Review: Films Set In Japan – ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III’ (1993)

Well I managed to sit through all 95 minutes of this movie which is set in feudal Japan (1185 to 1868). I will never ever get that time back! I watched this with one eye very much on how it inter-spersed the heroes in a half shell with the legendary and deadly samurai.

At the start of the 1990’s the Teenage Mutant Ninja (changed to ‘hero’ for the cartoon) Turtles were big business. I recall watching a few episodes of the cartoon and getting a pirate copy of the first film but it’s probably the theme tune which sticks in my head more than anything and I am afraid to say that my ironic use of the word ‘cowabunga’ in this day and age loses its irony the more I say it!

Lets get on with the storyline then. On second thoughts why should I bother wasting any time explaining it when it seems that the writers put so little effort in to yet another time-travel plot gimmick that had something to do with a magic scepter which could transport them back to 17th century Japan. Possibly the only positive from the film is that Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael train to perfect the art of becoming one and even manage to show how the introduction of guns into Japan destroyed the samurai class and altered power structures.

Primary antagonist Shredder is totally absent in this movie (maybe he died in the second movie???) , Splinter is under-used and pretty much static for the few moments he appears (albeit his top half only!) in his underground house. Anyway, who gives a sh*t about all this. The popularity of the turtles was already on the wane by the time this film came out in 1993.


Tokyo Fox Rating 3/10

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
This entry was posted in Films, Review: Films Set In Japan, TV Shows and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Review: Films Set In Japan – ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III’ (1993)

  1. tokyo5 says:

    Aren’t you going to do a review of “Mr. Baseball”, “Toxic Avenger II” or “Ramen Girl”.

    • tokyofox says:

      ramen girl ready to go soon actually. started reviewing mr baseball but never finished that draft. one day though! even though I am british and don’t like baseball I love Mr Baseball. never heard of toxic avenger II but will now look out for it. thanks for your comment

      • tokyo5 says:

        >ramen girl ready to go soon actually.

        I look forward to reading it.
        I wrote a bit about it here:

        >even though I am british and don’t like baseball I love Mr Baseball.

        It’s a fun movie. I agree, though, that the sport of baseball is boring.

        >never heard of toxic avenger II

        The “Toxic Avenger” is a ridiculous “B” movie by the kings of campy movies…Troma.
        In Part II, the Toxic Avenger goes (comes) to Tokyo.

      • tokyofox says:

        I actually wrote ramen girl draft a while ago. ready to be published but got more important (?) stuff to post before that hits my reader(s)! i also refer to the karate kid likeness as you did but I think most reviews do!

  2. tokyo5 says:

    Troma Movies also released “Sgt. Kabuki-man, NYPD“, which is kinda “Japan-themed” (not actually “set in Japan”, though).
    It’s just as goofy as the Toxic Avenger.

    • tokyofox says:

      thanks for the recommendation. I have just ordered a cheap copy from amazon which I will collect (along with a sh*tload of other japan-related dvds) when I go back at christmas

      • tokyo5 says:

        >thanks for the recommendation
        I wouldn’t say that I’m “recommending” it…unless you like ridiculous B-movies (which can be fun sometimes in a “so-bad-they’re-good” sort-of way).

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