Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movies
April 10th, 2008
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.
(Title screen for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show)
NC: (voiceover) Teenage Mutant fucking Ninja Turtles. This is the SHIT. When we were growing up this was everywhere: (pictures proving his points come up) comic books, TV shows, breakfast cereals. They even had a pie named after 'em. It tasted like splooge, but we didn't care. As long as it had the Ninja Turtles on it, we were happy.
NC: So when we heard they were making a live action movie out of this phenomenon, we PROUDLY pissed our pants with joy, shit ourselves with excitement, we vomited up vast amounts of excrement, shit on it, rolled around in it, put it back in our mouths and proceeded to vomit it up AGAIN in roaring anticipation. (beat) Okay, maybe only I did that, but still; bottom line, we were hyped as hell.
(Footage of all three Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies are shown)
NC (voiceover): These movies kicked ass back then, and I'm sure they're gonna kick ass now.
NC: (sitting in his customary seat) Which is, to say, I haven't actually seen these movies in years. But that's why, as a special treat, I am gonna sit down and review the movies with you, as you're watching it with me. So, grab your vintage "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle" box of cookies and enjoy the show. (eats a cookie, then spits it out, as they are obviously stale) ...Just watch the movie.
(Footage from the first movie begins)
NC (voiceover): Alright, New York. So far, so good. Actually, I like this opening because it doesn't even look like a Ninja Turtles movie. This could be the opening to Shaft. Watch.
(Footage from Shaft is shown)
Isaac Hayes: (audio) Who's the black private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks?
Background singers: Shaft!
NC: You see?
(April O'Neal, played by Judith Hoag, is shown on a television screen)
April: April O'Neal, Channel 3 Eyewitness News.
NC: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Who is that?
April: April O'Neal.
NC: No, no-no-no-no-no-no. Listen, lady, I'm sure you're a fine actress and everything, but (chuckles) you're not April O'Neal. This hot honey you see here...
(April from the original TV series is shown)
NC (voiceover): is April O'Neal. Yellow jumpsuit, nice legs. DAMN, she's fine.
NC: So, come on, where's the real April O'Neal? Come on, cough her up.
April's boss: Just what is going on out there, April?
NC: Okay. All right. No, no, no. That's cool, no problem. At least we still get to see her in the yellow jumpsuit, right?
(April walks into frame wearing a yellow raincoat instead)
NC (voiceover): OH, COME ON! That's not a jumpsuit, that's a raincoat!
NC: There is a difference! There is a difference! Look! I'll show you the difference. Here, watch close. (Shots of TV April with jumpsuit and Movie April with raincoat are shown) Jumpsuit, raincoat. Jumpsuit, raincoat. Jumpsuit, raincoat. Jumpsuit, raincoat. Jumpsuit, raincoat. They don't look nothing alike!
(The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles title comes up)
NC: (voiceover): All I gotta say is the turtles had better be a hell of a lot better.
(The turtles leap into frame)
NC: 'Scuse me one moment. (reaches to camera to activate "Geek Out Mode") OH, MY GOD, LOOK AT THOSE COSTUMES! THOSE ARE INCREDIBLE! That's exactly what radioactive, ninjitsu reptiles in their late teens would look like. I mean, they're unbelievable! I mean, they're phenomenal! I mean, OH, MY GOD! (shuts off "Geek Out Mode") I apologize for that. But even you have to admit those costumes are pretty incredible.
NC (voiceover): The guy who put these all together was Jim Henson, the Muppet guy. And do you know how much those puppeteers have to squat in order to get their hands up those asses?
NC: It's not even worth thinking about.
NC: (voiceover) If this movie was done today, chances are they'd turn them all into computer-generated images (poster for the CGI movie TMNT is shown) Ha-bullshit! They (the turtles) set out to rescue April from the evil Foot Clan, who want to destroy her because she's giving evil, pajama wearing psychopaths a bad name.
(A Foot Soldier slaps April in the ass)
NC: (voiceover, as April) Oh, no, you di'in't!
(April pulls out a sai. NOTE: That is Raphael's sai, as in the beginning of the film, April is attacked by the clan earlier. One of Raphael's sai takes out a light as the Turtles fight them in the darkness. In the aftermath, April takes the sai out of curiosity.)
NC: Alright, April's gonna kick some ass!
(The sai gets knocked away as NC throws up his hands in disappointment)
NC (voiceover): As you probably guessed, the Turtles save April and take her back to their home in the sewers. There she meets the Ninja Turtles' mentor, a giant rat named Splinter. And I have to admit, saying this all out loud is making me realize just how friggin' weird this movie is.
Raphael: (from earlier in the film, after walking out of a movie theater screening Critters) Where do they come up with this stuff?
NC (voiceover): So Splinter explains to April the origin of where they came from. You see, years ago, Splinter was just an ordinary pet rat in Japan. After his master is murdered, Splinter somehow makes it to New York and comes across a canister of ooze and four baby turtles. Within a day, both the turtles and Splinter grow in size and even begin to form words.
Baby Turtle: Pizza... pizza.
NC: IT COULD HAPPEN!
NC (voiceover): Splinter decides to name them after the famous Renaissance painters. Because giant mutated turtles seem to scream of the Renaissance period.
NC: It made sense back then.
NC: (voiceover) Wondering how much a ball she would drop, April decides to help them defeat the Foot and restore order to the city. And on their way, they're aided by a vigilante known as Casey Jones (played by Elias Koteas), who's pretty cool, despite the fact that he looks like Jason's homosexual Canadian brother. Now, the leader of the Foot Clan is an evil kitchen utensil known as The Shredder. Which everyone says is a giant Darth Vader rip-off, but I don't see the resemblance.
Shredder: (played by James Saito) I... am your father.
NC: Okay, it's a rip-off! But you've gotta give the guy credit. He has a diabolical scheme to... actually, what was the plan again?
Shredder: Punish these... Turtles.
NC: (stifles a laugh) I'm sorry, uh, I don't care how menacing or powerful you are. Uh, there's no way you can make "punishing turtles" sound threatening. I'm sorry, it's just not humanly possible. But...
NC: (voiceover) You see, he's using kids and teenagers to fight these battles. If you went up to a hitman and said you wanted them to hunt down some turtles, they'd probably laugh in your face. However, if you get a bunch of kids, stone them off their asses, get dressed up in shiny metal, recruit them to be ninjas, and THEN ask them to hunt some turtles?
NC: (dressed as a hippie, holding a joint) Dude, sign me up!
NC (voiceover): My only problem with this plan is the costumes they're assigned. I mean, I know they're supposed to be ninjas and everything, but those costumes are so tight, I don't even think they can talk. (mumbling as if wearing a ninja mask) One of the things I love about this movie is the Turtles' disguises, which is pretty much just a trench coat and a fedora hat. How can no one recognize them in that? I mean, how stupid do people have to be to not recognize a big turtle in a trench coat?
Cabbie: Looked like sort of a big turtle... in a trench coat.
NC (voiceover): So the movie comes to a thrilling climax at the top of a tall building, where The Shredder challenges our heroes to a man-on-turtle brawl. And of course, being the Ninja Turtles... they get their green asses handed to 'em.
Michelangelo: At what point did we lose control here?
NC (voiceover): But all that changes when Splinter comes into the picture. It's sensei vs. sensei, giant rat vs. giant cheese grater; the battle of all battles begins! Here it goes.
(Shredder charges at Splinter with a spear)
NC: This is gonna be good! Here it comes...!
(Splinter pulls out a set of nunchucks and deflects the spear, then trips Shredder over the edge of the building and into a garbage truck below)
NC: (beat) BULLSHIT! What kind of a battle was that?! He sticks out his foot like a cartoon character, and he TRIPS?! What a rip-off!
NC (voiceover, over footage of the second film The Secret of the Ooze): All I gotta say is, the next film had better be a whole lot better. (reads the title as it comes onscreen) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
NC: Now what exactly IS the secret of the ooze?
NC (voiceover): It was made in a laboratory. And... that's about it. Really no surprises on top of that. Kind of a big let down. But the Turtles are back and this time they're, well, more kid-friendly, I guess. After all the parents complained about the violence and swearing in the first film – you know, everything that made it good – the second film tones down the action and the bad language. Instead of using their weapons to fight people, they use stuff like cold food, belts and yo-yos. You know, stuff you find lying around the house. So now all your kids will know how to turn household appliances into blunt, badass weapons.
NC: Thank you, parents of America.
NC: (voiceover): And as for the bad language...
NC: I don't remember too much swearing in the first movie.
Michelangelo: (from the first film) Ninja kick the damn rabbit!
Raphael: (from the first film) Damn! (skip) Damn. (skip) DAAAAMMN!
NC: Okay, okay. So every kid was swearing like a bastard after this movie. But, granted, it's a lot better than their original cut.
(A fight scene from the first film is shown)
Gang member: (from "Boyz n the Hood") (dubbed over scene) Fuck that, man! Them niggas 'round the corner tripped out, man! Where my--fuck that! Where my strap? Fuck that sh--!
NC: Never let Spike Lee direct a children's movie. (NOTE: It's actually John Singleton who directed that particular film.)
Michelangelo: Can you believe this guy?
NC (voiceover): So the story centers around the return of the sinister Shredder. After doing a short rip-off of Tim Burton's Batman, he gets back to business by plotting revenge against those pop-culture spewing reptiles. He steals a canister of ooze from that guy in "Titanic" and decides to make his own mutants. Within seconds, two innocent, harmless animals are transformed into the sinister duo of Bebop and Rocksteady!
Shredder: Tokka. Rahzar.
NC (voiceover): Yeah, like I said, Bebop and Rocksteady.
NC (voiceover): Now the one scene everyone remembers is the fight scene that takes place in the whitest of all rap clubs, led by the whitest of all rappers. You guessed it... Vanilla Ice.
Turtles: Oh, no!
NC (voiceover): Gee, it seems like they're pretty freaked out about all those monsters breaking into their club!
(As people start running from the club as the Turtles, Toka, and Razar fight, rap music plays on the stage)
NC: But wait a minute.
(Vanilla Ice is moving his head to the music as though he is impressed with the fight taking place)
NC: I think the Ice is feelin' somethin'.
NC: (voiceover) I think he's conjuring up a rap.
NC: A sort of... ninja rap if you will.
Vanilla Ice: (rapping) Yo, it's the green...
NC: HE IS!
NC (voiceover): Look at that! A totally spontaneous, yet totally choreographed rap scene really made up on the fly! What talent.
NC: I gotta tell ya, this guy is goin' places! Like the unemployment line!
(Picture of Vanilla Ice is shown with "Bumming It" stamped on it)
NC (voiceover): So the film climaxes as The Shredder drinks what's left of the mutated ooze and turns into a mutant himself. Jesus Christ, look at that. That is a badass villain.
Donatello: It's a Super Shredder!
NC: All right, this is gonna make up for the shitty climax in the last movie. Four mutant turtles vs. one giant mutant Shredder? This is gonna be good.
(As Super Shredder brings down a dock in an attempt to kill the Turtles, the dock instead collapses on him)
NC: (beat) WHAT THE FUCK?!
NC (voiceover): Are you telling me a regular Shredder can survive a seven story fall and a dump truck crushing him, but a Super Shredder can't survive a bunch of wood falling on him?
NC: BULLSHIT, BULLSHIT, BULLSHIT! You know I'm starting to realize that, uh, these movies aren't quite the masterpieces I remember them to be. I mean, they're weird as hell, they don't make any sense, and they keep pissing me off with their anti-climaxes. But I shouldn't give up hope. After all, there is still one movie left: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. And seeing as how they've had two movies to experiment with and find out what works and what doesn't, I think we can safely assume that this is gonna be the best of the bunch. So sit back and let's enjoy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.
(A place card reads "5 Minutes Later")
NC: (crying in his bathtub) OH, MY GOD, IT'S SO TERRIBLE! ITS SO TERRIBLE! (bites his fist and cries some more, followed by a montage of him continuing to go crazy)
NC: This is the worst movie that nobody should ever have to see!
NC: (voiceover): It's awful! It's terrible! It's... it's...!
NC: It's so bad, I am forced to make up a word to describe how bad it is. This movie is... is... horribufuckus. It is the most "horribufuckus" movie I have ever seen in my entire life. Okay, like I said, these movies aren't the masterpieces we remember them to be. But it's best not to look at them as movies, but more as... a homework assignment. Make a movie about four mutated turtles in their late teens who are named after Renaissance painters, led around by a giant rat, know ninjitsu, eat pizza, dress up like flashers, fight a guy who's named after a cheese grater... and make it plausible. And you know what? With the exception of the last movie, I'd probably give this project an A... minus, but still an A. I'm the Nostalgia Critic, I remember it so you don't have to.
(Copyright info for "Horrifuckus"--the misspelling is included in the video--is shown)