Directed by: #VinNucatola
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise is one of the most prolific in the world. Even if you didn’t watch it or enjoy it as a child, you still know what it is and who they are. You’ll have seen a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle packed lunch case at least once in your life.
Italian Turtles, written and directed by Vin Nucatola, is a 9-minute short that takes place during the pitch for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show. The film is a parody, thus probably isn’t the most historically accurate but, honestly, its more entertaining that I thought it would be. The whole thing is quite nostalgic and makes you think of being a kid and seeing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles around a lot; after more than 30 years of existence, the franchise is still well known but not as prominent as it once was.
In terms of the visuals and the editing, I really liked the almost fuzzy filter that’s been put over the film because it gives it a nice 1980’s vintage feel, which is perfect because the pitch meeting for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took place in Los Angeles in 1986! The costuming and hair styling are also spot on with capturing the look of the 80s. Consequently, Italian Turtles shows itself to be a thought-out production.
The dialogue is definitely entertaining but still naturalistic, which this makes it even better. Wording in the script has obviously been carefully considered with the use of some 1980s slang, and its super RAD. The dialogue is one of the best aspects of this film and it also works perfectly for establishing the characters.
All of the performers were brilliant, not just okay. They were BRILLIANT. One of my favourites was Chris D’Amato who plays Peter Laird, one of the creators of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. D’Amato is endearing in his doubtful and anxious portrayal of Liard. Another favourite was Timothy J. Cox, who plays the head of the board meeting. It was a pleasure to see Cox because I recognised him from another short film that I had reviewed a few months ago, called Doll It Up. Cox was the saving grace in that film, and he is just as fantastic in Italian Turtles.
Vin Nucatola has done a terrific job creating Italian Turtles, and producers Mary Ortega and Brian Morgan are also to thank for the fact that this is such a well-crafted production. Nucatola has been able to wonderfully balance elements of absurdity and naturalism. The absurdity isn’t over the top and certainly isn’t misplaced, since this IS a parody about the creation of a TV series that focusses on 4 teenage mutant ninja turtles that love pizza and are trained by a sewer rat.
In Italian Turtles, there is a mini performance of the theme song for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I now have that stuck in my head. Essentially, if there was somehow a sequel to Italian Turtles, I would be more than pleased to watch it and I am actually rather curious to see what else Nucatola has written… that’s testament to how impressed I am with his script writing and directing!