Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger Episode 7: Big Sisters



Flying Car Abducts Annoying Child.
Obese Rooster Kicked In Beak.





You know what I hate? Bratty little kids. You know what I don't like to watch? Those same brat kids getting into "mischief." As luck would have it, the entire thrust of this episode today is Kim and Trini volunteering to look after some shitty little snot nosed kid named Maria. They aren't particularly good at this volunteer job though because it's been a half hour and they still have no idea where she is. Thankfully Handsome Jason and Shirtless Zack finish their sensual sweat stained sparring session and survey the situation.

Zack and Jason hunks
Alright guys let's oil these beefcakes up

Because we only have 19 minutes to explain this plot and character, we're immediately shown a small girl's hand shutting off a valve labeled "HOT WATER SHUT-OFF." All caps, no subtlety. After this a bunch of buff dudes come running out of the shower covered only in towels. The episode's only a minute in and we've already seen a gaggle of handsome muscley half naked men. So far this sounds like the best episode all season with all the sexy dudes, but it's just leading up to introduce us to stupid shitty Maria, who performs the worst fucking wiggling eyebrows ever caught on film.

Maria Power Rangers
John Belushi she ain't

We cut to Rita who says she needs to get the Power Rangers, and has a perfect plan. Doesn't tie in with anything that's happened, no particular reason for her ire, she's just in the mood to kill some teenagers. That or she saw Maria being the worst child actor the 90's had to offer and decided to sterilize Earth.

Kim and Trini ask Maria why she did that, and instead of answering, we hear a grown woman's voice come out of her bratty little mouth. It's shocking that in a show where we routinely watch a Japanese space witch dubbed over in English, that it's more obvious to see a little girl's voice not sounding right. This then begs the question why they would cast a little girl who they couldn't get a passable line reading out of. 

Kim says they'll understand whatever she does because "that's what friends are for." Which is probably the most damaging thing you can tell a budding sociopath like Maria. Trini's got a big stupid picnic planned that the little twerp nods happily about. Kimberly whispers to Trini about how they may be in over their heads which happily throws her earlier kindness out the window. "We'll be your friends Maria, but you keep both hands where we can see 'em because you're an untrustworthy little shit."

Rita informs the Moon Crew about some macguffins she recently discovered called the Power Eggs, which are so powerful not even Zordon can stop them. She teleports her boys down to a darkened cave where the eggs are buried, and because Squatt came along he has to inform us that he likes to eat things, and eggs are things you can eat. He tries to open the box but because he's a fat stupid hobgoblin he gets zapped on the ass by a force field around the eggs. Also, Rita suddenly remembers oh shit right only a kid can open this box, whoops. She was probably hedging her bets that box would kill him so she could be done with the most worthless member on staff.

Rita then refers to the most important man on staff, Finster. She asks for a monster that can kidnap a little girl, who's ruthless and mean. Sadly he already rented his last Gnarly Gnome model out to Roman Polanski so she decides a Chunky Chicken will have to suffice. The second week in a row that Rita used a monster that was just an obese version of a farm animal. You're really holding Finster back you know that Repulsa? After Chicken is created we're treated to a ridiculous attempt at a menacing rock version of "Old Macdonald" played underneath Rita praising her absurd chicken monster.

Chunky Chicken GIF
Not afraid of him yet?! Try giving him GARDENING SHEERS!

Maria and the girls eat some lunch while Maria abruptly informs them how her dad just doesn't understand things. We're 5 minutes into this episode and we need to understand why this girl acts out, even if she never changes, so godblessit we'll shoehorn a character in there if it kills us. The girls ask her which of the boys in her class is raddest, and she says she wouldn't fuck any of those dorks with a stolen pussy. However, Maria gets some new men in her life when the Putties drop in so they can make her open a box of some eggs or whatever.

Kim and Trini are distracted by the Putties, allowing a few of them take Maria hostage and teleport her away. I'm pretty sure there isn't a box to check on the Big Sister application for "allowed child to be abducted" so Kim and Trini decide they need to get her back. I'm more curious why the fuck Chunky Chicken wasn't the one coming to get Maria, wasn't that exactly what Rita just made him to do? Why are they sending Putties to go do it instead? I've seen that fat ass rooster for about 25 seconds and he's already sub-Pudgy Pig in terms of effectiveness.

Zack, Jason, and Billy are in the Youth Center; because if they aren't at school or the Command Center, there's no other place they could be. Thankfully Zordon has recruited the only five teenagers without homes or families in Angel Grove. Zack's ordered the "Ernie Special" which is a comically large plate of ice cream and food, that only someone as huge as Ernie could see as a viable item on the menu.

Ernie special delicious food ice cream sundae
Insulin needle not included

Jason starts weirdly goading Zack that he can't eat all of that, and it's almost like they're a couple who are just happily kidding around with each other. I would sincerely rather watch an episode of Zack and Jason on a friendly little date while cuckolding Billy than be shoved into a tepid attempt at padding a child actor's resume.

Kim and Trini rush in and tell the guys a bunch of Putties kidnapped the stupid girl they got assigned and they would have gone after them but they needed help. What are you talking about? Go after them? Where? They fucking teleported to God knows where and you're gonna chase after them? How? What a weird justification to get the team together. Even more superfluous is that the communicators are malfunctioning because Billy can only make half functional garbage. They can't teleport or ask Zordon where Kim and Trini's responsibility went, so Billy decides to unveil his newest invention as an alternative. It's good that the only reason Billy makes anything is to fix something else he fucked up.

Power Rangers RADBUG
No, that's just what cars looked like in the 90's

In Billy's garage we're introduced to the RADBUG, which is a hideous buggy with a big ugly pipe on top of it. According to Billy it goes from 0 to 3000 in 2.8 seconds. I'm not sure if you good folks know how speed works, but have you ever seen race car drivers? Their bodies are jittering and shaking while going approximately 200 miles an hour.  I'd like you to imagine you're riding in a janky beaten up buggy that goes 15 times as fast as a race car, while it flies in the sky. According to all scientific research, this would likely be the result.


The miracle car hits Ludicrous Speed and flies through the sky right into the Command Center. Alpha asks how they got there and Zordon immediately says nobody gives a shit and it's time to move the plot along. He says this Power Egg fiasco is something he's been fearing for over ten millennia. It's been ten thousand years Zordon, couldn't you hire a girl scout troop to go Easter Egg hunting? Did they just slip your mind the past few thousand years? I get the feeling these eggs really aren't as bad as you're making them out to be, and are just going to reek to high heaven if someone tries to open them after so long.

Zordon exposits some dialog about how these eggs were hidden millions of years ago by people known as the Morphing Masters. The eggs are an unlimited source of energy or something, and only a child can open them. They must be returned to the sea if the Rangers want to avoid Rita gaining infinite powers. If the lore of this series sincerely matters to you I'm sure you're at half staff right now, but this seems more like an excuse to justify the fact someone made a chicken monster costume, and the Japanese episode had a treasure chest with eggs inside it as part of the plot.

Speaking of which, with a little bit of editing we never have to actually see those eggs. The box is closed about 90 percent of the time it's on screen in the Japanese footage and there's no crucial shot of it while it's opened, why the fuck bother keeping the egg thing? Just say it's a Pandora's box or something, and only keep the shots of the closed box. We went with the pig thing last time without the episode being on a farm; I think we'll be able to handle a chicken monster regardless of whether or not his plan revolves around some eggs.

Speaking of Chicken, we see him clipping his big stupid hedge trimmers inside the cave while saying how easy it was to get the girl to open the box. This is obviously making up for not having footage of Chunky Chicken with a little girl, but it more comes across that he made her open the chest with the Power Eggs and then cut her head off during the commercial break. It seems way more sinister than a fat chicken with scissors ever should be. We get a little levity when Squatt and Baboo come in to protect the eggs from any danger, which absolutely guarantees the Rangers have won.

The Rangers travel to the scene using the RADBUG, which slowly trots along at what is possibly 20 miles an hour at best. We see Goldar join the rest of the villains to prepare for the Rangers arrival while he tells Chicken to hide Maria. We literally haven't seen Maria once since she was kidnapped which makes the whole sequence really jarring and odd. We also cut back to Rita what must be forty times to hear her gloat about how she has the eggs and how proud she is of that.

The Rangers show up in time to see no Maria, but plenty of aliens to beat the shit out of in the meantime. They morph and demand the aliens release Maria, while Goldar screams "NO!" at them from off-screen. He reacts to this kidnapping scheme the same way a child would react to being told to clean its room. The Rangers then use their Blade Blasters together in Tower Formation to blast the chest with the Power Eggs out of the Moon Crew's hands and into the ocean. Where they'll never be seen again because the writers forgot about them.

Power Rangers Tower Formation

Chunky Chicken pops up and decides he should try not waddling around like the fat sack of shit he is and fight. Since he's only a simple hyper chicken, Chunky Chicken really isn't good at all this karate business, so Trini and Kim completely blindside him, with Trini finishing the fight like so.

Yellow Ranger VS Chunky Chicken

We see Rita flying on her stupid little bike to chase after the eggs, as Alpha contacts the Rangers and tells them that Chunky Chicken has taken Maria to the old abandoned factory. We JUST saw the Rangers fighting Chunky Chicken but now all of a sudden I guess he disappeared in front of them? We then see Maria hanging by a rope while Rita watches with the Moon Crew, aside from Finster. Even though we saw her on her goddamn bike in the very last frame, and the rest of her team fighting the Rangers with Chicken. This is seriously some of the shittiest transitioning this show's ever done. We do finally get to see why Maria was cast though, so she could be used to match footage of a Japanese girl with pigtails that Chunky Chicken is holding hostage.

Chunky Chicken Maria
Just keep squinting, you'll see her

The Rangers are sick of villains disappearing from right in front of them without us hearing about it, so they form the Megazord to chase Rita and her goons down. I guess Billy's ugly car couldn't get them there fast enough so they decided to use a machine that actually works. Rita starts talking a bunch of shit to the Rangers while they're in the Megazord, which is actually pretty tough considering they could just stomp her flat. She starts demanding they give her the Power Eggs even though they're out in the ocean somewhere and Billy is terrified of fish.

Rita doesn't take no for an answer and has her Chicken cut Maria's ropes. Because there's a giant robot made out of dinosaurs standing nearby, Maria isn't in much danger and is immediately caught by Megazord. Rita gets livid that everything in her day has gone to shit so she decides to cut her losses and gigantify Chunky Chicken.The Rangers put Maria in the remote controlled RADBUG, which very clearly has a stunt driver inside of it dressed in black, but whatever at least she's gone for now.

Maria RADBUG Chunky Chicken
That or Billy's got the front seat real wobbly

Chicken starts fighting the Megazord using his stupid scissors and after getting punched once he's down for the count. The Rangers bring in the Power Sword and cut Chunky into nuggets, and we're left to forget one of the most uninteresting monsters all season.

Back at the Juice Bar the news is reporting on how the Rangers defeated yet another one of Rita's lethal monsters. I'm not sure when they had time to do that while they fought Chunky Chicken but I'm sure it was great. Because this episode doesn't suck enough we have to get a quick shot of a reporter interviewing snot nosed Maria who brags about how popular she is and how she's great. So is she a little bitch putting on airs or does she honestly just want some friends to talk to? Who cares we'll never see her again.

We're missing something though aren't we? Things don't feel complete quite yet. It just feels kind of off doesn't it? This episode had a lot of stuff going on but there was one little bit we didn't quite get involved in this week's plot.

Bulk Chili

Ahh, much better.



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: An American made car.



Personal Thoughts:

Even as a kid I thought this episode was lousy. The fight with Chunky Chicken in the quarry lasted all of half a minute and I didn't feel any tension with Maria because I didn't care about her. For those who might be wondering why this episode is so hodge podge is because it's actually merged from two episodes of Zyuranger.

Those of you astute enough may notice Chunky Chicken using a different pair of scissors in the quarry fight than he uses while Maria is hanging from the rope. He's also wearing a red cap while taunting Maria, which he lacks in the earlier shots. The reason for this is because in Zyuranger he was actually two "identical" monsters. The writers probably made a safe choice in combining the monsters, but we end up losing a zord fight with one of them. It's not necessarily a ground breaking one, but it's not much worse than the shitty zord fight we got where Chunky Chicken cuts a hole in space and time and runs away.

I mentioned earlier how they had no footage of Chicken menacing Maria or anything like that. Another case where the U.S. crew just didn't have his suit to film more stuff right? Nope!

Chunky Chicken U.S. Footage

I figure Chunky's suit was in lousy condition, as King Sphinx's allegedly was. The only thing we ever saw of his costume was in promo shots for trading cards and stuff like that. This is the only good picture of that I could find but since it's just his fat face I imagine the body was probably mangled up because Toei took shitty care of their props at the time. It surprises me they didn't bother to film an insert shot of the U.S. Chicken suit glaring at Maria or something of the sort if they had it at all, but I guess the director and editor didn't give enough of a shit so what we got was this mess of an episode. In hindsight, I doubt some connecting shots of Chicken would have really helped much, because man this episode is anti-fun.

What I think summarizes this episode in a nutshell is that I had it on tape as a kid, and it was in the VCR while I was watching Cartoon Network. I saw an episode of, coincidentally enough, Cow and Chicken come on entitled "The Day I Was Born." As you can probably guess from the fact I started a blog about the series, I'm kind of a big fan of the Power Rangers franchise. However, this episode meant so little to me, that I rewound the tape to the Putty fight where Maria was kidnapped and taped over it with an episode of Cow and Chicken.

This was a cartoon I could feasibly see any other day on Cartoon Network for all I knew, Power Rangers reruns would be few and far between and may never be on again. Even as much as this show meant to me, I could give a fuck less about this episode. Chunky Chicken can suck an egg.


9 comments:

  1. Kim and Trini are stupid. They should have paid her in candy to shut off the water again the next day. That would have made the show infinitely better. Also, if I had magical pink ptera arrows I would have shot that chicken and fried him (and his eggs) up for the picnic. Rangers do not waste perfectly good bacon and chickens.

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  3. I'm not proud of that joke and I dont want the world to see it

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  4. Are you saying the joke wasn't Eggscelent?

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  5. Maria was cast because she looked similar to a kid in the Japanese footage. Simple as that.

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  6. Just so you all know... I am married to the actress who played Maria. She is actually a lovely person and not stupid or shitty.

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    1. That's nice.

      I am incredibly curious now, though, how long into the relationship she waited before telling you that she once played a terrible minor character in a baby karate show in the early '90s?

      I know there's things I did in the early '90s that I am waiting until i'm on my death-bed to tell my wife about.

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    2. That's wonderful to hear! I hope you two are enjoying a good marriage. Tell your wife I'm sorry she had to have her voice dubbed over so poorly.

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  7. I love how completely amateur that the news segment looked. No station logo or call sign. Only one desk anchor. Bare set. Lovely.

    Oh, and apparently Rita Repulsa and the Power Rangers are common knowledge now...somehow. Did the Rangers ever mention Rita's name in anything resembling a populated area? Or did they simply leak this to the press, so the Power Rangers could get some good PR?

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