Bullet Points: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
One of my earliest movie memories is leaving the theater after seeing the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and attempting to pick up the pieces of my newly blown mind. Seeing a movie like that when you’re six years old can be both amazing and devastating at the same time. Amazing because it was a groundbreaking film starring characters from one of my favorite shows of all time. Devastating because I could only witness such a marvel in the so-rarely-visited cinemaplex.
Synopsis: Four young turtles are transformed by mutagen and trained in the ancient ways of the ninja. Their master, Splinter, who was a rat before his transformation, is captured by the evil Shredder and the turtles are forced to fight against Shredder and The Foot Clan to save Splinter before he is killed.
- Raph the Punker: I don’t know when Raphael turned into the punk rock teenager of the group. I know he was supposed to be the rebellious one of the four but this version of Raph is much more annoying than I remember. Maybe it’s because I’m a parent now.
- A Master of Disquise: Whatever annoying traits Raphael might have, he’s amazing when it comes to wearing disguises.
- $$$: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the highest grossing independent movie of all time when it was made.
- Splinter is Looking Rough: What in the hell was going on with Splinter in this movie? Maybe I’ve been watching the new animated show too much but this Splinter is more Abe Vigoda (R.I.P.) than Sho Kosugi.
- The Foot Clan: What young and rebellious teen wouldn’t want to join up with a group that will allow you to play video games, smoke cigarettes, stay up late, and eventually become a ninja? I would have been the first one to sign up if The Foot Clan were a real thing.
- April O’Neil, not that April O’Neil: For all the young people out there reading this, DO NOT RUN A GOOGLE SEARCH FOR APRIL O’NEIL PICS! You’ll find nothing but big tittied cosplay and porn stars.
- Kids Will Be Kids: As I said earlier, The Foot Clan had the market cornered on negatively influencing young teens. I don’t know what it says about the culture of the time that the lives of these young men could be taken for a few cigarettes and the promise of “family”.
- The Casey Jones Show: My favorite part about this movie has to be Elias Koteas as Casey Jones. He was beating the crap out of guys with baseball bats and hockey sticks and wasn’t afraid to kill a dude when it came down to it. Well, maybe he didn’t exactly kill anyone but he was the one who attempted to crush the Shredder to death inside that garbage truck. Cold Blooded…
- Another Awesome Asian Bad Guy: There were so many roles in the 80’s and early 90’s for Asian dudes to be badass henchmen. Al Leong, James Lew, and Professor Toru Tanaka have all had their BPA “Day in the Sun” but Toshishiro Obata could easily get his own chance to shine someday. Lord knows he deserves it. He does more to appear a badass with a few grunts than most actors these days can do in an entire movie.
The Verdict: The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is far better than that reboot from a few years ago and better than most comic book inspired movies. It has been many a year since I’ve sat down to watch it and I had forgotten just how violent it is. After some reading, I found that many studios, toy companies, and commercial partnerships were worried to be attached to a film for children that had so much ass kicking. I, for one, still love Turtles and I’m just glad that I can now watch these same movies that I loved as a child with my own kid. Circle of life.