I’ve got this new found love for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie from 1990 since watching it for the first time in decades! It was sooo much darker in tone than I recalled. When I saw it back in the day I was a fan of the original comic books, my older brother had a bunch of them in the 80’s along with other cool weird indie comics like ‘Radioactive Black Hamsters’ and ‘Cerebus’ so the movie at the time felt purely like kid stuff. The original comics had an even darker, bloodier and grittier tone to them something I think would be quite interesting to see brought to the big screen some day. Well one of the old TMNT covers crossed my mind from back in the day, issue #10 had bad ass one the folded, front and back. This totally tubular classic was drawn by Peter Laird way back in 1987, an era when they kicked a lot more ass and all wore the same color head bands. One of my favorite vintage Turtles comic covers for sure!
Ok so here’s an idea for the next “live action” ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie that’s reportedly on the horizon. First, how about making it actually LIVE ACTION?! Cuz’ after re-watching the two classic 1990’s TMNT movies it’s come crystal clear what the direction this franchise needs to take for it’s planned “reboot”. The next movie, like the recent sequels to Halloween & Terminator, needs to be a DIRECT sequel to the 1990 classic! Ignoring everything but the first movie (maybe the second). It’d be the perfect move to reinvigorate the cinematic franchise, bring back those classic Turtles from that movie, bring back the suits, bring back Judith Hoag (who’s maybe somehow cuter today than she was back then) as April O’Neil and even Elias Koteas as Casey Jones!
It’s time to go back to those original characters, another cheap revamped CGI version of these classic characters is NOT what people want. Imagine the excitement of making a sequel to the OG TMNT, with the Jim Henson studio working on a new version of the Turtles suits, that look very similar to the classic designs but using the more advanced animatronics of today. Imagine a modern Turtles movie that actually utilizes real choreography & real martial arts, a concept like that is UNHEARD of in Hollywood blockbusters and people would be blown away to see what could be done today with the right talent behind it. You could even get the original voices of the Turtles back, yeah get Corey Feldman too to put the icing on the cake.
The plot could be an awesome “fish out of water” tale as well, here’s a quick idea, the original Turtles & their Master Splinter 30 years ago ventured further below the surface, far beneath the sewers of New York, where they disappeared and were never heard from again and for reasons unknown to the few who actually knew of their existence. There they’d, embarked on a dangerous mission and in result of it became trapped in some sort of suspended animation, kinda like the mosquito in the tree sap from Jurassic Park. Whatever you need to do to explain where and why they’ve been missing….Meanwhile April O’neil & Casey Jones (who remain friends or maybe even lovers?) have moved on with their lives and almost question whether their incredible experience with the Turtles & Master Splinter back in 1990 ever really happened at all. Something thaws the Turtles out of their extended slumber and they soon make their way back to the surface, finding a much different world 30 years later, eventually reunite with their two old friends to once again & face a new threat to the city. Who knows maybe April & Casey even have a kid now, Casey Jones Jr, boy or girl who take up his crime fighting mantle?!
The classic 1990 Turtles would have a blast trying to fit in to modern times and of course the original April & Casey reuniting with them would be heartfelt cinematic gold. I’m certain this formula, with a more ironed out plot would be a HUGE hit and could re-start the Turtles franchise in a bold, nostalgic and exciting way. They need to give the fans something special this time around. The TMNT formula was never broken and the last thing people want is the Michael Bay era to rear it’s head. There’s a cinematic hit ripe for the picking and Hollywood needs to get creative and jump on it!!
I’ve been hearing lately that the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie franchise is going to again be rebooted after the shit show of the Michael Bay era of the reptilian heroes in a half shell. So it sparked me to revisit the original 1990 movie the other night which I hadn’t seen in probably 20 years or so. I was amazed at how well that movie has aged, seeing it in theaters back in the day I’d enjoyed it but kind of dismissed it as “kid stuff” at the time as my older brother in the 1980’s collected the original indie comic series and I’d had the chance to read them as a kid. If you’re aware of the TMNT early beginnings you’ll remember that it started off as a dark, gritty & violent comic series. I was blown away back then at the sheer oddity of the characters and the equally bizarre story lines of the originals. When I decided to revisit the 1990 TMNT film I’d forgotten just how dark that original movie actually is, especially considering today’s climate of safe moviemaking. The movie is almost closer to an R-rating than it’s original rating of PG. There’s kids smoking & drinking alcohol, robbing people, the foot beating up April O’neil, Raphael beaten into a near coma by The Foot and a badly beaten and bloodied up Splinter strung to a fence. It’s actually a pretty dark and gritty movie with the addition of the comedic surfer dude Turtles to lighten things up.
So currently we’ve got these new “TMNT” flicks, a big bloated Michael Bay produced, soul-less mess of CGI, uninspired storytelling and poor character development. The current franchise just hasn’t been connecting with fans the way they’d hoped, mainly with the amount of money that the films have made. Now they’ve got plans for a brand new reboot and it’s never been more clear just what this franchise needs to do: go old school.
So first off let’s address the obvious big issue, imo the latest Michael Bay era CGI Turtles look terrible. They’re massive 8 foot tall green hulking humanoid turtles with creepy ass faces and not in a good way. Compare the newest incarnations with the very original designs. They couldn’t be more opposite. Even the Turtles of the 1990 movie do essentially look pretty much like what you’d hope for, sure they’ve been made much cuter but they stay fairly true to the original vision. So let’s face the facts, the original designs of the 80’s weren’t broken so why try and modernize them by making them the opposite of what they were intended to look like? Bring back the smaller classic versions of these characters, go simpler with their general design. It’s a lot easier to digest and most definitely not rocket science folks.
Next I’d say you could go the similar route that many movies are taking by making the next movie a direct sequel to the original or at least setting the movie in the late 80s’ or early 90’s, it’s clear people love that era of film today (Stranger Things, IT anyone?). That being said bring back the suits!! Put real actors in real costumes with modern day animatronics the Turtles could look absoluterly mind blowing. The 1990 movie Turtles STILL look great and that was with a micro budget of 13.5 million dollars for the whole damn film. What they could do now would be incredible, we all want to believe that the TMNT are actually living breathing creatures and the latest movies sadly look like fakey cgi rendered cartoon characters inserted into the “real world”.
Lets get real here and let’s keep the budget low, we don’t need a TMNT movie to be on the scale of an Avengers film, we need a smaller more personal, more heartfelt movie with high stakes like the original. Next let’s get some real martial arts, real choreography and some real stunts again. One thing that blew me away revisting the 1990 movie was the actual real on screen martial arts that were displayed, it was pretty amazing actually and I’d love to see something in that vein in a brand new Turtles movie. It’d be like nothing out there in the mainstream that’s for sure. Lastly I’d love to see a darker more serious storyline, of course an “R-rated Turtles” movie would be my first choice, one that evokes the original comics would be absolutely insane. However, I know that’ll never happen so I think at the very least going as dark as the original movie would be more than good enough. Let’s see the Turtles roaming the city streets at night, jumping from rooftop to rooftop and roaming the dank sewers. Bring on the amazing real life set pieces, puppets and crazy creatures once again, I think fans would go bonkers for a throwback style TMNT. However I doubt Hollywood has the courage to try something as unique and inspired as the original movie. What do you think?!
I really don’t spend too much time thinking about Michael Bay or the fact that he likes to takes everything we loved from our yesteryears as children and teenagers and turns them into a pile of dirty Depends. Really the more I think about it all the more I really really just don’t care anymore! Yeah he had a shot at making an amazing Transformers movie but did you really think anyone in mainstream Hollywood was going to make some totally cool movie version really in this day and age?
Fat chance, every now and again we get something really good these days like The Dark Knight or Hellboy II from Hollywood. But all you fanboys and gals out there need to get over it and move on already! You want to watch a good Transformers movie? Then watch the classic Transformers movie from the 80’s! Are you pissed that Bay has got his hands on the Teenage…or um, sorry excuse me, “Ninja Turtles” franchise? Well then read the original series from the mid 1980’s because you know what? They already fucked up the film when they made it in 1990, I remember back in the day I thought the movie was a watered down shitty ass kiddie version of the dark themes of the original books.
Sure today I accept it and even have a soft spot for the live action cheez of the early 90’s TMNT films complete with Vanilla Ice lets not forget. Sure Bay making a movie will suck big time of course but it’s not like it’s going to be competing against cinematic genius of the original Turtles movies!
So yeah now he’s going to make some Halloween movies. He’s already ruined Freddy, Jason & Leatherface so for him to leave out Mike Myers would be sorta just incomplete in the grand scheme in the shittiest way possible. Besides Rob Zombie already put a lame spin on the franchise when he tried to remake them!
So really at this point who cares? Personally I’m a little tired of Michael Myers anyway I mean the guy doesn’t even speak for cryin’ out loud. People now do you all really need to see him in yet another damn film anyway?! I mean we’ve got like ten films as it is!! Same really goes for Freddy, Jason, Leatherface, Chucky ect ect ect….I if want to see a good film I’ll watch the originals. I just don’t care anymore-I’m tired of schlock that they try to spoon feed us-so you know what? I just am not going even bother anymore. Personally there are a lot more exciting things going on that are new and fresh ideas-Did you all see Attack the Block last year? Or Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil? There are still NEW ideas out there being made that are great. But people don’t expect Hollywood to churn out classics anymore of your favorite childhood nostalgia-watching these major blockbuster movies is like eating shitty junk food and washing it down with some neon colored extreme Gatorade. Sooner or later you’re gonna puke and instead eat something that in the end is better for you and made with a little more care.
So I say Michael Bay, Tim Burton & all you other modern day hacks eat your heart out-go crazy-remake it all! Rob our childhoods! I probably won’t even notice that it’s happening because I have got the classics still and can’t wait for the next new fresh ideas to hit the screens or my dvd player. But the rest of you people stop going and see all this shitty cinema and then complaining! You are all the reason that he keeps on making more shit in the end….
Not sure if this is totally old news to all of you TMNT fans out there but it’s news to me, I just recently saw this awesome trailer for the fan made (Polaris & Hilarion Banks) Casey Jones movie! It looks pretty awesome actually and supposedly there is a whole film which I assume is a short film out there online for anyone to view for free. I went to the official website but I couldn’t get it to download. I will check it again later and see if I have better luck the second time. Supposedly it has Robbie Rist the original voice of Michaelangelo from the movies reprising his role and for anyone who doesn’t know he was also Cousin Oliver on the Brady Bunch!
Anyway I haven’t been able to find too much more info about this film but it looks great. I also heard finally that Michael Bay is rebooting the TMNT franchise?! Uggh please nooooo! That hack will yet ruin another one of my childhood favorites with his wretched CG ridden summer slop-buster mentality!
If we get a new Turtles film it had better be dark and gritty like the original series! In the meantime I’ll take this fan made version over any pile of steaming shit Bay tries to serve me!
Hmmmm…the Ninja Rap music video!
A true classic and even though I can appreciate it for how cheezy it is it’s still hard for me to get fully behind having read the original series by Eastman & Laird in the 80’s that my older brother at the time was collecting. It’s strange that many people don’t know that at one time the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kicked major ass. They were bad ass vigilantes that drew blood and beat the living shit out of the Shredder in the first story arc.
These Turtles pictured here from the original 80’s comic book would have tore Vanilla Ice a new asshole…