Even Rocky had to take a couple of lessons before he got back in the ring with Clubber Lang.
- John Peter McAllister

For the episode, see MST3K 322 - Master Ninja I.

Master Ninja I is a feature-length presentation assembled from two episodes of the 1984 TV series The Master. It was followed by several additional such features, starting with Master Ninja II (used in Experiment #324).


Crow head fall off

Timothy Van Patten and Lee Van Cleef in Master Ninja

Max Keller, a hot-headed young man with a strong sense of justice, encounters John Peter McAllister. McAllister has returned to America after spending nearly forty years in Japan studying the ninja arts after his service in World War II. McAllister has come to America to find the now-adult daughter that he never knew that he had. Max convinces McAllister to train him as a ninja, in exchange for which Max will help McAllister in his search. They are followed by Okasa, a former pupil of McAllister's who wants to kill him.

The duo finds themselves embroiled in the case of the Trumbull family who own an independent airfield. Greedy land developers are trying to force the Trumbulls off their property. Max and McAllister expose the plot and save the Trumbulls' airfield.

Max and McAllister then travel to a nightclub where they find a dancer friend of McAllister's daughter. The nightclub is also being threatened by amoral businessmen. The ninjas save the club and get another clue to McAllister's daughter's whereabouts.


  • Lee Van Cleef as John Peter McAllister
  • Timothy Van Patten as Max Keller
  • Sho Kosugi as Okasa
  • Clu Gulager as Mr. Christiensen
  • Demi Moore as Holly Trumbull
  • Claude Akins as Mr. Trumbull
  • Bill McKinney as Sheriff Kyle
  • Charles Collins as Charlie Patterson
  • Lori Lethen as Jill Patterson
  • Shanna Reed as Kelly Patterson
  • Soon-Tek Oh as Mr. Lika


  • Master Ninja I is one of many "movies" distributed by Film Ventures International, a distributor not known for bringing quality to their films. The credits effects have near-constant double images that make the visuals difficult to follow, in addition to the washed-out colors and poor lighting. The film also appears to be taken from an overseas PAL copy converted to US NTSC standard (framerate conversion explaining the double images), meaning the audio is slightly higher pitched than normal.
  • Master Ninja I was assembled from the episodes "Max" (the series premiere) and "Out-of-Time-Step".
  • The entire The Master TV series was released on VHS by Trans World Entertainment as numerical Master Ninja titles. Some releases identify it as The Master Ninja.
  • The entire series of The Master was released on DVD & Blu-Ray in February of 2018.

MST3K Connections[]

  • Director Ray Austin was also director for Master Ninja II.
  • Writer and executive producer Michael Sloan was also executive producer for Master Ninja II.
  • Lee Van Cleef also portrayed Dr. Tom Anderson in It Conquered the World and would reprise his role as John Peter McAllister in Master Ninja II.
  • Timothy Van Patten would reprise his role as Max Keller in Master Ninja II.
  • Actor and stunt coordinator Sho Kosugi would reprise his role as Okasa and was stunt coordinator in Master Ninja II.
  • Clu Gulager also portrayed Bob Hatten in San Francisco International.
  • Bill McKinney also portrayed Chief Wilson in Final Justice.
  • W.T. Zacha (bartender) was also wardrobe supervisor for The Unearthly and portrayed One Eye in Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II.
  • Gene Lebell (brawler) was also a stuntman in City Limits (as well as portraying a border guard) and Mac and Me.
  • Jeff Imada (bodyguard) was also a stuntman in Robot Wars.
  • Composer Bill Conti was also composer for Master Ninja II.
  • Cinematographer Frank Beascoechea was also cinematographer for Master Ninja II.
  • Casting director Lynn Stalmaster was also casting director for SST- Death Flight.
  • Production manager Joe Boston was also producer for Master Ninja II.
  • Stunt coordinator Gary Davis was also stunt coordinator for Master Ninja II.
  • Lee Van Cleef stunt double Bruce Paul Barbour repeated this duty in Master Ninja II and was stunt driver in City Limits and Werewolf (in which he also portrayed a partygoer), as well as a stuntman in The Incredible Melting Man.
  • Stuntman George Robotham was also stuntman for The Mole People.
  • Edward Mannix (unspecified voice dubbing) also provided the English dub voices for Sandur in Cave Dwellers, Bill Stevens in Pod People, President Henry Clark in Escape 2000, and Ralph Valmont in Diabolik.
  • Production executive Terry Morse Jr. was also production executive for Master Ninja II and second assistant director for Kitten with a Whip.