Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Monsters and Mutants – review

Director: Various

First aired: 2017

Contains spoilers

With 6 episodes taken from season 5 of the Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this has four episodes concerning the classic monsters and then a double episode called When Worlds Collide (about aliens).

The episodes that concern us contain a mini-arc of a story.

It opens with April (Mae Whitman) and Casey (Josh Peck) walking through the Halloween streets of New York on their way to meet the turtles. Suddenly they are under attack by large wolves and a man appears with rather large canines. A young girl bites Casey. The turtles are getting ready when April calls them and says that Casey is a vampire and after her blood. They go to rescue her but, after using garlic pizza to capture Casey, April is bitten and they become surrounded by wolves, vampires and the Frankenstein Monster (Grant Moninger).

Turtles undercover
They are lifted out of danger by the newly appearing Renet (Ashley Johnson). Renet is an apprentice Time Master – the guardians of time and space. She explains that she was checking on the banished Savanti Romero (Graham McTavish, Preacher & Castlevania) when he managed to get her spare time travelling device and has come through time, recruiting monsters on the way, with the aim of taking over the world. We should note that his name seems to be a homage to Tom Savini and George Romero. Renet wants to take the mutants back in time to try and stop Romero – unfortunately her time staff is low on energy.

vampire turtle
They go through time to his first stop, which is Ancient Egypt, but our interest lies more firmly in the next episode where they go through to Transylvania in the 1300s to stop Romero recruiting Dracula (Chris Sarandon, Bordello of Blood, Fright Night (1985) & Fright Night (2011)). Renet gives the turtles clothes that will help them blend in and they head towards Dracula’s castle. En route they meet gypsies, one of whom turns out to be the wolfman, and Raphael (Sean Astin, the Strain) is bitten becoming a vampire turtle. Let us just say that they are not successful here or at Frankenstein’s castle and have to take the fight back to their own time. At which point Donatello (Rob Paulsen) is also turned (by April) leaving just two turtles to lead the fightback.

The vampires can summon mist, eye mojo, turn into bats and become bat creatures as well. There is a symbol that will ward them (though faith is needed) and garlic will weaken them. Being staked through the heart will kill them, a vampire is not a true vampire until they have drunk blood and its kill the head vampire free the half-vampires (or, indeed, all of them apparently). We are in a one bite and turn situation. The monsters have a hostile relationship/alliance, with Dracula clearly wanting to take command and we do see that the mummy is no match for him. So, what was it like as a vehicle to view.

surrounded by bat creatures
You know it was good fun. You couldn’t fault the voice acting, which was provided by a mixture of big names and veteran voice actors. The animation was cgi and it was deliberately blocky and low textured – I think I would have preferred higher standards of cgi (especially with regards textures) or actually drawn animation but it didn’t do anything too terrible. I must give a shout out to both Alex and Everlost, both of whom contacted me to tell me about the Crypt of Dracula episode (second in the sequence). 6 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Alex. G said...

This was a fun series of episodes and a loving tribute to Universal Horror films. The voice actors playing Dracula and Frankenstein's monster tried to do impressions of Lugosi and Karloff, which was a neat touch.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Glad you pointed them out to me :)