The association between Sam Firstenberg and Menahem Golan (of Cannon Films) had started in December of 1973. Years later, Golan and Globus hired Sam to direct what would become a huge cult classic with REVENGE OF THE NINJA. Sam knew nothing about martial arts, but learned quickly and the film starred Sho Kosugi. Distributed by MGM to a great box-office bonanza, it set the stage for Sam's next directing assignment NINJA III: THE DOMINATION also starring Kosugi. Firstenberg eventually went on to direct BREAKIN 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO making him the king of sequels with a title that became a part of pop culture lexicon. Now a new book is in the works, all about Firstenberg’s unique brand of action cinema entitled Stories from the Trenches: The Official Sam Firstenberg Book. Having grown up in the VHS era and a fan of cult classics including BREAKIN 2 and NINJA III, I had the immense pleasure of talking with a rather idiosyncratic talent that contributed a lot of entertaining hours to my teenage years back in the 80s. In the first thirteen minutes during the introduction, I sing the praises of The Chicago Critics Film Festival as well as highlight the upcoming Chicago Underground Film Festival happening in about a week!