Horrors In A Halfshell: Day 11 (Phantom of the Sewers)

Welcome ghost & ghouls to Horrors In A Halfshell! In this 13-part Halloween series, I'll be opening the cartoon crypt, revisiting the best and most bodacious blood-curdling episodes from the original TMNT show. Each spooky story will be dissected with the following categories:

SCARY SYNOPSIS: What is the plot of this eerie episode?
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Any iconic Halloween imagery?
MONSTERS & MUTANTS: Crazy creatures?
SPOOKIEST SCENE: A moment that gives me the heebie jeebies.
BOO! CHEESIEST MOMENT: An eye-rolling moment that makes me giggle.

13 days. 13 episodes. 13 more reasons to love Halloween.

Lurk in the underground for Day 11 with Phantom of the Sewers from Season 6!

A mysterious man in a mask and cape, known as the Phantom, has been sneaking into a Chuck E. Cheese-wannabe establishment called the Pizza Pan Theater. A news report captures him fleeing the scene and into the sewers after tinkering with the Theater's friendly, robotic animal mascots. The Turtles see the story on the news and comb New York City's underground in an effort to capture this masked culprit. Meanwhile, the Pizza Pan Theater's robotic animal mascots hit the streets, breaking into and robbing banks. The Turtles finally seize the Phantom in the depths of the sewers, but is he really the brains behind this devilish scheme?

The show creators must've been running out of gas by season 6. Another episode paying homage to the Phantom of the Opera?! At least Phantom of the Sewers is completely different than the previous effort. This masked man is appalled by his appearance, forcing him to a life of sewer-lurking. He creeps in the shadows, masked and hidden.

And his chin is really weird.

The Phantom isn't the only freaky foe in this episode. The Pizza Pan Theater's faux-Chuck E. Cheese robots are a new batch of scary we haven't yet encountered in the Horrors In A Halfshell series. Willy Wombat, Elmo Elephant, and Cassius Cow - cutesy named creatures, right? No way! Theses vicious villains armed through the teeth. They rely on firepower to strike fear into their victims. Over-the-top and completely ridiculous.

Why didn't they make toys of these ridiculous dudes?!

When the Phantom removes his mask, the sight is so scary the audience isn't even allowed to see it. We can only imply how horrifying it must be from Donatello's frozen reaction.

The spookiest scene is ruined within seconds. Donatello suggests that the Phantom should try washing his grotesque face. The deformed dude takes the advice and rinses off. His once-mangled features immediately return to normal. The mystery is revealed - the Phantom wasn't damaged at all, there was just a thick layer of paint covering his face. Ugh. What a painfully stupid resolution. This was one of the silliest moments in a cartoon. EVER.

Phantom of the Sewers might have the worst conclusion, but the rest of the episode is a mutant macabre adventure. There's a fantastic lineup of screams - a gloomy setting, masked characters, and armed robots! Not sure if that's a formula for perfection, but when tossed into a cartoon cauldron, it definitely makes a decent Halloween episode.

Check back tomorrow for Day 12 of Horrors In A Halfshell!


1 comment:

  1. Now you can say that the animatronic Chuck-e-Cheese wannabes are based on Five Nights at Freddy's, but this came before that :P


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