Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Episode 6: Food Fight

Food is thrown around to help children play.
Heavyset man argues with pig.





I hope you guys are hungry today because the Youth Center is having a "Cultural Food Festival." This is where the teens have big signs above a variety of ethnic foods saying things like "ASIAN." Not food from Chinese, Korean, or Japanese cultures; just ASIAN food. Hopefully Billy brought some of his patented CAUCASIAN foodstuffs.

Billy Trini Food Festival
For those curious how we discussed race in the 90's, you're lookin' at it.

Ernie walks in wearing a lei and holding a couple trays of cream pies, a traditional Hawaii dish if I ever saw one. He's greeted by a pair of hula skirted ladies who talk to him like he's their daddy and they did a real good job makin' money for him. Ernie calls out for Bulk and Skull's help, not because he wants to put an apple in Bulk's mouth and roast him on a spit, but because he needs help with "these." In a bit of PG rated sexual entendre, Bulk and Skull start giving goo-goo eyes to the hula girls. Ernie gets mad and says he actually wants help with the cream pies. Sadly the boys don't realize Ernie was inviting them to fuck his hula girls, and they instead take his food away.

Prinicpal Caplan runs into the Ranger Teens holding their food for the festival and says it's shaping up to be a great success. Trini mentions how they'll be able to raise plenty of money for children's playground equipment or some other squeaky clean goody two shoes malarkey.

Jason says he hopes Rita isn't hungry for trouble with a lack of subtlety that would make Rip Taylor blush. Literally 7 seconds after he says that we cut to the Moon Palace. It's such an easy cut to move the plot along but we're 6 episodes in, you know what to expect by now.

Back at the food festival Billy helps Trini at the ASIAN table serving stir fried rice and vegetables. Zack is working at a table that sells African American food, none of which he names because the writer likely didn't feel like looking any up. Kim and Jason are at a U.S.A. table serving burgers and hot dogs and whatever else 'Muricans want to eat. I wonder if they signed up for tables that related to their ethnicity, or Caplan "conveniently" assigned them to those specific tables. Billy, Trini, and Zack are dressed the same as they always are, but Kim and Jason decided to amp things up a bit.

Amy Jo Johnson America
Want some insulin with that Mr. Caplan?

Bulk and Skull look out at the tables and plan to "cream" everyone. I knew I wasn't making that up! You'll also notice our good friend Sharkie has come back to join the bullies, along with some black guy. Bulk must have taken him away from Zack's African American table, and without Sharkie I'm sure the table of Latvian cuisine is suffering.

Sharkie Bulk and Skull Power Rangers
Only nameless bullies wear shades indoors.

Bulk has his ragtag gang of extras spread out with their pies and get ready to make a mess on all these stupid losers trying to make money for Little Pete's scoliosis surgery or whatever. Bulk bets Sharkie he can nail Caplan with a pie, and she nods excitedly so Saban doesn't have to pay her actress to deliver lines. Bulk hurls the pie, and what else is going to happen?

Bulk and Skull food fight
Mr Caplan Wig Joke 975/1,789,530

Having Bulk's hot white cream all over his face, Skull drops the title of the episode and screams "A PRESSING ENGAGEMENT!!!" Almost every single person on this fucking set immediately goes bananas and starts hurling absolutely everything in sight. A single pie getting thrown prompts a Caligula-esque food orgy. While this was going on, I saw what may be the funniest example of a shitty take being used. Look at Jason's actor during the scene of a food fight.

Austin St John acting

Austin St. John just doesn't even care. He's reacting to this like he's been through some shit and this is nothing at all. Instead of looking at this ridiculous food fight he's having Mai Lai flashbacks. He probably figured he wouldn't be on camera for this scene and just decided not to react. It's glorious and really shows how low budget this show is. These people are so cheap I guarantee someone is scooping up that pie Bulk just threw for take 2.

Mr. Caplan retrieves his missing wig from the punch bowl it landed in, because of course it did. He tries in vain to scream and plead for these idiot high schoolers to stop throwing food around for no goddamn reason. While he does we get a bunch of shots of people indiscriminately making a mess, including the kid who's working a HOT HOT HOT Mexican food table. He's very clearly just a white guy in a sombrero and poncho because Mexicans hadn't been invented yet.

Power Rangers mexicans
OH ME ON FIRE BEIN HOT HOT HOT

Rita thinks this food fight stuff is a bunch of bullshit so she decides to give humanity a real fight for its food. She demands Finster give her a "special" monster, to which he tells her everything he does is special. She just growls at him and he backs down and asks what she wants. I absolutely love the interactions these two have, because Finster is just this put upon older gentleman trying to make art, and his nagging bitch of a boss won't let him do what he wants.

Rita demands a Pudgy Pig, but Finster tells her that assembly line bullshit is worthless. Rita won't back down because she's mad about kids throwing their food at each other so Finster relents and agrees to make her a pig. I want to mention that Finster has to retrieve his model of Pudgy Pig out of a huge bin that he says consists of "not his best work." How can you not love that? This dude is so dedicated he made a Roman gladiator pig demon and decided, "This just isn't up to snuff.", and threw the fucking thing into the garbage.

Pudgy Pig Finster
"Some Pig"

Pudgy Pig is created and Finster just mutters that he's doomed. It's the sixth episode and we already have a monster that is instantly considered worthless. Rita's plan is for the pig to eat absolutely everything on the planet. She sends Pudgy Pig down to Earth and he begins his mission exactly as any other space warrior would.

Pudgy Pig garbage can
Nobody wants to see a 300 year old pig eating garbage

I'd like you to take a moment to imagine you're in that suit. You are getting paid to dump a garbage can full of popcorn on yourself. You're likely getting gross trashy food inside the costume and getting the most horrible stench all inside your nose. All while dressed as a giant pig. There are some things I can't even fathom getting a paycheck for and that has to be at the top of the list.

The rangers are getting fed up with this food fight bullshit and decide to step in to stop the bullies from wrecking everything for the 6th week in a row. Jason sees Bulk dicking around with a pie, so he busts out his martial arts prowess to use a string of sausage links as nunchucks. Bulk is completely floored by this Ninja Turtles 2 gag and ends up dropping the pie atop his own head.

Pudgy Pig emerges again to attack a group of teens having a picnic. The group flees at the sight of a giant rubber pig beast, and it's great seeing whoever's in this suit struggle to mime eating. The costume's arms are floppy, the mouth is just a big net of foam, and it's got a giant goddamned gladiator helmet covering it so it can barely move on the ground at all.

Pudgy Pig US Footage
Either they designed that thing to have a pig butthole, or the suit's ripping when he rolls over.

When we return to the food fight there's this weird moment of Bulk spraying whipped cream everywhere, and then he stops what he's doing, looks at the camera and says "Whoops!" I don't know if that's supposed to be a joke that he "Accidentally" made a mess while doing this rampage, or if the editor was too lazy to cut it out, but judging by the earlier moment with Austin St. John I'm going to bet on the latter.

Bulk Food Fight
Bulk has a moment of clarity and realizes the futility of his cruel demeanor. 

It's around minute 8 of this food fight and I've had just about enough of this shit. A bunch of squares getting hit by pies? Who cares? The only time a pie hitting someone is funny is when the sap has dignity, not when Bulk and Skull get cream pied four times in a row.

Sharkie's tragic fate.

Mr. Caplan has thankfully had enough of these goddamn shenanigans and yells at everyone to knock it off. He was cowering behind tables earlier and NOW is when he's had enough? Get your fucking wig on straight Caplan we've got a giant pig to stop. Also we have to fight Pudgy Pig.

Caplan has the audacity to tell the Ranger Teens they're in charge of cleaning up the mess, even though they clearly have no mess to be found on them. I think you might blame one of the antagonistic idiots who started this thing, or possibly the lanky dork who SCREAMED FOOD FIGHT. 

Since the Rangers are total scrotes they agree to clean things up without making a fuss, but before they can fix a problem they had nothing to do with, Zordon calls them to the Command Center. He explains the Pudgy Pig situation to the Rangers and it's here we're informed that Pudgy Pig, if left unchecked, will eat all the food on Earth in 48 hours. That's probably why the first thing we saw him doing was eating out of a fucking trash can. Zordon I think you might be worrying for nothing. It looks more like Finster just accidentally made a homeless man.

Just before the scene ends we get to see Alpha in a chef's hat offering help with the food festival. Maybe you don't have enough RAM to understand this Alpha but we don't want your godless robo food at our food festival, so get away from the Rangers, they have shit to do. The Rangers morph to challenge Pudgy Pig, which is easily Rita's most threatening monster yet.

Pudgy Pig rooftop
Gaze upon me mortals, the ultimate evil.

The Rangers bust out the Power Weapons and promptly get beaten on by Pudgy. Likely because there's no adequate level of preparation you could make for something as ridiculous as Pudgy Pig, except maybe being bullied by Bulk. Before Trini is able to throw her daggers at him, Pig decides to meet her and Kim halfway and suck them towards him and devour their weapons. He proceeds to do the same thing with Billy and Zack's weapons, because Pudgy Pig doesn't know what food is. After eating the weapons we're also treated to a scene of Pudgy Pig's curly tail extending. You sick fuck Pudgy, this is a fight what are you getting turned on for?

Pudgy Pig tail
Sigmund Freud, analyze this

Jason's sword gets swallowed blade first by this fat sack of shit, leaving the Rangers defenseless. Pudgy uses a blast of energy from his snout that unmorphs the Rangers and teleports them to the same park he was eating at earlier. I assume Pig didn't kill the Rangers because he knew no human being could live with the shame of losing to him. Zordon alerts them that Pig set his sights on their food festival because he's a strong supporter of children's playground equipment.

We're treated to a great montage of Pudgy Pig throwing food around and "eating" it. He honestly doesn't even seem all that threatening, just hungry. Pudgy walks by a plate of food under that "HOT HOT HOT" banner and hurls it aside and shouts "YUCK!" I'm sure whoever made that plate was angrily clutching his apron off screen, heartbroken that a personification of gluttony who devoured a steel blade wasn't willing to eat his shitty radishes. We do get to experience the best fucking moment of the whole episode in this segment though. When Pudgy Pig meets his match.

Bulk and Skull Pudgy Pig
Pudgy's swagger at the end tho.

The Teens arrive just a little too late to stop Pudgy Pig and Trini makes a note that Pudgy Pig didn't touch any of the hot food. Even though all Pig has been doing was throwing things around, which we saw him do to the plate of spicy vegetables. For all we know Pudgy Pig is just a huge bigot and hates anything someone of Spanish ethnicity touches. Congrats on your racist pig Finster, no wonder you said it wasn't finished yet.

Rita sends Pudgy Pig to a food packing plant, where he will likely devour the paperwork the workers have to fill out, someone's hat, and throw around a couple sandwiches. The Ranger head him off and start throwing him plates of food. It'd be great if they tried to mercy kill Pudgy by overfeeding him and then putting a bullet in his head as he waddles around after losing half a hoof to diabetes, but instead Trini plants a spicy radish inside a sandwich which prompts this reaction from Pudgy Pig.

Pudgy Pig vomit
Purgy Pig

Jesus Christ Pudgy Pig must have some awful acid reflux. He starts upchucking the Rangers weapons right into their hands. The Rangers happily leap and grab them, despite the fact they'd been sitting inside an obese pig's lower intestine for the last 20 minutes. After puking everything up, Pudgy is weakened and there's only one thing left to do!
The foodless Pig is blown away by the Power Blaster. I almost feel bad for Pudgy, he was eating stuff and then got attacked by a bunch of losers in colorful costumes while he was picking his teeth. He defended himself by getting rid of their weapons the only way he knew how and kept eating. Then those same damn kids threw some hot food in his mouth to make him throw up, and when he was at his weakest they murdered him. Perhaps society is morally grey with regards to violence on pigs, please think about that next time you enjoy a delicious strip of bacon. Thank you.

The Rangers go back to the Youth Center and congratulate themselves on a homicide well done, but Kim notices that there's nothing left to sell or customers left to sell to. Alpha contacts the Rangers and mentions how he's learned of the monster's weakness. TOO LITTLE TOO LATE ALPHA, YOU'RE 0 FOR 6. With nothing else to do with his trays of spicy food, Alpha teleports them to the teens as a backup for all the food that was lost, and I'm sure with three trays of stupid robot sandwiches we'll be able to get those kids a real bitchin tetherball pole.

Mr. Caplan walks in and apologizes for his tantrum earlier and blaming the Rangers. Probably because seeing a giant gladiator pig puts things into perspective for you. Since this show always has to have the Rangers accomplish whatever they set out to do, Caplan reassures them they have ALMOST enough money for the playground equipment. That food fight started about 15 minutes into the food festival, how many shitty 20 dollar buckets of slop did you sell in that short a time?

The Rangers charge Mr. Caplan for one of Alpha's stupid robot sandwiches, which is too hot for him to handle because it was made by a creature with no sense of taste or heat or comedic timing. Caplan gets a jug of water and dumps it over himself before he upchucks. Caplan says the sandwich was a little hot but not bad, and everyone cackles their balls off at how goddamn funny a man eating a hot sandwich is.



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Pie Fights



Personal Thoughts:

This episode seems pretty well remembered, particularly the monster. If you talk to people who have a vague awareness of this series and ask about the monsters, you can typically get a response of "Wasn't there some pig or something?" If I had to guess why he's so well remembered, it may be because this episode was incorrectly aired 2nd in the initial run on Fox Kids. A show like Power Rangers typically could run episodes in any order, especially these early ones. The only problem was that kids were introduced to the Power Weapons before they were officially introduced in Teamwork. Does this really matter? No. It's just fun to take note of.

Pudgy Pig himself was technically the first monster we saw in U.S. footage, discounting Gnarly Gnome from last episode. His suit held up quite well, but the U.S. director didn't have great ways to make it look like the monster was actually eating anything so we just get a lot of scenes of him dumping popcorn or noodles in his permanently open mouth to simulate eating. It's just blissfully dumb 90's charm.

The U.S. suit looks a little fatter than the Japanese one and seems to have a hinge on its mouth or some such thing. If you look at the gif of Bulk feuding with Pudgy you can see the monster's mouth is stuck open really wide. I'm not sure why that is but it's entirely possible someone just broke the thing on set and nobody cared enough to fix it since shooting was almost done.

This was another episode I didn't have taped as a kid, but was able to rent from the library if I wanted to check it out so it was always there for me to see. I remember this episode pretty vividly because I had a golden sound storybook based on this episode. For those who weren't around or don't remember them, golden sound storybooks had pictures on the side of the book you could press to make noises, and those same pictures were placed throughout the book as a prompt for you to push them. As lame an idea as it was to create a "talking book", I thought it was the coolest thing at the time.

Here's a little video of someone on Youtube showing off the book. I can't attest to the quality but man I want you to see just how silly that book was.




6 comments:

  1. My golden books all required a tape player and were more like audio books. I never had any books with buttons on them before. I can't believe those things would still work after all this time. :/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, so this is why I was expecting Pudgy Pig to be the second write-up on the blog. That explains that. While we're here, those sound storybooks are a thing from the 1990s that I had forgotten. I remember having to wait a hell of a time to get one from the Scholastic book order... thing in first grade.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is my favorite site on the internet.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Okay, so I've been giving this some thought. Pudgy Pig is going to eat all of the food on Earth. Right? That's his mission? I didn't see the episode, so I'm just going by what's here.

    Let's assume he could do that in 48 hours. I don't care, it's just a TV show.

    What I do care about is this: how do they define food? And would it really be a problem if he ate it all?

    I know, you think, "Hey, everyone would go hungry." But they wouldn't. Man can live for two days without food. And in that time, wouldn't they just make more? There'd be shortages, yes, but not mass starvation.

    And presumably Pudgy eats all the beef...but does he eat all the cows? Cows on their own aren't food...but if he doesn't eat them, can't we just kill some cows and get their meat?

    And what about plants? Is Pudgy going to eat all of those, as well? The edible ones anyway. I guess he could leave the poison ivy. But I don't think he would, meaning we could subsist on vegetables for the whopping two days we'll be without food.

    And would he eat bacon? Pork chops? Would he have no ethical qualms with that?

    This plot is so simple it's stupid. Additionally, it's so complex it's impossible to put anyone in any danger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am willing to say, without any question in my mind at all, that you have spent more time thinking about this than the writers did whatsoever. Insomuch as you took enough time to write out this comment, which must have taken a couple minutes.

      I honestly have no idea what Pig considers food, because as we see in the episode he's eating the Rangers weapons and food that is considered nothing but refuse. We're also supposed to assume that he's just going to do things that like during this 48 hour rampage.

      I don't know if they expect us to think he'll just be eating ingredients of food, or digging up and eating crops, or anything of the sort. It really adds up less and less the more you think about it. It's just one of those little things in the show you're supposed to hear and accept, but makes absolutely no sense if you think about it for even a half of a second.

      Thank you for going into such detail about why this is so absurd, if you see any other moments like that in future episodes (I guarantee you will), please share your thoughts. It's the most fun to see these episodes made even more absurd.

      Delete
  5. You know what Power Rangers is? It's "Saved by the Bell" with superpowers.

    Local teen hangout? Check.

    Silly manager? Check.

    Royalty-free muzak playing on the radio? Check.

    Bullies/Jocks? Check.

    Diverse group of characters inexplicably hanging out together? Check.

    Comedic principal? Check.

    Cartoon-like antics, including a "fast-forward" effect? Check.

    Environmental episode? Check.

    Disability episode? Check.

    Robot? Check. Kevin = Alpha

    Guy named Zack? Check.

    Good-looking leader of the group? Check. Zack + Slater = Jason

    Another cool guy? Check. Zack + Slater also = Zack

    Smart nerd? Check. Screech = Billy

    Cute, popular girl? Check. Kelly = Kimberly

    Token minority girl? Check. Lisa = Trini

    ReplyDelete