Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)

TMNT3posterBy: Oberst Von Berauscht (Six Pack) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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A mystery befalls the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when their reporter friend April O’Neil visits a flea market which specializes in time-travel MacGuffins.  Through a series of “hilarious” hijinks, April and the Turtles wind up trapped in 17th century Japan, swapping places with four samurai, who are transported to present day New York City.  The turtles help a young princess fight a rebellion against her own father, the Shogun, as well as Walker, a British Privateer.  The turtle’s have a limited time to curtail the encroachment of Western Imperialism, or else they’ll be stuck in history forever!

forever
FOR-EV-VUR, FOR-EV-VUR, FOR-EV-VUR

A Toast

To say that TMNT III is a fucking mess would be giving it way too much credit.  Whereas the first film in the series was frivolously entertaining, and the sequel retains some early 90s nostalgic appeal, this film is the producer’s middle-finger pointed directly at the audience’s pocketbook.

Beer Two

If I had to name a redeeming trait, it would be that the filmmakers brought back actor Elias Koteas to play Casey Jones, who was conspicuously absent from the second TMNT film.  Sadly, they also had no ideas on how to use Koteas, who plays Jones alongside a past-self version of Jones in ancient Japan.  Neither of these subplots go anywhere, and both Joneses just sort of disappear by the end.

Jones
And no, he doesn’t fight anyone like a badass. In fact, I don’t recall him even wearing the mask…

Beer Three

This was the first turtles film to not utilize Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in designing the animatronic costumes of the turtles and their rat-leader Splinter.  The decline in quality is shocking, lip-syncing is drastically off, and the turtles’ mouths don’t even seem to close correctly.  Presumably to save money, some scenes hide the turtle’s faces (poorly) in an effort to disguise the fact that their mouths aren’t moving at all.

Beer Four

The screenwriters on this film attempted to insert plenty of pop-culture references with seemingly no clue as to their meaning, most of which are delivered in the form of puns.  These clunky and obvious efforts to appeal to children were effective in engaging children in 1993; to everyone else though, they are grating and painful relics of a deservedly forgotten past.

The Cold War might have ended peaceably, but the deadly radiation of suck emanating from the 90s will be with us forever...
The cultural radiation emanating from the 90s is still giving us cancer of the suck.

Beer Five

TMNT II featured almost no scenes in which the turtles used their weapons, in order to tone down the violence.  And even though they did allow the turtles to use them this time around, the fight choreography has visibly declined in quality.  I’m guessing it’s a combination of the lower budget and suits which clearly appear to detract from the wearer’s field of vision

Beer Six

Even worse than the turtle costumes is Master Splinter, whose head appears to be a shoe box with fur coat stretched over some googly eyes.

He also looks perpetually stoned
He also looks perpetually stoned

Verdict

Six Pack

Did they ever run out of ideas fast.  Time-travel subplots have been the killer of many a franchise.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for aged pop-culture references

Take a Drink: any time Splinter or the turtles’ voices fall out of synch (or don’t move at all)

Drink a Shot: for increasingly minimal, but ever-present Pizza references

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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