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JulyDiaz

EPISODE 113 — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze: LIVE!

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As someone else that went through life with a name that was rather unfortunate in the late '80s/early '90s, I can COMPLETELY relate to June. I mean, try having the name Robbie Brown during the New Edition and "My Prerogative" years. I cut it to Rob when I moved in 1991, and the hassle pretty much stopped immediately.

 

Also, I'm a veteran of one of those grunt-fighting kid shows, having worked on a couple of episodes of Nickelodeon's "Supah Ninjas", which I haven't watched a single frame of. Kid shows are fun to work on though, because no one gives a fuuuuuuuuck. I think I was both a cop and a looter in the same episode...

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Yesterday I got three fillings and then watched this movie, and between the two I would legit rather have ALL THE FILLINGS than have to watch this movie again. I was a little young for the TMNT craze, though I remember my brother liking them. I thought I learned something through osmosis, but apparently not. I understood nothing. Like, why is April living with four turtles and a talking rat? Who is Shredder, and what did the turtles do to him? Why are there so many ninjas in New York sewers? WTF Vanilla Ice? Maybe I'd know if I had actually been able to pay attention, but I can't even bring myself to look at the Wikipedia page. BUT this ep was great. I had to stop listening at work so I didn't scare my new coworkers. I'm trying to ease them into the realization that me laughing like a crazy person is just a thing that happens sometimes and the answer is always "podcasts."

 

I remember liking what TMNT stuff I saw as a kid (don't know if I ever saw this movie), but one of the things I found so grating about it was the nonstop teenager shtick. It probably would've worked for me as a child because teens seemed cool and mature...but I just felt like everyone five minutes the movie reminded us, through words and actions, "THESE TURTLES ARE TEENS" and it drove me nuts. I mean, I know "teenage" is in the name, but do all TMNT comics/shows/movies hit that point so hard?

 

And now an unrelated bit of advice on public proposals from my high school journalism teacher that I can't not share whenever someone brings them up: you always say yes, then you talk to them later if the real answer is no. Her other advice was to never tell your current significant other how many people you've slept with. She was a wise woman.

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Vanilla Ice's performance is somewhat reminiscent of John Travolta's phone call from "Staying Alive", where he seems to have all of the information and a perfect response formulated for this exact thing that he has to deal with right this very moment that he hasn't even had enough time to process. See also: Malkovich's "...onara" comeback in "Con Air".

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I'd like to think that if this film takes place at the same time that it was released that the below-the-fold story on the front page buried far beneath the "Ninja Rap Is Born!" headline would be "Also: Gulf War Ends".

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Vanilla Ice's performance is somewhat reminiscent of John Travolta's phone call from "Staying Alive", where he seems to have all of the information and a perfect response formulated for this exact thing that he has to deal with right this very moment that he hasn't even had enough time to process. See also: Malkovich's "...onara" comeback in "Con Air".

 

My memory is already getting a bit fuzzy on the details, but how did Vanilla Ice know that the Foot were the bad guys and not the gigantic green monsters they were fighting?

 

Follow up: why did the Shredder choose for their final confrontation a construction site next to a very busy night club with extremely flimsy walls? Or should the question be, why was this nightclub in an incredibly sketchy part of town next to a construction site?

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I'm going to have to listen to this episode, like, six times because there's so much to it.

 

But I thought I'd expand a bit on Jason's question about The Foot and if they were named that because of The Hand in Marvel. Basically, the first TMNT comic was a sort of parody of some of the grittier comics of the early 80s, specifically Frank Miller's Ronin and his run on Daredevil. There are a lot of weird, noir-style monologues poking fun at Miller's writing style (which he would later use in his The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City).

 

So, yes, The Hand became The Foot. But the other big borrow from Splinter, who is the master that trained his young vigilantes to harness their fighting skills. Just like Stick trained Matt Murdock, who eventually became Daredevil. Stick...Splinter...yeah.

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My memory is already getting a bit fuzzy on the details, but how did Vanilla Ice know that the Foot were the bad guys and not the gigantic green monsters they were fighting?

 

Follow up, why did the Shredder choose for their final confrontation a construction site next to a very busy night club with extremely flimsy walls? Or should the question be, why was this nightclub in an incredibly sketchy part of town next to a construction site?

To be fair, the Turtles were at least somewhat known, right? At least to April, who was giving them shout-outs on the evening news. Maybe they'd at least achieved urban legend status, I don't know. So yeah, MAYBE Ice already had this one in the can, ready to debut it if they should ever come crashing through a wall or something at a venue where he was performing.

 

"Why did the Shredder choose for their final confrontation a construction site next to a very busy night club with extremely flimsy walls?" reminds me of "Punisher: War Zone", where Jigsaw drew the Punisher to this factory of his that seemed to serve one purpose, which was crushing broken glass for no apparent reason.

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I'm going to have to listen to this episode, like, six times because there's so much to it.

 

But I thought I'd expand a bit on Jason's question about The Foot and if they were named that because of The Hand in Marvel. Basically, the first TMNT comic was a sort of parody of some of the grittier comics of the early 80s, specifically Frank Miller's Ronin and his run on Daredevil. There are a lot of weird, noir-style monologues poking fun at Miller's writing style (which he would later use in his The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City).

 

So, yes, The Hand became The Foot. But the other big borrow from Splinter, who is the master that trained his young vigilantes to harness their fighting skills. Just like Stick trained Matt Murdock, who eventually became Daredevil. Stick...Splinter...yeah.

 

Not to mention Matt Murdock (Daredevil) has a cameo of sorts in the first issue.

 

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The boy who saves the old man is supposed to be a young Matt Murdock, and the ooze that mutates the Turtles is supposed to be the same substance that blinds Murdock and gives him his powers. Make that show Netflix!

 

That's right , Taylorannephoto! If we're all nerds then then I'm gonna do my best to out nerd everyone!

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So, yes, The Hand became The Foot. But the other big borrow from Splinter, who is the master that trained his young vigilantes to harness their fighting skills. Just like Stick trained Matt Murdock, who eventually became Daredevil. Stick...Splinter...yeah.

 

I smell a Netflix reboot of TMNT!

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Wait, in that "Out of Our Shells" clip, did they urge us to sing along with them?!?! But it's a song that's never been played before by anyone anywhere! That would require us to possess some sort of Vanilla Ice-level precognitive abilities!

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Yeah, Ninja Rap is from the old Knicks chant (http://tinyurl.com/oz7q4sj )and the music sampled behind "Ninja Rao is 'Apache (Jump On It)' by Sugar hill Gang

 

Seeing as he claims he came up with what was obviously 'Under Pressure' by Queen/David Bowie, I'm sure that he would claim that he came up with it on his own.

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OHH FUCK! So many stoned nights with friends watching this vhs in our tree house I don't think I ever really remembered the plot correctly I was too hypnotized by the turtles faces haha Ivan Ooze is such a goober great fucking ep! I fucking love Pally! Everyone was a real delight!

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I highly recommend the documentary "Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the TMNT." It really is amazing to see how two guys, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, self-published a satire of comics in the 1980s, and now they're millionaires and kids are still playing with Ninja Turtles 30 years later.

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That right , Taylorannephoto! If we're all nerds then then I'm gonna do my best to out nerd everyone!

I accept your nerdom! Love how I got all Zouks on y'all and it really stuck. Keep it up, nerds!

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This movie is a huge favorite of my wife and I've seen it more times than I wish to recall. Was super excited to see it come up on the podcast!

 

Literally the best part of this movie is in the beginning when kato is calling the police: "Hurry up theres a ton of these guys... K. BYE!" You should end all your 911 calls that way.

 

Also nobody mentioned the ancient ritual of the pre-fight donut?!

 

When I saw this come up on the HDTGM twitter feed I couldn't help but make a 3 minute cut of all the best parts of this movie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv2JWICYwvo

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I want to expand a little what Cameron H said about Donatello and the clown and how it goes towards the greater issue of people's seemingly non-reaction to the turtles.

 

Throughout the movie characters meet and interact with the turtles and their reactions are never consistent to seemingly non-existent. In the beginning of the movie when Keno stumbles into the robbery (side note: why does the one robber reveals his masked face to a witness and did like 30 guys came in two vans?) the turtles jump in and help. His initial reaction? A horrible double take. A little weak but expected. The robbers? Nothing. No double takes or confusion to be had. Then we get to the clown scene. As Cameron H points out Donatello leaves the fight and finds this clown and comes up with a gag to take out one guy. He sits and waits pretending to be a giant inflatable toy turtle or something until a robber comes by him. Now these guys have been fighting these giant men turtles for a little while and the robber's first thought is, "Hey is that a that giant turtle toy." It is not "That looks like the people we've been fighting." Then when Donatello comes to life the robber flees in terror. Was he scared because he thought a toy that looks like the people they've been fighting came to life or because it was a mutant turtle which he's already seen his co-robbers fighting? Then the Foot ninjas never seem shocked because they've probably heard of the turtles I guess. Finally all the club goers and Vanilla Ice are initially shocked a little and then just assume they're all just in costumes and accept it all no problem. Not one person flees in terror, they just simply back up in terror. Then they quickly ignore it all and accept it as normal. You'd think more people would be terrified or fainting. Speaking of...

 

Keno who simply gives a double take and accepts the turtles faints when he sees Splinter. Is a talking rat that much more shocking for a person who is basically indifferent towards giant fighting turtles? I only point this out because David Werner gives a similar dumbfounded shock reaction to seeing Splinter too. While he's fascinated by the turtles, seemingly indifferent to Toka and Rahzar, yet upon seeing Splinter he's left in shock and disbelief. Is a giant rat really that much more incredible or less likely than a mutant turtles who are not even native to New York sewers?

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Was anyone else bothered by the way people handled the pizza boxes in this movie? When Keno is given those first pizzas he basically holds the boxes vertically, and the turtles do the same thing later. No one gives a shit about the cheese and toppings sliding off?

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I've been holding off on dropping this knowledge in the minisode thread, but now the episode is out, everyone knows and loves the Ninja Rap, and the time has come.

 

So, Vanilla Ice's (not Ice T, as Paul calls him once during this ep) Ninja Rap was the big thing to come out of this movie. But, the previous year (that's right, these movies were only a year apart), there was a song from the first movie that made it all the way to #13 on Billboard Top 100 and #1 on the UK Singles Chart. It was called Turtle Power by the rap duo Partners in Kryme:

 

When I was a kid I loved TMNT and this song infuriated me. Towards the end of the song he calls out Raphael and claims he's the leader of the team. I do believe the TV theme song which predates the movie and and this song says Leonardo is the leader which he clearly is because Raphael is the angst filled loner and angst filled loners don't lead teams.

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I don't know if this has been covered already, but I am fascinated by the decision to use a keytar to attack Shredder. The (far superior to any work of film) Coming Out Of Their Shells tour has an accompanying documentary that you can find on youtube. In this tale of the meteoric rise of these musical wonders, it is extensively described that due to the turtles' lack of fingers they prefer to play a one-string bass. I think the keytar may be the only moment in the franchise of anyone thinking, "Shit, even ravenous kid fans knew that didn't make any sense. Let's fix it for The Ooze."

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Hey Paul,

 

I can't believe I rewatched this movie for you guys. I watched it when it came out, as a kid and a fan of the turtles, and even back then I thought it was crap. And now I'll have to write to you in revenge, because there were many, many omissions on the show.

 

Starting from the end: Schredder dies because he destroyed a pier on top of himself, and one of the turtles says "no one would survive that." However, at the end of the first movie, Schredder dies by dropping from a rooftop into a garbage truck and then being crushed by the trash compactor. Then he presumably is dropped into that landfill and stays there for days or weeks – and survives with a few scars. Are we supposed to believe that the same guy who went virtually unscathed that, wears an armor and was transformed into a very strong mutant was then killed by some pieces of TIMBER on top of his head?

 

Second, when the Foot gets into that laboratory to retrieve the ooze, why the fuck did they go back? They were already gone by the time the turtles get there, and then go back for no reason whatsoever other than showing off – “Hey! Turtles! Look what we’ve got! Now we’ll fight a bit and just disappear in a puff of smoke.”

 

Next, what’s wrong with the police in this movie? I know it’s a common trope to have the police not to believe the heroes when they say what’s going on, but after a street is leveled by two giant mutant animals with witnesses and April tells the chief that “two very big animals” did it, his reply isn’t “you’re crazy!” it’s “And what do you want me to do about it?” The right answer would be “your fucking job!” but she’s clearly the worst journalist ever, because she says “I don’t know. I guess you’re not the ones who’ll have to handle this.” To which the police chief says “that what we do best” and then disappears from the movie. Basically, the police’s reaction is “we couldn’t care less. Get someone to clean up this mess, we’re done here.” Which actually might explain my last point.

 

The main… uh… plot of the movie starts because that TGRI company dropped a known toxic, mutagenic substance in a lake 15 years later (which brings up the question of why isn’t the city littered with teenage mutant ninja fish) and then decided to come clean and properly dispose of it. This is public enough to make the news, even if they’re hiding the ooze itself. But later Professor Perry mentions that TGRI is probably trying to get rid of the evidence and evacuate, as is their “standard procedure.” If that’s something that they always do, why would they want to clean up the lake and make a big deal out of it in the first place? At the very end, the fact that the company VANISHED is mentioned in passing by April, but what she considers “bizarre” is the note to the turtles.

 

So, what? Is this a universe where entire companies disappear and then reappear when they screw up, and people are so used to it that it barely makes the news? The only reason they disappear is because someone broke in their basement and stole the ooze, but that could be easily hidden away – does that mean that vanishing the entire company is easier and cheaper? Is it so common that any other news (like a rap) will make the front pages instead? Is TGRI the real ninja in this story?

 

Crap. What a shitty movie.

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Long time lover of the podcast and all things June Paul and Jason. SOoo I had to pause listening to this episode to come here and share with you good people.

 

First off amazing movie. I love that even though Shredder (or is it the Shredder?) talks like a terrible white kabuki theater actor, all of his minions are blonde haired hitler youth boys who look like Sound of Music extras. And one of them definitely does say "is this all of the Foot? we were all going to meet in the junkyard!" Which is a SUPER convenient contingency plan to have if you're an evil mastermind who ends up getting thrown into a junkyard. That guy was seriously on top of his shit.

 

Now for the important part. In a strange small world connection I have met and trained with good ol' Keno, aka Ernie Reyes Jr, a genuinely good guy who was an olympic medalist in Tae Kwon Do and is currently battling total kidney failure.

 

I used to work for his father, Ernie Reyes Sr., who runs a small empire of martial arts studios throughout California and beyond, and is pretty much batshit crazy. I once watched him push his 35 year old son (Keno's brother) into full middle splits to demonstrate "strength of character." It probably shredded his groin. He would also come into class to take off his shirt and show off his 70+ year old sagging six pack (gotta give it to the guy, he does still have a six pack) or harm a student in a live demo. All that aside he did know his shit, and Ernie Jr. did too, despite his incredibly middling acting career.

 

If you want to see Keno ride again (but not as Keno) alongside Rob Schneider, check out Surf Ninjas. You'll thank me. And then you'll thank yourself for listening to me.

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And the classic "terrible crowd" tradition of HDTGM live shows continues!

 

It was like 9/11 in there!

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