I go from some awesome comic book movies to the Martial Arts collection that has been pretty hit or miss. This is not a good way to start the weekend. Add to that the fact that my head and nose seem to have given up fighting off a cold and it just adds to my misery. Oh well, I might as well get this over with. So today’s movie is actually not so much a movie, but the first episode of a TV show. That is kind of disappointing and a little misleading on the part of Mills Creek as the collection is listed as 50 movies, not 49 movies and 1 TV episode. Well, lets go ahead and see how good or bad The Master: Max really is.
The plot: A drifter named Max Keller is thrown out a bar’s window after getting in a fight with some bikers. Deciding to get even, he ties the back wheels of the bikers’ motorcycles to various objects, then races past the bikers in his van when they leave the bar, prompting them to give chase and subsequently wrecking their bikes. Meanwhile, John Peter McAllister, a WWII vet who chose to live in Japan and was trained as a ninja, is preparing to leave the ninja sect and head to America to locate a daughter he didn’t know was alive. However, the sect believes his leaving is dishonorable and some ninjas are sent to kill him but John easily dispatches them. However, as he is boarding the plane to begin his journey, his former pupil Okasa shows up and throws a shuriken into John’s back, but John manages to make it on board and the plane takes off. Back in the U.S., Max is driving towards the town of Ellerston when he picks up a young woman named Holly Trumball, who asks him to take her back home to her father’s airport. As they are driving, they are chased by the local sheriff, who Holly says tried to rape her, and when the sheriff begins shooting at them, Max speeds off in his van with the sheriff in pursuit until he loses control of his car and crashes. Arriving at her airport, Holly thanks Max and directs him to a hotel he can stay at. Max decides to go to a local bar, unaware that John is right behind him, as is the sheriff. When a fight breaks out between two patrons, John’s suitcase is thrown and the sheriff grabs John’s sword from the now open case. Max, tired of seeing the sheriff harassing John, steps in to help and ends up starting a bar fight. After Max is thrown through the window, John proceeds to stop the fight by trashing the bar, then asks Max to help him get out of there. Needing a place to lay low, Max heads back to Trumball’s airfield, and finds Mr. Trumball speaking with a representative for a man named Mr. Christensen. When the man leaves, Max explains what happened to Mr. Trumball, who has Holly hide Max and the man inside one of the buildings as the Sheriff shows up. Later, Max talks with John and after finding out what brought John into town, he tries making a deal with John to help him find his daughter in exchange for his teaching him how to fight, but John refuses. Meanwhile, Sheriff Kyle and another man sneak back into the airport and begin dousing some of the plans in the hanger with gasoline and after Max leaves, the proceed to light the gasoline on fire. Holly sees the fire in the hangar and goes to put it out but ends up being trapped in the blaze. While Mr. Trumball and his ground crew work on putting out the fires, John goes to rescue Holly and ends up having to fly a plane through the hangar in order to escape. Meanwhile, Max sees the fire and heads back to the airfield, but when he arrives at the airfield, he is shot at by the sheriff, who is trying to leave the scene. Angered by what happened, Max goes to see Mr. Christensen, the business developer that was trying to buy the airport, but he ends up getting thrown out after crashing Christensen’s dinner party. John decides to teach Max some lessons in order to help keep him alive, but feels like someone is watching them. In his full ninja garb, John attacks and captures Sheriff Kyle, and Max has his confession on the arson sent to the DA’s office. Max and John head to Christensen’s office to confront him, but as Max confronts and kills Christensen, John comes face to face with Okasa. The two ninjas begin fighting and John defeats Okasa but instead of killing him, he lets him live, but severs an artery in his arm so that he won’t be able to fight them for a while. The next day, Max agrees to help John in his search for his daughter and the two leave town, with Holly waving at them from her plane.
Yep, this was your typical 80’s TV show. The acting was ok for the most part, though a bit over the top at times. I can’t really tell how original the plot was because it reminded me of several other TV shows, especially the A-Team, with the whole riding around in a van helping people. The action scenes were sometimes decent and sometimes laughably bad, with some pretty lousy camera editing adding to that. Still, as far as a TV show goes it kind of got me somewhat interested but I wouldn’t make it regular watching.
Rating: 2 out of 5