Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time

Finally, a movie every bit as thrilling as its cover art…

Donkey: With two successful weeks of shitty movies under our belts now, we were on top of the world. We had laughed, we had cried, we had been haunted by dreams of Elder Gods stopping in at Budget Cuts. And as there was no shortage of the very basics that fueled our binge (bad movies, Dr Pepper, and Sweet Chili Heat Doritos), it seemed like nothing could possibly bring us down from our magnificent high. But as it was for the near dozen people who had bet on Betamax as the wave of the future, that was simply not the case and a hard lesson was about to be learned.


Having several exciting movies in mind for our next adventure, we instead chose what was immediately accessible. Blombo suggested that we peruse the old copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time that he happened to have on VHS, so we decided to give it a try. After all, who could resist the sweet siren song of VHS? Neither I nor Milobar had ever seen the movie, but the image of Vanilla Ice onstage, chanting out “Go ninja, go ninja, go…” at the end of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze came easily to mind and gave us the assurance that pure shittiness was ahead. But while we prepared for events on par with shameless white rappers selling out to the highest bidder, we were not prepared for the deep, yawning oblivion that awaited us.


The Plot:


To be entirely honest, I couldn’t really tell you what this movie was about. I know it involved April O’Neil accidentally getting sent back in time to feudal Japan after coming into contact with an ancient Japanese scepter, and the Ninja Turtles travel back in time to rescue here. But frankly, I have only brief, scattered memories of this movie that are a challenge to try to form into anything remotely coherent. I had to read a Wikipedia entry to fill in the rest. But as powerful as it may be to regurgitate the entire plot of the movie so that you can truly understand how terrible it is, I think it would be even more insightful to explain why those memories are so broken.


You see, this movie could only be described as painfully boring. So much so that while Blombo and I somehow managed to stave off the complete shutdown of our nervous systems to actually watch it, Milobar almost immediately slipped into a deep, snoring, REM-level slumber that lasted the length of the movie. Had there been anything even remotely worth seeing, we would have woken him. But such as it was, a monotonous dream about being a divorced, middle-aged longshoreman who spends every day of his life moving piles of crates from one side of a shipyard to another would have been more entertaining than this goddamn movie. I cannot stress this enough; the movie was goddamn unremarkable and uninteresting in every way imaginable. I would have rather watched raw, unedited footage of the social habits of manatees pumped full of valium. It’s this kind of movie that really draws obvious attention to the fact that you’ve wasted two hours of your life that could have been spent on much more productive things, like rock polishing or horse porn.


The Case for Greatness (aka The Lowlights):


There is precious little here to even speak of. The most obvious point of interest (although referring to anything in this movie as interesting is so grossly misleading that it should be punishable by torture) is the physical appearance of the Ninja Turtles themselves. This one element of the movie is truly symbolic of the entire series in general. In the first movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, they appeared to be inspired (as everything was at the time) by Tim Burton’s first Batman movie. Though it had elements to it that were certainly goofy and childish, the overall movie was somewhat dark and took itself rather seriously. The appearance of the Ninja Turtles in that film could be described the same way. Granted, they’re human-sized turtle costumes, so there’s an inherently element of silliness. But all things considered, they still looked as “real” as you could at the time the movie was made. The second film was remarkably different, as it sailed off course and drifted far deeper into juvenile territory. Accordingly, the Ninja Turtles themselves seemed far more animated and cartoonish. With this third film, the journey into the land of the ludicrous was complete. The turtles are so animated and infantile that you can’t possibly take them seriously. They look so fucking stupid that it wouldn’t be surprising to find them dishing out hugs to mask the fact that they’re petting your children inappropriately as your family wanders around Disneyland. But the same could be said about the movie itself. It no longer takes itself seriously in any way and is obviously aimed at very, very young children who don’t quite have the IQ to know the difference between the film and a particularly unentertaining carpet stain.


The Verdict:


The plot, characters, and every other aspect of the movie are completely moronic at worst and truly mind-numbing at best. We couldn’t even find something to chuckle at in this movie by accident. The only credit that it can possibly be given would be that it employed the irrepressible Corey Feldman, which is always good policy. I give it zero shit-filled diapers out of five.


What We Learned:


Shitty Movie Night as a concept, despite seeming to be incredibly easy and obvious to pull off, is a fine art. In order to appreciate the whole ordeal in the first place, you need to understand and appreciate irony and the arbitrary when it comes to the realm of comedy. But with those fundamentals in mind, you need to understand where that kind of comedy can be found. Kids’ movies do not work on any level. They’re inherently and very purposely stupid as they’re aimed at an audience too dumb to realize that eating paste might not be worth the bowel obstruction. So it’s like making fun of the poor kid in your class for being poor. It’s so obvious that it loses the entire point and essentially backfires, so much so that attempting to make fun of it is on par with beating the shit out of the world’s most adorable kitten to prove how tough you are. Well done, douchebag.



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