Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.
MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Army of Darkness featured a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle as a cameo/joke.
First off, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were very popular in the first couple of years of the 1990s.
They managed to get THREE films out between 1990 and 1993.
So when Sam Raimi began filming the third Evil Dead film, Army of Darkness, in 1991, the Turtles were definitely all over the place.
Army of Darkness saw our hero, Ash (played by Bruce Campbell) transported into medieval times (he still had to fight evil dead people, of course).
In any event, at the end of the film, when the bad guys are storming the castle in their attempt to capture the Necronomicon (the Book of the Dead), it appears as though someone dressed as a ninja turtle is sneaked into the background of a scene.
(Here are the Turtles from their film)
This has been repeated as an “Easter egg” (a term given to in-jokes that are hidden in films, as you have to “hunt” for them like Easter eggs) for years, but really, it’s not true.
The character in question is clearly just a certain type of knight.
We first see these knights when they’re shown guarding the Necronomicon…
Their helmets, when they tilt their heads down, appear to cover their face, but they don’t (not fully)…as shown here…
In any event, though, when we see them in later scenes, if you look quickly and just see the oddly shaped body (due to the armor) and the bandanas, it is sort of possible to see them as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…
But they’re clearly not, when you look closely.
In addition, on the director’s commentary, Raimi points out a TON of little bits about the movie, but doesn’t mention anything about these knights, so that really cinches it for me that this is not even meant as a Turtle homage or whatever.
The legend is…
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.