Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hero Turtles: The Next Mutations: The Complete Series

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Hero Turtles: The Next Mutation: The Complete Series - 2 out of 5

I'm a big fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ever since I first saw their original animated cartoon, I've been a fan. I got the toys, the old turtle dessert pies they made, I saw all the live action films and, as I got older, I got into the comic books and started to enjoy the original incarnation of the four brothers in the darker storylines the pages of the books offered. Throughout the years, I always thought the only black eye the turtles suffered (even though the 3rd movie was garbage, it was still somewhat watchable) was the "Coming Out of Their Shells" rock concert tie-in they did with Pizza Hut. That is until 1997 when the live action television series meant to continue the story from the movies was made.

Now, you're probably wondering why is the show called Hero Turtles. Well, due to censorship laws, some places won't allow the word "Ninja" on their media so the title was changed for the global market. Sadly, this is the only form of the show you can find out there as the series was only released (heavily edited, mind you--sometimes up to 4 minutes taken out per episode) on DVD. Wait--did I say "sadly?" Because the fact this hasn't been released on DVD in the States is not sad at all because this show is, in one word, TERRIBLE!

Where do I even begin? Whenever I review something, I try to find something good in it but this show was so atrocious that this review will be nothing but scathing. So, here I go...first off, the suits they use for the Turtles are vomit-inducingly bad. It was clear the actors had a hard time in them as they move awkwardly and line of sight in never around as the Turtles are constantly looking just slightly to the side of whatever their looking at or talking to--OR--they are constantly looking down towards the ground with their mouths open (I'm sure the actors could see through the mouth, that's the only reason I can come up with to explain this as it makes the Turtles look mildly retarded.). Speaking of line of sight, you can actually see the eye holes cut into the heads of the costumes. And on the topic of bad costumes, the creators of this show decide that the only thing that can make the Turtles look even worse was putting terrible voices to them.

Nothing about this show makes sense. For example, there are a lot of environmental themes being showcased as the Turtles are constantly talking about saving endangered species and being responsible BUT the Turtles drive a Humvee. WHAT THE FUCK?!? The show also does away with each Turtle's trademark personality--unless the story calls for it--and what follows is a bunch of mentally deficient mutant turtles fumbling about in a storm of bile-raising slap-stick set to a hurricane of cartoon sound effects that are thrown in so often I began to wonder if the sound editor was getting residuals from a sound effects company. Don't get me started on Master Splinter as he seems to now be suffering from senility as every episode, he will say or do something that will send him into a fit of laughter that can only be described as the sound a person makes when their mind has completely left them.

Then, to further poke the eyes of the fans of the Turtles, the creators decided to add a female turtle named Venus. Like the other turtles, unless the story needs her to have some of the personality that was written into the character (in her case, she's a wise mystic) she will join the other four in awkwardly wandering around a scene in desperate need of a bike helmet. Oh and don't expect to see your favorite characters like April or Casey--they're not here. You will get to see The Shredder for the first couple of episodes but the abomination they put on screen is enough to make a person cry as he is soft and spongy with a cheesy costume full of blunt blades that look like they're made of Styrofoam. Not to mention the arrival of The Shredder screws up the continuity of the movies, the creators ignore this and bring in some new villains that work on paper and could have been cool on the animated show but, once again, bad costumes, terrible voice acting and piss-poor audio dubbing (all dialogue is dubbed) makes for nauseating arch-enemies for the Turtles. However, it does create great moments as you watch the bad guys and the good guys flail about like a guy being attacked by bees in what the show calls a "fight scene."

There-in lies the only thing I enjoyed about the show. The only thing that kept me from giving this a more deserving 1 out of 5 is the fact this show is so bad on such a cosmic scale, that it is hilarious. Not to mention you can make a drinking game out of all the recycled footage the series uses--seriously, each episode contains about 5-10 minutes of the same establishing shots or sequences. There's also the open intro theme that, if your ears don't start bleeding first, can send you into a fit of laughter as it is your typical rap/rock hybrid that, for some reason, was big in the late-90's. OH and try to contain yourself when you see the horrible sets and props--honestly, did the creators think I wouldn't notice that the device they're claiming to be an audio recorder is actually a piece of cardboard wrapped in tinfoil?

The bottom line, this show is so bad that the creators of the Turtles themselves; Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, have both publicly stated they hated it. However, the sheer stupidity and calamity of the show's production is enough to make you laugh and there's enough material in each episode for a good evening with some buds to pile on a couch and just rip this thing to shreds. That reason alone is why this shows falls on a 2 out of 5.

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