Great Moments in Asian History: Ernie Reyes, Jr.

Or Don't Mess with Small Asians

I've already talked at lengths about Data and Rufio, so I feel I must compete the trinity with Mr. Ernest Reyes, Jr. Together they form Voltron: Defen... no, that's not right, though it would be awesome. Of the Asian actors of the 80's and 90's these three were always at the top of the list. If you needed bad gadgets and baseball cap wearing, it was Jonathan Ke Quan. If you needed a little bangarang, look no further than Danté Basco. But if you needed someone who was small and could kick ass, there was only one choice: Ernie Reyes, Jr. For the younger generation, Ernie Reyes, Jr. is probably best known for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. Reyes also starred in Red Sonja, Sidekicks (TV series), and Surf Ninjas, which also costarred Rob Schneider who is neither believable as A) a surfer, B) a ninja, or C) a human being. He more recently hosted MTV's Final Fu and performed stunts in movies like The Rundown and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. However, those of us with sense and good taste will best remember Ernie from The Last Dragon. Sho'Nuff!

asian trinity

Let us go back to a simpler time when DeBarge was topping the Billboard charts (Who's DeBarge?) and Berry Gordy produced bad martial arts flicks. Let us bow our heads and remember The Last Dragon. As you recall, Bruce Leeroy was ambushed by cartoonish mercenaries (there's, at least, one Mongolian warrior) at a disco while trying to rescue his veejay girlfriend. I wish I was making this up, but this is in fact the plot of the movie. When all seems lost his Kung Fu students suddenly come to the rescue (about 50 more than were in his actual class), and before this scene none of them actually knew Kung Fu (Bruce Leeroy only taught poorly acted Confucius sayings)--since his students are mostly Asian, however, it's assumed that karate is in their DNA. Then Ernie Reyes, Jr. happens and the whole movie gets better. Other things not to overlook in the scene: Bruce Leeroy's brother using break dancing to escape ropes and fat, albino Mr. T (the very worst kind of Mr. T). Enjoy...

The greatest thing about Ernie Reyes, Jr. was he could actually fight; he has trained in Taekwondo since he was four. Which in turned saved me from ever having to actually fight myself growing up because of the off chance that I would suddenly unleash insane martial arts moves. Nobody wants to get beat up by a small Asian kid, so it's best to stay away from them unless you know for sure that they are not finely tuned killing machines.

Follow up:

The Power is in the Bowl

For those of you, who are small and Asian and have little to no actual fighting abilities, the best thing to do is fake it. Practice the crane kick, and more importantly get yourself a nice bowl haircut. Karate ability is directly proportional to the straightness of bangs. This is also why Moe is the most bad ass of the Three Stooges, and why Zooey Deschanel can bring me to my knees with just a glance (Kiss my Converse!).

Bruce Lee hair
Bruce Lee: Bangs and muscles makes for a formidable combination.
Data hair
Data/Short Round: He may be able to bust out a move or two, but don't count on it. Best when armed with a mechanical boxing glove.
Rufio hair
Rufio: Good at skateboarding and getting stabbed. Do not bring this haircut to a fight.
Ernie Reyes Jr Hair
Ernie Reyes, Jr: Better bangs than Bruce Lee, notice how high that bowl is, that's because they're filled with tiny Fists of Fury... and Top Ramen. Do not beat up any brotherly role models in front of him. If that hair with that look is coming at you, run away.
  • John Farrier
    Comment from: John Farrier
    07/12/10 @ 07:59:00 am

    Ernie Reyes, Jr. I never before knew his name. He was great in Red Sonja.

  • Stacy
    Comment from: Stacy
    09/03/13 @ 04:59:40 am

    I love this article and your entire site! Looking forward to reading more!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be revealed on this site.

Your URL will be displayed.
(Line breaks become <br />)
(Name, email & website)
(Allow users to contact you through a message form (your email will not be revealed.)