Here’s a little SAT word problem for you. Movies are to Books as Web Shows are to ________? Pamphlets? Magazines? eBooks?
How about Pulp? Besides being the main pole in the Tarantino tent, Pulp Fiction is a genre famous for hot action on cheap paper. Well, web shows are printed on cheap digital paper. And because of that there are lots of them. And because of THAT it’s hard for them to stand out. So if you want someone to look at your little corner of the net, what are you gonna do? One way: salaciousness (which, I was surprised to discover, is an actual word). To use a horrible term that I would never use, you gotta put some tits on it.
Cue Ninja Babes from Space. Much like Snakes on a Plane, this show delivers exactly what the title promises. Ninjas. Babes. From. Space. If you are looking for more than that in a web show (or in life in general) you might want to go elsewhere, but if you’re a heterosexual, post-pubescent male, you also might want to ask yourself why you’re being such a d-bag.
The series is a showcase piece for the 3D digital rendering and production company, Impulse-FX and each episode seems to be made up of one part ninja fighting, one part Carrie-esque pun liners, and one part leather fetish exploration. Mix briskly with computer generated back drops add a pinch of plot and you got yourself a recipe for what I have dubbed ironography – like pornography with all of the sex replaced by irony.
Over e-mail, Dan Lantz of Impulse-FX explains how the show came to be:
###"The show came about as a joke that wouldn’t go away. We wanted to make a web series. We were joking that anything with hot girls, ninjas and science fiction was a big hit, so let’s just call it Ninja Babes from Space. We laughed about how absurd it was and forgot about it. BUT THE IDEA WOULD NEVER GO AWAY…. the more we thought about it we realized, ‘This is so stupid, it may actually be a hit.’ So we made it and the series has been a hit ever since.
I’d say the influence is the ‘Amazon Women’ Mythos and the ‘token femme fatale’ that is in seemingly every action movie since the beginning of time. There was always ONE hot girl who kicked butt, but never more than just token. So we decided, to make a whole TEAM of Femme Fatales – a sort of promotion for the forefront of a story… a funny idea unto itself."
Things go wrong for the vixens when Raven, the dark and brooding babe, stabs her cohorts in the back ("What, did the black costume give it away?") and the foursome finds themselves a threesome facing a friend turned rival, which, and correct me if I am wrong, is pretty much the plot of Charlie’s Angels 2.
This show definitely has some McG to it. It’s fast (kinda), it’s furious (eh) and there are actual, real weapons in the show, much like the ones I dreamed of owning when I was 13. "We’re too low budget to use ‘stunt swords,’ Dan tells me, "so everything is real. Rest assured, no Ninja Babes were harmed in the making of this film.
There are only 4 episodes on the site thus far, each one encompasses half of an adventure. So after two adventures we have learned that the babes’ planet is in trouble and… well that’s about as much of the story as has been revealed. There is also a teaser (don’t worry, they didn’t miss the pun) which is pretty cool and a Valentine’s episode that bites a little too hard off Ask a Ninja for my taste, but again: Leather-clad ninja babes, so it’s totally worth watching.
Like any good Pulp, it would be wrong to call Ninja Babes good. The fighting is slow and predictable just a step down from Power Rangers, the bad guys are doofuses in Halloween masks, the stories are so cliche you can almost say the lines along with the actors.
But come on! These are babes! Babes who are ninjas! Babes who are ninjas in space! Even Tarantino doesn’t have any of those.