Incredibly detailed and lifelike costumes at the BBQ Films’ Screening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
“When we were forced to come to New York, I found myself for the first time without a home, wandering the sewers, scavenging for whatever I could find. And then, one day, I came upon a shattered glass jar and four baby turtles.”
It isn’t just the origin story of Splinter and the Ninja Turtles. It’s the story of all transplants who call New York City their home (yes, even that last part). It is perhaps no surprise, then, that the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film resonated so strongly with so many of us in the 1990s.
Unfortunately, the turtles were lost to time (quite literally in a subsequent sequel), and we’d forgotten all about them until a few weeks ago. Whispers of a resurrected Foot Clan were traded silently across the internet and in hushed subway conversations. Days later, we were staring at an open invitation in our hands, calculating the weight of a treasonous act of this sort. Join the infamous Foot Clan, or stick to our “nunchucks” and get behind Splinter and the turtles? It wouldn’t be an easy choice.
Until we realized BBQfilms was behind it all once again. This time around, they secured Villain, a massive event space in Williamsburg, to recreate the secret lair of the Foot Clan. But that was only the beginning. From Super Nintendos, Ataris and classic arcade games to a graffiti-kissed half-pipe and tasteful quantities of green ooze, Gabriel Rhoads and his team flawlessly brought us all into the film.
Of course, a trip back into the early 90s for some testosterone-infused action wouldn’t be complete with pizza. Luckily, the guys of East Harlem’s Neapolitan Pizza were right on time (imagine if they’d been two minutes late…).
The most 90s thing we saw last night – cartridge blowing.
If there’s one thing BBQfilms has improved exponentially over their past few events, it is the art of the live performance. This time around, they flew in a mostly undiscovered costume designer and TMNT enthusiast from Oklahoma named Derick Winsett, who brought the turtles to life. And it’s quite frightening how close he got considering they’re completely animated characters. Shredder, Splinter, Casey, Jones and the entire Foot Clan crew joined in to complete the scene.
Finally, as if it weren’t all more than enough already, Richard Usher himself appeared as Partners in Kryme to revive the lost 90s classic, Turtle Power. Considering a relatively shoestring budget and a small, dedicated team, it’s been quite remarkable to watch BBQfilms “one up” themselves every few months. We don’t know what’s next for director Gabriel Rhoads (we’re not even sure he does), but we’re waiting patiently beneath the streets of Manhattan to find out. Until then, we’ll just keep eating this delicious pizza and swooning over April O’Neil. Cowabunga. More photos below:
Get in touch with the author @lukekingma.