version of the DAT DOO DAT chord sequence pounded out on one of the Grease Band's keyboards in Hokey Pokey. Marolda's not a crummy singer, but he is a crummy song-writer and you can almost hear him choking back the tears as he sings; realising what he's actually written and composed and forcing himself to perform out in public. I'm not sure if he ever scored the soundtrack for another movie, but if he did it was probably after a long spell of crying in his room, perhaps wearing a dunce cap and sitting facing the wall.

The Night I Spent With You

It seems that neither Tom nor his Grease Band are very adept at counting from one to seven. For this song, with the time span in its title, has the chorus of "the night I spent the week with you". Sorry, Tom, but that's just not possible. A day has twenty-four hours in it; one night even less. A week has 168 hours in it. (I think. I'm from the Marolda School of Mathematics). So really, he should be singing "the 168 hours I spent the week with you". But I suppose that's not as catchy. On the upside, this is another song which is perfectly fitting for a movie of Ninja Academy's quality. I'm not saying it's an unfunny movie, or even a bad one. Everything's just been made very, very cheaply.

The biggest crime (other than murder one) is that the soundtrack doesn't have a single memorable song. There's nothing along the lines of the Super Mario Bros. movie's classic Walk The Dinosaur to be found. And for that, I can never forgive Tom Marolda or his Grease Band. Actually, I don't care either way. Instead, I suppose I should go and find something more productive to do with the rest of the day. With that said, all there is left for me to do is wonder whether I've obsessed over every aspect of the movie enough. Coming soon: an overly pedantic in-depth review of the trees and plants found in the background of scenes in the movie. Maybe.


This website is © 2001-2008 Listen To Me. All pictures, sounds and other stuff which doesn't belong to us is © its respective owner(s). Everything else is a free-for-all. Steal anything we created (as if you'd ever want to) and we'll...well, we probably won't be motivated to do anything. But you never know. And yes, that is Colonel Sanders throwing a punch at this copyright notice. SMACK