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Awfully Good: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III


At least the Michael Bay TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES has to be better than this. Right?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)

Director: Stuart Gillard
Stars: Paige Turco, Elias Koteas, Corey Feldman

Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo go back in time to save feudal Japan from evil white people.

The first two TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES feature films weren't exactly dark and gritty relics of the '90s, but TMNT III is so dull and unexciting that it was too lame even for its intended kiddie audience. Hell, it's been 20+ years and I still remember being bored by it in the theater.

I still can't believe the interspecies love triangle made it past the ratings board.

You know you're in for a bad time when the film opens with a dance montage featuring the turtles sewer grooving to ZZ Top. And that's just a taste of all the terribleness to come—the eye-rolling immature jokes, the lazily choreographed fights, and a script that's so bad it almost doesn't make sense. ("I'm not peeking; I'm spelunking for pork rinds!") However, the most damaging issue with this second sequel is how they brought the turtles back to life.

You never go full greentard.

Whether it was budgetary concerns or creative differences that led to Jim Henson's Creature Shop not coming back to handle the animatronics, it doesn’t matter— the title characters' redesigned look is hilariously awful in TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III: SECRET OF THE DERP. Their skin tone is off and there are weird spots emanating from their crotch that look like open sores or the beginning stages of skin cancer. Their amateur movements and poorly-controlled faces are akin to puppets from Chuck E. Cheese, with mouths that oftentimes don't match what they're saying. The Splinter puppet is barely functional, which might be why we see him stationary for the entire film.

Maybe if you all didn't share the same Time Scepter you wouldn't have turtle gonorrhea.

Having fought Shredder in the last two moves, it makes sense to want to move on to different storylines. The Time Scepter has been featured in the original comic series, but could they have possibly used it in a more boring story? April O'Neil finds an old Japaanese lantern at a flea market and it happens to be a time traveling device that sucks her and the turtles back to ancient Japan. They meet some Japanese people, inadvertently get in to a fight, and then return to the present. That's the entire movie. There are no fun surprises or memorable moments in between each plot development—just outdated pop-culture references and wet willies.

Percy was a big fan of aural sex.

And it's not like there weren't opportunities for interesting ideas. The turtles are featured in a prophecy on an ancient scroll that is never explored or explained. (I think a couple of the characters might be related to Shredder and Splinter, but that's doing the screenwriter's job for them.) Raphael gets the closest thing to an emotional arc thanks to his relationship with a young boy named Yoshi, but it's laughably rushed. (Ralph gives the boy a yo-yo and the boy immediately hugs him and says, "I won't let you die Raphael!") Michaelangelo expresses a desire to stay in the past due to feeling like an outsider in New York City, but that idea comes out of nowhere and is immediately dismissed. Even the bad guy is revealed to be simply a tragic leader and the real villain is predictably the evil white guy. (He actually says the line, "Places to go, people to kill")

"If you say Judith Hoag's name one more time I will end you!"

Perhaps the biggest letdown of all is that after sitting the second movie out, Elias Koteas returns as Casey Jones—only to spend the entire movie sitting on the sidelines in the present and babysitting some fish-out-of-water Japanese guys from the past. They even give Koteas a second role as an Englishman in ancient Japan, but again, it's a character of no consequence. I don't even think anybody says goodbye to him when they leave at the end.

It's all just a franchise-killing waste of time.

Inappropriate sexual innuendo, random pop-culture references and more.

This Best Of montage includes turtle dancing, wet willies and embarrassing fight scenes.

I hope you like bare shell.

From the director of ROCKETMAN! Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • The turtles' mouths don't match what they're saying
  • The turtles make a movie or pop culture reference
  • The turtles high five each other
  • Someone says, "honor guard"
  • There's a cartoon sound effect

Double shot if:

  • Someone gets a wet willy

Thanks to Aaron and Shaun for suggesting this week's movie!

Aaaaaand if that movie wasn't awful enough for ya'll, here's a bonus AWFULLY GOOD video featuring a breakdown of the 1994 TMNT TV special classic "Turtles Tunes"!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Extra Tidbit: I never thought a TMNT song could be worse than Vanilla Ice's "Ninja Rap." Then I saw this.
Source: JoBlo.com



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