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Zeroes in a half shell

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It was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot that was so laugh-out-loud terrible — even Michael Bay wouldn’t make a movie out of it.

A dramatic reading of the famously rejected script at a Union Hall show will reveal exactly how Hollywood planned on destroying the beloved story of heroes in a half shell.

“Michael Bay is still going to produce a Ninja Turtles movie, but this draft of the script was leaked online, and drew tremendous ire from fans who care about the franchise,” said host Rob Blatt. “I want to get it out there to show just how bad this movie was going to be.”

Though based on a Saturday morning cartoon about crime-fighting turtles (which was based on a much grittier comic book series), a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie must stand on four fundamental plot points, each of which are absolutely essential to the franchise.

First, everyone knows the Ninja Turtles are teenagers. Second, they’re mutants — probably through contact with green ooze. Third, they are trained by a giant bipedal rat in the art of ninjutsu, and finally, and most importantly, they are turtles.

But the famously shirked script omits two of these four essentials, turning the beloved turtle mutants into neither reptiles nor freaks of nature — but aliens.

You know, the other kind of little green men.

“The fun part of this is that they don’t know they’re aliens until late in the movie,” Blatt said. “Like the rest of us they assume they’re mutants and the back story starts the same way, but it turns out they’re aliens and Splinter has been hiding this from them their entire lives.”

Why Master Splinter, why!

But the travesty doesn’t end there.

“It’s also full of bad, pop-culture jokes,” said Blatt. “There’s even a ‘Kung Fu Panda’ joke, but most of the humor in the script comes from just how bad it is. It’s 125-pages of laugh out loud terribleness. This script ruins pretty much everything you enjoyed about the Ninja Turtles.”

The script’s lowest point is when the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones rips apart a colorful tapestry into strips of blue, green, red, and orange to assign the turtles their trademark colors — just so he can tell them apart.

“I read that, and I was like, I guess nothing matters anymore,” said a clearly shaken Blatt.

Blatt hopes that the audience will find the reading enjoyable, the same way TV audiences have adored productions like, “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” and its particular brand of ridicule-based humor.

Beyond entertainment, however, Blatt says there’s a meaningful message to the show.

“Greed knows no bounds,” he said. “With Battleship and Transformers, they all follow the same pattern of buying a franchise and ruining it. There was a joke that after battleship there’s going to be a Hungry Hungry Hippos movie where they’re aliens, and it just turns out that the next step was ruining the Ninja Turtles.”

Michael Bay’s Ninja Turtles at Union Hall [702 Union St. at Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 638–4400, www.unionhallny.com]. April 22, 8 pm, $6.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 10:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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