Last Thursday, while my weekly supply of foodstuffs was being delivered to my domicile, I uncharacteristically engaged in conversation with the usurper charged with the unenviable task of alphabetizing my various dry goods. I believe his name was Jackson. Or Jacob. Inconsequential. He had taken note of my undeniably impressive collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Video Home System cassettes. He casually noted that the pigs in Hollywood had plans to adapt my beloved stories into a "film". As if such richly developed characters could be properly served by a ninety-minute bastardization, served up for the lowest common denominator like a warmed over slice of McDonald Crump’s Pick-A-Peck-O-Pizza. Well, I say give me Vinnie’s or give me death!
Surprised by my passionate reaction to the regurgitated blurb, he proceeded to regale me with nonsensical tales of previous Turtle films. Fie, I say. Though I must admit, I’m not fond of the multiplex. Perhaps the existence of a TMNT film had evaded my generally keen observational aptitude. But four? Pish posh. Tokka? Rahzar? What odd and inconsequential characters to base a film around. Their appearance in the middling episode Dirk Savage: Mutant Hunter hardly merited such consideration. Clearly this fellow was putting me on, though a feature length adaptation of the most excellent episode The Legend of Koji was an admittedly titillating notion. The fearsome fighting teens honorably ninjitsing through feudal Japan… Heavenly.
Still the cad persisted, blasphemously decreeing that my heroes had originated as a gritful “graphic novel”. Personally I find word bubbles distasteful. And his bold claims of a sleek and modern reboot of the greatest of all cartoons brought ceaseless seething rage forth from my decidedly irritable bowels. Thank the merciful Lord that the great y2k fiasco had claimed my antenna as its lone victim. “But it’s more faithful to the source material.” HERE IS THE ONLY SOURCE I CARE TO UTILIZE, GOOD SIR:
I feel as if I am duty bound, then, to prevent this film from being made; or, failing that, to at least suggest a more suitable set of villains. Please dispatch with Shredder and Krang. Their presence was downright rote after episode 104. After the introduction of Alpha One, where could their arc possibly go? Clearly we’ve seen enough. Let’s take a look at five villains who would make for a fresh moviegoing experience. Although fresh is a word I hesitate to ascribe to the dreaded picture house.
Featured in the Season 9 episode Doomquest, Doomquest is the self-proclaimed ruler of the Dark Realm. His nefarious plot to bring the Dark Realm to Earth with the aid of the vortex crystal is nearly the end of our heroes in a half shell. Doomquest is a wonderfully designed character, seemingly culled directly from the minds of the show’s intended audience (ages 6-10). There is just so MUCH going on. Spikes, claws, ridges, protruding ribs. Marvelous. Of course, he shoots lasers from his fingertips. And presumably his eyes. His garb is wonderfully gladiatorial, with a spacy flair. His Manta-esque appearance would translate seamlessly to the silver screen. And his name is tailor made for the marquee. I can see it now: TMNT: DOOMQUEST. This Quest could spell their Doom.
Not only was this the rumored title of the new Limp Bizkit album, it’s also the name of the notorious gangster who put the boys in green through the ringer time and time again. He employs his underworld connections with ruthless efficiency, most notably in the fantastic episode Raphael Knocks ‘Em Dead. In this episode he kidnaps several prominent comedians as well as the undisputed king of the sarcastic quip, Raphael. He uses the power of laughter to cripple the city. Imagine the terror and suspense felt by audiences around the globe as they witness the sinister Joke Wave hurtling towards the city… How will the Turtles ever get out of this one? Perhaps a sequel. That got your attention didn’t it, Hollywood Babylon?
The Globfather’s quest to obtain the almighty Protein Computer in the episode Mobster from Dimension X made for one wallop of an escapade. The Globfather is some sort of sentient amoeba. How he came to rule the underworld of Dimension X is unclear. In addition to being a snappy dresser, he has the ability to transform anyone he touches into a protozoan. He constantly threatens the use of his viscous powers, under the guise that it’s lonely being the only sentient amoeba on Earth. The Globfather’s insidious plot to take control of the world’s defense systems by use of a meat powered computer feels ripped straight from today's headlines.
Jonas also mentioned that there had recently been a wildly successful film adaptation of the classic game of strategy, Battleship. It only seemed natural then to include Talbot Breech on this venerable list. Talbot Breech was a man whose dreams were ripped from him by the United States Navy, who deemed him too small for service. Bent on vengeance, he takes it upon himself to shrink countless maritime vehicles. Driven by his love of suds, he takes to the tub with his newly shrunken vessels. The audience will be privy to the dread felt by Michelangelo, an unwitting passenger on Talbot’s “toy” submarine, as it plunges below the soapy surface, to depths heretofore unimagined.
With his trademark Cajun drawl and snappy catchphrases like “By gumbo” and “I guarantee”, Leatherhead is a marketer’s dream. People love Cajuns. It seems like every tape of a cartoon from 1987 to 1999 I pop into my Video Cassette Recorder features some sort of Cajun rascal. And Leatherhead’s the most Cajun of the bunch. He wields crawdads as weapons, for Pete’s sake. CRAWDADS AS WEAPONS.