The first few seasons of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were absolutely infectious. A great number of episodes offered one-off stories, so you weren’t forced to watch the show religiously to keep up, the protagonists were colorful and endearing, the villain selection was vast and completely unpredictable in when or why they’d surface in the series. Hell, even the intro theme is as catchy as the common cold. Oh, and they also tangled with the Xenomorphs from Ridley Scott’s beloved Alien franchise.
Okay, so technically speaking, the turtles didn’t actually tangle with the xenomorphs, but the creature designs of “Case of the Killer Pizza” (the TMNT episode title) were awesome and extremely similar to the xenomorph designs that H.R. Giger developed for the inaugural Alien feature, and it is reiterated through the episode that these things are – duh, duh, duh – aliens!
I won’t really call this a spoof or a rip-off, but I’m fully content acknowledging that this is an obvious and loving nod to Scott’s film franchise.
Of course, there may be something even cooler about the pizza monsters, I mean, they show up looking like loads of meatballs on an appealing pizza, only to hit a sudden growth spurt and rise to menacing proportions. It’s pretty awesome, and extremely cool to know that director Bill Wolf welcomed these “borrowed” designs in order to pay tribute to a timeless sci-fi/horror tale.