21 Jun

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

“I’ve been coming… up with a new plan!”

– Splinter

The Setup

None of us saw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that came out in 2014, but we heard awful things. We were shocked when we heard they were making another one in the same series after the first one did so badly. We could have gone back to watch that first film in the series reboot, but we thought it would be more fun to watch one of the movies we remembered coming out when we were kids. Leanna also insisted on it as she was quite enamored with the cartoon series and original films when she was younger, even going so far as to dress up as a turtle for Halloween one year and calling her mother “Shredder Mama” when she was frustrated (true story). We settled on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret of the Ooze because not only did it feature Shredder, but also seemed to share some ties to the reboot based on knowledge we gained strictly by watching the trailer.

The Food

The old TMNT cartoon had one weird thing about it. Well, more than one weird thing (we are talking about a show that follows four teenage half-human-half-turtles who are also ninjas trained by a mutant rat), but we’re talking about one weird food-related thing. The turtles had some really weird taste in pizza.

We decided to recreate three of the most edible pizzas we could find on the show, and it wasn’t easy to find them.

We’ve made pizza on the blog before, so to switch things up, we started with a pizza dough recipe that was appropriate for grilling. Honestly, this was the best part of the pizzas and one day we may grill pizzas again so we can actually enjoy them with normal toppings.

We began with a jelly bean and sausage pizza. We smothered our pizza with sour cream and topped it with chorizo sausage from Rain Shadow Meats and cilantro. The jelly beans presented an interesting challenge, especially because the one flavor we thought would work best with this pizza (jalapeño) wasn’t included in the variety bag we bought. Instead we went with lime and a few other jelly beans with a similar color and melted them down into what we were hoping would materialize as a sort of syrup. It didn’t really work out, so we just ended up throwing some jelly beans on the pizza and going for it. Would not recommend this approach if you try this at home. Really, we just wouldn’t recommend putting jelly beans on your pizza.

Our next pizza was salami with double yogurt. We’re not really sure what double yogurt actually entails, but we slathered on a generous portion of greek yogurt onto our crust and laid out some salami, also purchased at Rain Shadow Meats. This pizza wasn’t half bad, but it doesn’t keep well. If you want to try this one, it’s best if you eat it all in one go.

The third and final pizza was popcorn. We heaped some Beecher’s cheese on the pizza as it cooked to create a nice, melty, cheesy layer beneath the popcorn, the goo to hold it all together if you will. We all ate it as it was constructed, but all decided the pizza was best eaten popcorn first, then plain cheese pizza second. This pizza combination, just wasn’t meant to be.

We balanced out our carb-heavy meal with a Shredder-ed carrot salad. Light, simple and perfect as a side for a whole host of dishes, least of which would be weird pizza. After grating the carrots, a simple toss with some red onions, lemon, dijon, white wine vinegar will have you enjoying a delicious salad in no time. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and you have a salad made from the sharp hands of Shredder himself.

Finally, we closed out our meal with some black sesame shortbread cookies. We cut them into circles to resemble the manhole covers the turtles are often seen poking their heads out of. Not really a charming image for a cookie, but they were buttery and delicious nonetheless. The sesame adds a wonderful nuttiness to the cookie, and it would pair nicely with a cup of tea.

The Drinks

We wanted to make a drink that resembled the ooze, and as luck would have it, we discovered one called the Radioactive Ooze Cocktail. We followed the recipe here, and yes, we did watch the video so you don’t have to. Trust us, it’s really not worth it. We didn’t follow the printed recipe or the video recipe exactly because we adjusted the Hpnotiq to orange juice ratio to get just the right color. We also blended our drink to give it the right consistency. It was refreshing, citrusy, and delicious, and had none of the unwanted side effects of actual radioactive ooze.

The Rules

  • Drink whenever “pizza” is said or seen.
  • Drink whenever anyone uses 90s slang.
  • Drink whenever someone goes in or out of a manhole. (Really doesn’t happen all too often in the film)

Honestly, you don’t even need the second or third rule. Pizza ended up being far more prevalent in this movie than we were prepared for.

The Movie

We all remembered the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles being cool but boy were we wrong. They were extremely bratty and poorly adjusted to life in general.  They also ate way too much pizza. We were disappointed to see the pizzas in the movie were way more tame than the ones the turtles would order on the TV show, especially after cooking such an elaborate dinner.

The main characters being completely unlikeable wasn’t even the worst part of the movie. The dialogue was absolutely atrocious. This was one of those films that was very guilty of having a bunch of adults write a movie for kids and trying to make it sound like it has a youthful voice. 90’s slang was shoehorned into just about every sentence in the most awkward way imaginable. For example, Keno tells the turtles “The word is out on the street that they are looking for anybody with martial arts talent, especially teenagers.” No one would say it that way. The correct use would have been “word on the street is they’re looking for anyone with martial arts talent.” “The word is out on the street that” is just so clunky. We had to pause and rewind because the phrase sounded so forced.

One thing we were impressed by was the martial arts. It wasn’t amazing my any means, but the costumes they were in looked so cumbersome that we were suprised they could even walk, let alone perform stunts. The opening fight got us pretty pumped up, especially when they paused mid fight for a late title card. There’s nothing we love at Munch more than a cheesy title card.

The other part of the movie we really enjoyed was the Vanilla Ice song and dance scene. The clothes, the dancing, and the choice of pop guest star were just so 90’s and we loved it. We just don’t know who had better moves, the turtles

or Vanilla Ice.

The Reviews

André: no ninja no ninja no, no ninja no ninja no, no no no no. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the Vanilla Ice scene, this movie would have been a total waste of time. The way I see it, there are three different kinds of kids movies. There are movies like Toy Story, where the storytelling and animation are so impressive that adults can enjoy them. These are the best kinds of kids movies, and can pretty much only be pulled off by Pixar or Disney on occasion. Then there are movies like Shrek, where they throw in a couple jokes only the adults will get to keep them engaged. TMNT is definitely the third type of kids movies, where no effort whatsoever is made to entertain adults. It’s lazy and I don’t like it.

Leanna: 5 slices of pizza out of 8. This movie clearly wasn’t made for the age group we fall in to today, but this is what a TMNT movie should be. The new films look kind of dark, but when your main characters are literally teenage mutant ninja turtles, the only way you can go is campy and silly. Also, I can’t believe I forgot about the whole musical interlude/battle montage involving none other than Vanilla Ice, but somehow I did. Yes, this movie was ridiculous, and yes, the turtles would be horrible roommates (respect to you, April and Splinter), but they were a very special part of my childhood, so I couldn’t altogether hate it.

Ben: 40%. I’ll be honest and say I don’t really have much of a history with the Ninja Turtles. I never watched them when I was younger, can barely tell you the names of all four, and would struggle to tell you the name of the Rat teacher. So I was bummed when I got into this film and all of the turtles were playing the same character and I could hardly tell them apart save for the thin colored band around their eyes that does an excellent job of hiding their identity, and the weapons they wield. The rest of the movie is somewhat of a blur, the only saving grace being that it was relatively short. Secret of the Ooze? More like Secret of the Snooze.