‘Mutant Mayhem’ – 6 Horror Movies to Watch After You See the New ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Movie

Long before I discovered the joys of horror movies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a formative obsession of mine. I often wonder if TMNT and its variety of imaginative creatures served as a gateway to the genre of sorts. Living up to its title, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has the potential to do the same for a new generation.

Whether you’re a genre veteran interested in revisiting thematically similar offerings or a newcomer looking to branch out into some of TMNT’s inspirations, here are six horror movies to watch after you see Mutant Mayhem.

1. The Fly

Mutant Mayhem the fly

Mutant Mayhem villain Superfly is a fresh spin on the classic TMNT character Baxter Stockman, who debuted in the original Mirage comics and has appeared in many other iterations since, from animated to live action. As a brilliant but mad scientist turned mutant human-fly hybrid, the character was clearly inspired by The Fly.

Take your pick between either version, as they both have TMNT lineage. Stockman’s transformation in the 1987 cartoon was an homage to the 1958 film with Vincent Price, while the character’s visceral mutation in the 2012 series was a nod to Jeff Goldblum in David Cronenberg’s goopy 1986 remake.

2. Attack on Titan

Mutant Mayhem attack on titan

Attack on Titan is mentioned in Mutant Mayhem when Donatello sees a drawing scribbled on a locker, which makes him feel a kinship with a fellow anime fan. A later callback in the final act becomes integral to the finale. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ standout score even features a track titled “Attack on a Titan.”

If you’re new to Attack on Titan, there’s a lot to catch up on: Hajime Isayama’s original Japanese manga that was serialized monthly between 2009 and 2021 (later collected in 34 bestselling volumes); the wildly popular anime series that debuted in 2013 and is currently in its final season; and 2015’s two-part live action film adaptation.

Whichever version you dive into, the property combines post-apocalyptic action, dark fantasy, and horror into a character-driven tale set in a world where humanity is relegated to walled-in cities to protect them from man-eating giants. A teenager named Eren Yeager vows to exterminate them after they destroy his hometown, not unlike the Turtles’ effort to stop Superfly from taking over the world.

3. Nightbreed

Nightbreed Mutant Mayhem

In Mutant Mayhem, the Ninja Turtles find refuge in the sewer after being persecuted by humans due to their unconventional appearance. Master of horror Clive Barker covered similar ground in his sophomore directorial effort, Nightbreed. The 1990 film finds ancient creatures relegated to a subterranean realm known as Midian before the humans wage a war against them.

You could also swap out Nightbreed for C.H.U.D. The 1984 creature feature may not be as thematically similar, but it features mutants that, like the Ninja Turtles, call the sewers of New York City home.

4. Blade II


Like TMNT, Blade came from humble comic book beginnings before making the leap to the silver screen. The titular hero’s weapon of choice is a sword, like Leonardo, and his martial arts mastery makes him equally proficient in hand-to-hand combat.

Wesley Snipes slays in all three Blade films — 1998’s Blade, 2002’s Blade II, and 2004’s Blade: Trinity — but the second installment is the most creature-heavy of the trilogy. Guillermo del Toro was an ideal director to introduce the Reapers, a mutated breed of bloodthirsty vampire whose bite can infect humans and vampires alike.

5. Godzilla

While there are any number of giant monster movies to choose from in relation to the kaiju-style attack on New York that is the centerpiece of Mutant Mayhem‘s third act, both Donatello and Superfly mention Godzilla by name. It’s hard to argue against the King of the Monsters, which may not be the first of its kind but is certainly the most enduring; even the Guinness World Records recognizes Godzilla as the longest continuously running film franchise.

You can’t go wrong with Ishirō Honda’s 1954 original, which uses the monster as an allegory for nuclear weapons. (In addition to Mutant Mayhem, Godzilla is also ripe for a revisit after following Oppenheimer.) Between Japan and the US, there have been 36 Godzilla films to date, with two more on the way: Godzilla Minus One, releasing in Japan this November via Toho, and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, the latest installment in Legendary’s MonsterVerse franchise due out next year.

6. The Slumber Party Massacre

The Turtles embrace their New York roots and teenage metabolisms with a voracious appetite for pizza. Mutant Mayhem has teamed with Pizza Hut for cross-promotion that includes limited edition pizza boxes, co-branded advertisements, a mobile AR game, and in-movie product placement. If that’s not enough, you can also find Mutant Mayhem frozen pizza at the supermarket.

For my money, there’s no better pizza-eating scene in a horror movie than The Slumber Party Massacre. Not even a delivery boy murdered in cold blood can sate the teens’ hunger in the 1982 slasher. “He’s dead, all right. He’s so cold,” one comments. “Is the pizza?” another asks as she grabs a slice. Director Amy Holden Jones considers it one of the best lines she’s ever written.

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