Episode #86: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze
Listen to Episode 86 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, April O’Neil (played by Paige Turco) reports on the environmental pollution from a local laboratory. The turtles and Splinter recognize that their ooze is what created them. They are off to search for answers only to find that Shredder is back and he’s using the mutagen to create new super villains.
Screenplay by Todd W. Langen; Directed by Michael Pressman; and released on March 22, 1991.
We watched the VHS copy from Jon's childhood and there were a couple previews and an ad for the Burger King Kid's Club.
We both forgot that this was a thing, but the characters were not too memorable in the first place.
Oh, by the way...take that, Macrovision! You're no match for modern technology.
The first trailer was for a movie we've covered and thought was a blast: Suburban Commando.
Then was a movie that the commercial called Step Kids
But, it was later renamed to "Big Girls Don't Cry...They Get Even"
We haven't covered it, and Jon has never seen it, but it's about a blended family where the main character talks to the camera to narrate at times (unless that was only for the trailer).
If the movie was sponsored by a pizza company, it would have done its job in making us order from there. Everyone at the start was eating a slice and we want in.
The opening fight scene is pretty well done with some fun use of the props in the mini mall.
This also helps introduce us to Ernie Reyes Jr.'s character who doesn't get to show off his fighting skills quite enough.
Of course we have to talk about the switch in April actresses and we quickly go over the pros and cons of both takes on the role.
We talk about the cartoony tone of this sequel
Aside from the first fight, the others were lackluster and most of the goons were simply waiting to be hit and the turtles' iconic weapons are hardly present.
Should Shredder have returned? We see it both ways, but discuss that Eastman and Laird did not agree with the direction of this movie.
That explains why we did not see Rocksteady and Bebop in the movie and got two brand new characters instead: Tokka and Rahzar.
You know we're talking about the Ninja rap and the long sequence involving Vanilla Ice.
We also lamented the far too short appearance of Super Shredder.
Ultimately, we agree with Eastman and Laird that the tone should have remained a bit darker and grittier as that is part of what made the first movie good. It's very evident to see the pandering all across this sequel.
Awards Talk: We have a Young Artist nomination for Ernie Reyes Jr. It has a BMI Film & TV Music Award Win, and a Nick Kids Choice Awards win for Favorite Movie
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
On this Day March 22, 1991, Pamela Smart was found guilty in relation to the murder of her husband. Later this year, the TV movie would be released, which we've already watched. Check out that review here.
Of course the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had tons of non-movie merchandise and whatnot associated with it. Here are some of the things we talked about:
The Disney MGM Studios stage show at Walt Disney World
TMNT Coming Out of Their Shells Concert Tour. If you watch the video, the intermission has the host from Supermarket Sweep, David Ruprecht
Even recently, there continues to be more and more, including the roller coaster at the Mall of America
If you want to read a little more about the change in actresses playing April or other TMNT stuff, here are a couple articles.
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 2 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 1 1/2 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - The first movie is certainly a lot better, even if that isn't amazing from a technical perspective. The slightly darker tone goes a long way, and in this movie it has gone away. It's clear that this movie is pandering at every turn, which makes a lot of the moments very cheesy. It's still a fun experience overall, and it's not bad enough to not watch again.
If you want to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, as of this recording in October 2022, it’s available on Netflix, HBO Max, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.
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