Ho ho howdy folkses! Welcome to the second day of The Twelve Days of Shitmas! Today we offer you a brief but aromatic review of a cheap, direct-to-video bit of refuse that truly puts the Shit back in Shitmas. To be sure, it's more of a stocking stuffer than a proper under-the-tree kind of review, but although it lacks the traumatic edge of the previous offering it's still got enough Christmas misery to satisfy even the hard core Yuletide masochist on your list.

It's the shit that keeps on shitting.

We're posting a brand new review of a Christmas Special every other day, culminating in what we consider the worst of the bunch on Christmas morning...and "worst" is really saying something because here we are, only at day two, and already we've got an utterly irredeemable turd on our hands. The producers put about as much effort into this special as I put into my morning shit, with the primary difference between the two being that my shit starts on the surface but goes down, while this special starts in the sewer and comes up...then goes back down again. Plus they both stink...and they both like to sing.

Sorry. That metaphor kind of got away from me there.

Let me just put it out there up front that I'm not even a casual Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. It's just not something I've ever really paid much attention to and what little I've seen of it has not appealed to me in the least. Still I respect TMNT as an essential and beloved part of the American pop culture zeitgeist. Clearly I respect it more than the greedy assholes who made this cheap and joyless abomination. I know a crass and cynical cash-grab when I see one and I'm writing about one right now. If any of the people responsible for this are capable of shame, which I sincerely doubt, they should still be wracked with guilt for all the parents they duped into buying this direct-to-video offal back in 1994 for their unsuspecting TMNT-loving children. I hope they still get hate mail, the grasping, rapacious bastards.

We open with a musical montage featuring real turtles being forced to walk through some glowing yellow slime interspersed with footage of low-rent actors dancing and posturing in the cheapest Mutant Turtle suits you've ever seen. These look like middle-tier Halloween costumes rather than something for use in a professional production. They're ill-fitting, awkward and borderline terrifying. The masks only articulate in the most limited way, with mouths that open and close and Cheshire-cat teeth that can be bared for effect. Unfortunately that effect is not so much "Cowabunga, dude!" as " sure got a purdy mouth!"

"Squeal like a pig for me!"

This opening Number is heavy on cheesy 90's video effects, light on actual musicality or choreography, and in fact there's ample reason to question whether any of the musical sequences were choreographed at all, despite the four choreographers listed in the closing credits. It looks like they just went from location to location in New York City, pointed the camera at the guys in the suits and said "wing it, dudes!" Which is a major problem, because We Wish You a Turtle Christmas is nothing but a series of eight (yeah, I counted 'em) sequential singing-and-dancing music videos strung together with only the barest narrative thread. It's like something a bunch of 12-year-olds would make in their back yard with a VHS camcorder. Actually I take that back. That would be way more entertaining than this.

So the opening number ends and we cut from the Turtles singing and dancing in various random subterranean chambers to the Turtles singing and dancing in one specific subterranean chamber where they've set up their Christmas Tree. This song is a Turtle-ized rendition of "Deck the Halls," inexplicably performed in a pop ska/raggae style with one of the Turtles even using a fake Jamaican accent.

"Deck the halls with pepperoni...mustard, eggplant and baloney..." Actual lyrics.

The second song ends and one of the Turtles (sorry, folks they all look the same to me) declares "Five o' clock on Christmas Eve and all our shopping is done!"

When they start wrapping the presents however, they realized they've made a horrible mistake. Somehow they've forgotten to get a gift for their sensei Splinter! Oh no! They're gonna have to leave the sewer and go shopping!

Cue up another shitty song called "Up From the Sewer" which is a Turtle-ized version of "To Grandmother's House We Go." I see a trend here. The song consists of a full one and a half minutes of the four Turtles walking down murky corridors and climbing up and down dingy stairs.


This fades directly into the next number called "Gotta Get a Gift" which instead of being based on an existing Christmas song is an original number that sounds like it was recorded by an amateur Michael Jackson impersonator on a 4 track cassette in a basement in rural Utah. It features a quartet of (presumably homeless) children playing trash bins, lids and buckets as percussion. There's also a random tween on roller skates who aimlessly putzes around in the background while the Turtles dance.

God bless him for trying, though.

The lyrics consist of the guys suggesting various items they might buy for Splinter, with each suggestion being shot down by the others. Not very helpful.

Apparently they're also Nazis. Who knew?

They leave Roller Tween and the Homeless Homies and decide they're gonna harass some unsuspecting Salvation Army Santa next. Seriously they probably spotted this poor fellow just minding his business, doing his job ringing his little bell and the director said "Hey, everybody...let's go fuck with him!"

One of the two Turtles with red masks puts on a white scarf and the other one with a red mask screams "Oh no! He's turning into that opera guy again!" And we all know what that means. This time it's "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" repurposed as "Oh Little City of New York" and it's every bit as foul and nauseating as you'd suspect.

Look at poor Santa. He just wants to take his bell and go home.

You know what? This video actually offends me. The lazy, cynical, money-grubbing attitude behind this rubbish is odiously palpable in every excruciating second of unbearable screen time. The utter disrespect and contempt for their audience, particularly for the children who'd be so excited to unwrap this tape on Christmas morning and so horrified when they hit the play button on their VCRs and realized what an unwatchable garbage fire their parents were suckered into buying, is both unconscionable and disgusting. There's a special circle of Entertainment Hell for producers of this kind of puerile, misanthropic, opportunistic, direct-to-video codswallop and I hope it's hotter there than a ghost pepper enema. that I've gotten that off my chest... The song has mercifully ended we now cut to shots of each Turtle holding up different items including some sneakers, a skateboard, neckties, yoyos and even a handful of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comic books.

There's nothing quite like a little shameless self-promotion.

Finally the Turtle with the purple mask finds what they all agree is the absolutely perfect gift for their teacher and most important friend.

A plastic pizza in a wooden frame! Bodacious!

And now we come to the song that will disrupt my rest, disorder my thoughts and plague my dreams for the rest of my angst-haunted insidious earworm so juvenile, derivative and appalling that I must raise my hands to heaven and curse the very hour I searched YouTube for this loathsome production. In terms of our narrative we've reached the stage in the Turtles' quest where they have discovered the magical object, returned to their lair with it and have only to prepare it for presentation to their master. They must take paper, scissors and cellophane tape in hand and...wrap it...and we, the audience must now confront the repugnant and abominable "Wrap Rap."

Oh, how I long for the sweet release of death.

What deranged cosmic forces converged to make Wrap and Rap homonyms? What desolate, starving, third-rate New York songwriter was driven to such desperate extremes that he would willingly create this hellacious aural toxin for a mere royalty check? His betrayal of good taste and decency has doomed us all. There are no winners with the "Wrap Rap," only a bitter loss of sanity and innocence for all so unfortunate to hear it.

Oh, God, no...not the arm thing!

Every stereotype of 90's hip-hop has been commandeered and perverted into a sinister sonic weapon by these four grotesque green pizza-eating bastards, and every time someone plays this song a great unknown musical talent with awesome untapped potential instantly withers and dies.

But let's move on, shall we? There's only two songs left and then we can all hit the egg nog and try to erase this thing from our memories forever.

The Turtles go to bed and we fade to Christmas morning, where everyone is drinking punch and opening their gifts. There are a few random kids wandering around, possibly the Homeless Homies, possibly some other street children they've abducted for ritual sacrifice once the cameras stop recording, and Sensei Splinter is there, too.

Sweet Saint Nicholas that's one ugly bastard.

Splinter says "My sons! Children! Please gather around! Let's rock and roll!" And as I die inside just that little extra bit more he begins singing a Splinter-ized version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

I remember it starting with "On the first day of Christmas the Turtles gave to me a pizza with pepperoni," then...well to be honest I got kind of woozy, everything went dark and I passed out. Perhaps it was the hypnotic, mellifluous whisper of Splinter's voice, or maybe some deep, primal, protective mechanism of the subconscious kicked in to preserve what little this thing has left of my immortal soul, but I woke up about five minutes later with my head on the coffee table and my cheek moistened by a little puddle of drool. Judging by the dialog the song had just finished and no fucking way was I gonna rewind that shit.

Splinter gives a speech about how generous the Turtles are for giving him whatever the fuck he just spent five minutes singing about, but suggests they have perhaps lost sight of "the true meaning of this special time of year." Yeah, I think the avaricious pricks who made this trash might need to take heed of those words, too, but I digress. One of the Turtles takes this sentiment so much to heart that he immediately goes over to a phone booth and orders a bunch of pizza. While they're waiting for it to arrive this sentimental reptile breaks the fourth wall to ask all the kids at home to join him in singing his favorite Christmas song. I hate to break it to you, greenie, but any kid foolish enough to have put this video on in the first place has long since tuned out to go play instead with whatever else he found under the tree that morning.

Dude! There's nobody out there!

The Turtles, Splinter the ugly rat man and the captive children all break into "We Wish You a Turtle Christmas" and it's just so darn catchy that everyone starts swaying and dancing and covertly looking for a fucking exit.

That's not real happiness, that's Stockholm Syndrome.

The song ends and the credits roll and it's time for some goddamn egg nog.

Bottom line: never ever ever ever watch this. You've been warned.

The end.

Merry Christmas, folkses!

Next Installment: December 7th.

As always, Cheers and thanks for reading!

Written by Bradley Lyndon in December 2019.

Questions? Comments? Expressions of disgust? Why not skip the middleman and complain to me directly?

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