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Old 11-19-2019, 07:00 PM   #1
Cyndaquilfan123
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Should TMNT 1990 be considered a Cult Classic?

So, a friend and I have a movie night every once in awhile and I show him films I really enjoy. So, last week I showed my friend TMNT 1990 for the first time. I don't think he had ever heard of the film. He really enjoyed it. Then I realized, so many people I know in my generation, (Gen Z) have never heard of this film, or flat out doesn't know it exists. I thought about it, and the Original film has a lot of the trademarks of a cult film.

1. it was based off a cult comic book, but while the 87 toon was huge, most people obviously don't know that book exists.

2. It's got the quotability of a cult film. Most people would not get it if I were to "Pizza Dude's got 30 seconds." or the Pork rind scene?

3. While not pushing it, it's got a little bit of that underground feel, like you don't see films with a secret club of underage guys smoking cigarettes all the time.

I don't know guys, do you agree with me here or am I completely off the mark? I'm just kinda frustrated that more people haven't seen this film.
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:07 PM   #2
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It IS a cult classic. It was the most successful independent movie ever made, at it's time, & is still largely considered one of the best comic book adaptions in cinema. Doesn't surprise me that zoomers have missed out on it, but I'd be hard pressed to try & sell to them. You definitely don't seem to really get how big it is in the grand scheme of things, though. Maybe your fluoride peers don't get the references, but millions of other people would.
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:53 PM   #3
frank_one
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I guess it's a cult, but it's not a classic.
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:42 PM   #4
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I guess that's accurate.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:51 AM   #5
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The first TMNT movie is the Citizen Cane of comic book movies. Also the first TMNT movie invented “Marvel humor” three decades before it became a thing. So funny to watch a movie from 1990 and see what would evolve into “Marvel humor.”
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:10 AM   #6
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Might be a little too niche, but it really aught to be one.

But people not knowing it exists... this does not compute. >.< Lack of showings on tv and elsewhere are depriving these kids!
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:34 AM   #7
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Should?! Isn't it one already? It is or at least was for a long time the highest grossing independent film ever. It's not like it's a movie that the world forgot or overlooked. It's very important to the TMNT legacy and generally liked by people. So who'd argue against it being a cult classic?
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:13 PM   #8
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I think it gets a lot of respect from those who have re-watched it growing up, but, in my mind, it hasn't achieved that classic cult status in the mainstream. I think people need to be reminded how awesome this movie was, and they are when someone forces them to go back to it, but I think many people have forgotten this film and probably chalk it up as being on par with the Fred Wolf cartoon or something.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:22 PM   #9
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I agree it should be considered a cult classic. Took me a while to get into it, though, as I didnt grow up with it and didn’t like it the first time I watched it for some reason. Probably wouldn’t have given the film a go if it wasn’t for this forum.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:41 PM   #10
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In my earliest memories of TMNT, I remember Secret of the Ooze being my favorite. It was probably around middle school when I finally realized the first film was way more suited to my tastes.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:34 PM   #11
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The first (and arguably second) flicks are cult classics. There's no consideration to be had. There's no official governing bodies that assign this title.

They simply are by virtue of the core fanbase that still loves the movies, and the fact that they've maintained relevance in those circles all of this time.

I would have thought that this was obvious.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IMJ View Post
The first (and arguably second) flicks are cult classics. There's no consideration to be had. There's no official governing bodies that assign this title.

They simply are by virtue of the core fanbase that still loves the movies, and the fact that they've maintained relevance in those circles all of this time.

I would have thought that this was obvious.
Agreed
There should be no question this a cult classic. We are still watching and talking about it to this day, and we have yet to see any other turtle movie come close to it’s charm and pure radness.
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IMJ View Post
The first (and arguably second) flicks are cult classics. There's no consideration to be had. There's no official governing bodies that assign this title.

They simply are by virtue of the core fanbase that still loves the movies, and the fact that they've maintained relevance in those circles all of this time.

I would have thought that this was obvious.
I guess I never understood the term correctly.

Still seems like a sort of nebulous term to apply to something, but sure, it's a "cult classic".
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IMJ View Post
The first (and arguably second) flicks are cult classics. There's no consideration to be had. There's no official governing bodies that assign this title.

They simply are by virtue of the core fanbase that still loves the movies, and the fact that they've maintained relevance in those circles all of this time.

I would have thought that this was obvious.
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:55 PM   #15
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I'd say it is.

I have to say, re-watching it as an adult, the more serious themes resonate more. As a kid, all the 'turtles wallowing in their defeat' stuff bored me. As an adult I understood it was important to better pump up their grand return to New York, and all the stuff regarding the Turtles thinking their father was dead and all that made it go beyond just some silly kids movie.
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Old 11-24-2019, 06:38 PM   #16
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I would say that the first movie would fall into the category of "cult classic". It's what made me a TMNT fan to begin with. I remember I watched and enjoyed the original cartoon as a child, but I had always wanted it to be a little closer what the 1990 movie was. So I was really excited as a teenager when I first saw the OT had reinvented itself into the "red sky era".
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Old 11-24-2019, 06:45 PM   #17
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I think it has to be a "cult classic" for the simple fact of, 1. I still run into the occasional person who has neither seen or sometimes even heard of it, and 2. Most people who see it, including those aforementioned, inevitably think it's at least Really Good if not Great.

In a perfect world it would simply be "a classic", but I still run into too many people of all ages who've somehow never seen or heard of it. So obviously it didn't quite set the world on fire to the degree it deserved to, despite being very successful by a variety of metrics.
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Old 11-25-2019, 01:12 AM   #18
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It is. Helps that the film only gets better with age, too.
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Old 11-25-2019, 01:22 AM   #19
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I don't think it gets better with age. It only gets increasingly better by comparison of anything new they put out.

Bottom line, they sold themselves way short with this even if this was the best possible movie they were allowed to make in 1990 with everything at play working against them.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo656 View Post
I think it has to be a "cult classic" for the simple fact of, 1. I still run into the occasional person who has neither seen or sometimes even heard of it, and 2. Most people who see it, including those aforementioned, inevitably think it's at least Really Good if not Great.

In a perfect world it would simply be "a classic", but I still run into too many people of all ages who've somehow never seen or heard of it. So obviously it didn't quite set the world on fire to the degree it deserved to, despite being very successful by a variety of metrics.
No idea how many people on Earth have seen it, but quite a lot. When you mention a TMNT movie to your average Joe, that's always the one they first think of.

It might not be a movie NEARLY EVERYONE watched like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, Titanic(I feel like I'm the only one who hasn't), etc. But it's definitely a famous movie. It helps that it came out right during the peak of Turtlemania too.

For the record, in Portugal, we didn't get the cartoon until 1990 after the movie aired in the cinemas. Not sure if the same happened in other countries. But maybe that might have contributed to it not being even bigger. Americans already knew what the Turtles were and were ready to pay to watch it, while here people didn't know what the Turtles were at all and several people might simply not have been interested in going to watch it at the cinema. "What? Guys wearing Turtle suits? What a stupid idea!"
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