Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Episode 12: Power Ranger Punks




Space Gorilla Roofies Teenagers
Fat Frog Titillates Creeps






Today the Ranger Teens are enjoying a little R and R on the beach after an exhausting visit to a fair last week. Everyone but Kim is playing volleyball together, and if you guessed that Billy emasculates himself, then please give yourself a gold star. Kim and Zack both give him positive reinforcement, which actually comes across as sincere and sweet. Billy did kinda hit the ball, so I guess that counts for something right?

We check in on the Moon Palace where we see Baboo hard at work on giving his character a trait. Who's Baboo you ask? He's the one you forgot about because he isn't stupid enough to be Squatt or smart enough to be Finster. Baboo is tinkering with a bunch of tubes, beakers, and any other dime store science shit the prop department could afford, all to create his patented "Punk Potion."

Baboo bicycle
BABOO! WHY IS MY BIKE COVERED IN FUR AND JIZM?!

Before we can get much further into the episode, the Putties abruptly show up on the beach and begin to attack. There's never any moment where Baboo or Rita or anybody says they should send the Putties down to distract the Power Rangers, so we're just left to assume they decided to show up on their own accord. Baboo is flying and squeezing drops of his Potion into some water the Teens have, but he never acknowledges the Putties at all.

Now you remember last week when I said the Putty fight was really great and had a unique atmosphere to it? Well they decided to make up for it this week with one of the absolute worst Putty fights ever. It's really choppy and ugly and you can barely see any hits connect. It's filmed in this fucking absurd style that doesn't flow at all. Why is it every time I love something on this show they have to turn around almost instantly and do it worse the next time?

putty patrollers beach
Did I just have a stroke?

With the Rangers distracted by the visually wretched Putty fight, Baboo uses a pipette to drip his potion into the Rangers drinks. All the magical tricks of an evil space witch are at your disposal and you resort to space roofies. Billy and Kim rush over to the drinks as soon as the Putties are cleared out and gulp down their entire drink. The drink look to be some kind of clear soda, but knowing how square these characters are it's probably just sparkling tap water. Now get ready, because the second the last drop hits their throats, Amy Jo Johnson and David Yost decide to crank up the fucking cheese by 500%.

Billy and Kim toss the rest of the drinks to the ground, so we're spared seeing the whole crew of Rangers acting like stereotypes of people who don't exist. Kim and Billy's attitude change needs to be seen to be believed. It's cringe inducing to watch, it's so hammy, over the top, ridiculous and uncomfortable I couldn't stop grimacing. Kim just adds needless syllables to everything she says while Billy shouts at everybody. They also scream about how everything is for dorks like we're watching Ed, Edd, and Eddy. They act like a less subtle Bulk and Skull. Read that again, they took the subtlety out of Bulk and motherfucking Skull.


Rita seems quite impressed with this turn of events, because someone is finally chewing the scenery harder than she is. Baboo plays coy about how well his plan worked and Rita immediately tells him to shove it up his ape ass because Finster needs to make her a monster. It's really the perfect representation of Baboo, somebody who feels they genuinely have something to contribute and can be top of the heap if they're just given a chance, but then they get shrugged off and told to get the fuck into the background where they belong.

Finster announces his monster du jour today, the Terror Toad. He's not exactly the most creative monster Finster has come up with, as he's just a big frog with a giant stomach and a horn atop his head. However Finster promises great success with this frog because if Baboo did something right today there must be room for someone with actual talent to accomplish a task.

At Angel Grove High School, we meet up with Bulk and Skull who are furiously pounding on Bulk's locker, trying to get it to open. Before I was able to joke that there was food jamming the lock, Bulk forced it open causing a massive amount of food to spill out of it. Not food in any kind of containers, just a bunch of popcorn kernels, peanuts, and hot dog buns. We're then forced to ignore the fact that a grown man high school student is stashing theater grade popcorn in his locker when we get a peek at the new Kimberly and Billy waltzing down the steps.

Billy Kimberly punks
You dropped your hairline McFly!

Punk Kim and Punk Billy quickly hassle a 30 year old extra for his lunch money, while Bulk and Skull are awestruck that there are more G rated punks around school. Punk Kim starts flirting with Skull who is taken aback by a girl talking to him. He looks at her like she's from Mars when she says they should go out on Saturday and fuck like hyenas. Skull jizzes in his boxers (covered in skulls) and stammers out an "okay."

Billy however is not asking Bulk on a date, he tells Bulk that the new duo of bullies will make Bulk look like a fucking nun compared to him. Bulk tries to talk trash to Billy, but gets smashed into his locker for his troubles. The interactions between Bulk and Skull and Kim and Billy post Punking is one of the great things in this episode. Kim and Billy overacting by themselves is insufferable, but when they play off of the bullies who do this shit every week, there's a lot more to it than them just calling the rest of the Rangers dorks.

Speaking of the rest of the Rangers, they find their friends attitude change a massive problem. How can there be bullies in the world who aren't instantly hit with messy food after beating up on nerds? Zordon and Alpha take note of the fact the Power Rangers have been infected with some kind of personality, and decides it's time to take preventative actions. Without any warning, he teleports them out of school and into the Command Center. Hey Zordon, maybe if you want your Rangers not getting their identities discovered don't zap them with magic teleport beams during 4th period.

Zordon says he's placed Kim and Billy inside of a "transparent forcefield." The two words in the English language that best demonstrate how little money a production has. Billy and Kim are unable to move past the glowing neon pipes and are forced to ham it up in an enclosed space. Kim even threatens to kick Zordon and Alpha's buns for doing this. Clearly that Punk Potion couldn't take the white out of these whitebread losers, cause holy shit she literally said "buns". Get fucked. 

Zordon shows the Rangers what Baboo did to turn the Rangers from, as he puts it, "good to bad." Kim and Billy need to drink some magical singing squash to fix their over acting. Zordon tells the Rangers how he discovered this magical squash years ago when he was looking for cheap alternatives to getting high, but it's only located in dimensional rifts or some other nonsense. Punk Billy and Punk Kim seem to have no reaction while listening to a plan that will fundamentally change their behaviors, and instead tell the other Rangers to take a picture, as it will last longer.

Zordon Barza
Zordon before the giant blue head days.

Before Zordon can tell the teens to go on some stupid fetch quest for a rutabaga, the Viewing Globe shows off Rita's new Terror Toad monster.  Billy and Kim see Terror Toad, and they like him because he has warts or some other stupid 90's malarkey. They aren't even punks, they're just acting like Beavis and Butthead. Trini, Jason, and Zack decide they need to go fight Terror Toad alone, since Billy and Kim would be worthless in a fight while trying to bang a 6 foot frog. Thankfully since its 3 Rangers against one monster, they shouldn't have a problem.

Terror Toad yellow ranger

Oh. For nothing but a big fat frog Terror Toad cleans house with the three Power Rangers. Well two now, it looks like Trini's dead. It's actually pretty terrifying because there's no moment where Terror Toad mentions how she's trapped in his stomach or they have to act fast to save her. Nope! He just says they're next and he's going to fucking devour them. It's like they just accept Trini has been killed and they need to step up their game or they're going to die too. If you were a little fat kid in 1993, you very well could have just assumed they weren't going to have a Yellow Ranger anymore.

Alpha 5 mutters about how terrifying everything looks and how everyone is doomed. Zordon says it's time for him to earn his goddamn rent around here and sends Alpha to retrieve the singing squash. Alpha is of course shocked he's being asked to do something relevant to the plot, and teleports to a dimensional rift made of trash bags and fog machines.

The Singing Squash resides in an inter-dimensional hotbox.

Alpha grabs the squash, but before he can leave he's accosted by Putty Patrollers. Alpha decides to man the fuck up for once in his life and turns on an electric current which electrocutes the Putties when they try to grab him. Then Alpha uses the obnoxious singing squash to make the Putties retreat. Good for you Alpha, now go back to whining and complaining for the next 4 seasons.

Meanwhile, Jason and Zack aren't doing much better against Terror Toad. The two try and use their Power Weapons on him but he doesn't even flinch. After knocking the Rangers around a little more, Terror Toad devours Black Ranger with his horn. He talks about how delicious the Power Rangers are, and mentions something about getting off on this eating people business, all while Jason realizes this episode is fucking weird.

Back at the Command Center, Alpha has finished up Billy and Kim's squash tonics, and presents the Punkified Rangers with the magical elixir. Instead of offering any amount of suspicion, the two down the drinks immediately, and turn back into their old boring selves again. I've never been so happy to hear Kim ask who did her nails, but here we are. Now that Billy and Kim are free from Baboo's spell, they realize it's time to get some toad guts on their boots and morph to fight alongside Jason.

Just before Jason fills up Toad's stomach, Billy and Kim leap into action and use their Blade Blasters to hack off his horn. Thankfully, now he won't be eating any mo-


terror toad eating gif
JESUS CHRIST 

Kim notices a small secondary face underneath Toad's chin which she believes to be his weak spot. Billy and Kim shuffle around a little bit to try and get Toad to reveal his weakness again, but Toad is having none of it and devours Billy. Kim tries to fire off an arrow while Toad is chowing down, but Baboo shows up and shoves her down. That's the extent of Baboo as a villain. Shoving women to the ground and running away.

It also accomplishes nothing because Kim just jumps into the air and fires her arrows again, this time nailing Terror Toad right in his doublechin. Toad spits out the other four Rangers as energy balls, and they promptly beat the fuck out of him with their Power Weapons. Kim finishes Terror Toad off with a shot from her Power Bow. I'm not sure why they didn't just use the Power Blaster instead, but the shot of her firing the arrow is so goddamn good I don't care.

Terror Toad death power bow Kimberly
Power Ranger Punks: Directed by Sam Raimi

The Rangers pose triumphantly, as Baboo trips over himself running away after the failure of this entire absurd plan. Baboo literally says "homina homina" as he's running, that's how ridiculous this is. Baboo can't even take one fucking episode to be a legitimate threat, he just does one moderately important task and when it blows up in his face he runs off.

We end today's romp with Bulk and Skull meeting up with the girls at the Juice Bar, Skull is dressed with a shitty looking overcoat, bowtie, and monocle in preparation for getting elbow deep in Kim. Bulk tries to add himself in for a double date with Trini, who is equally disgusted at some loser trying to pork her. She rebuts Skull's advances, even after Skull says they can go eat a nice dinner of frog's legs. Bulk sadly crumples up the one condom he stole from his older brother, hoping this would finally be the night he gets to tell Trini this punk act was all for her, and he just wanted her to notice him. She was the one he always pined for, and now that he had the strength to admit it to her, he wants to give her his undying love and passion on this beautiful evening. Then she calls him a Neanderthal and he goes back to his locker to stuff his face full of moldy popcorn.

Billy tells Bulk and Skull to leave the girls who will never fuck him alone, and Bulk chooses to prove his masculinity by playing volleyball with the guy Rangers. Unfortunately for the bullies, they last about 8 seconds of game-time before falling into the net and guaranteeing they will not be getting to 2nd base with the girls tonight. Sorry fellas!



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Transparent Forcefields




Personal Thoughts:



I hate to rag on Amy Jo Johnson and David Yost in this episode. They're honestly not bad actors, they aren't always given good material to work with but they're typically able to do something with it. When you tell them to pretend to be over the top stereotypes of what a bunch of old men in a room assume bullies are? That's when you've got trouble.

This episode's plot is adapted from the Japanese plot in a manner of speaking. The whole idea of blue and pink getting turned into punks by Baboo is still there, but in the Japanese version they get turned into mafia thugs and start shooting up gangsters. Maybe Standards and Practices didn't want to have gangsters getting murdered on their Monday morning Fox Kids lineup, so they decided to scale things back a bit.

It's really nuts to think about it, that they just used the same idea from the Japanese version when absolutely nothing in the usable footage dictated it. Baboo squeezes little red droplets from the sky, Red Yellow and Black fight a frog monster, Blue and Pink show up later and the frog gets killed. You don't have to do the whole punk thing if you don't want, you can do whatever you want. Most likely they just wanted to finish writing this script and work on whatever was due the next day.

Terror Toad is one of the monster costumes it seems like Saban didn't have access too, but looking at his picture above, he doesn't seem like a particularly complicated monster to try and put together. I think if the crew really wanted to they could probably make their own shitty looking U.S. Terror Toad costume, but they managed to use the footage of him rather effectively.

For those of you curious to see Terror Toad in action, maybe don't click the videos on Youtube. I tried to not too long ago only to find the top few videos fetishizing him eating the Power Rangers. It astounds me to rifle through Deviantart and find people making fetishes out of fucking Power Rangers monsters, but that's the age we live in I guess. People on the internet whackin' it thinking about frogs eating them alive, that's what the age of technology has brought us. I think what this guy on Youtube had to say sums it all up.



I have an odd history with this episode. When I was a teenager, I was on a medication called Xanax that's used in treating anxiety. Those of you with a knowledge of prescription drugs will probably know Xanax as "Holy shit that fucks you up real bad." Well as a dumb teenager who spent time watching old VHS Power Rangers tapes, I decided I didn't need medicine to be okay, so I decided to quit cold turkey.

Mistake #1.

Well after a few days of not taking my medication, I was feeling sort of strange. I had the tape in my VCR playing Power Ranger Punks so hey, maybe I just didn't like the episode. Well I must have really not liked it, because I started feeling my chest trying to expel itself out of my body. I had a horrendous throbbing headache and was rolling around on my bed while the show kept playing. I felt like I was honestly about to go insane, it was fucking terrifying.

I wasn't moving around violently, but just trying to find some understanding of why I felt so horrible so abruptly. This was when I started dry heaving and feeling like my body might be shutting down because of whatever was happening. I felt like I was honestly moments away from becoming completely catatonic. We're talking Jack Nicholson in Cuckoo's Nest.

By this point my mom must have heard her son auditioning for the Exorcist remake in the basement and came down to see what the fuck was going on. She figured out pretty quick that I needed some kind of pill, and when I explained the situation she grabbed a Xanax and told me I needed to take it now. Since I figured taking a pill would be preferable to my body ripping itself apart like I was possessed by The Thing, I decided to oblige.

It didn't take long for everything to cool down, and my body ceased its involuntary fuckery. The most important thing to remember in this cautionary tale is during all of this happening, I was seeing this episode of Power Rangers. I had to see Kim drool out the word "geekoid" to Zordon while Billy screamed at Alpha for better service. There was a good five minutes that I was completely alone with nothing but my body betraying me, and the Terror Toad. Five minutes that felt like an absolute eternity. This experience was fucking with me so badly that I thought my life was going to end. I thought that in my final moments on this planet I would have to see this.


This would be the last thing I knew before shuffling loose this mortal coil, that the Terror Toad was hungry for Ranger meat. If there was a maker for me to meet, I would have to inform the alpha and the omega that the last moment I had on the planet was thinking about how Kim had to tough it out to beat the Terror Toad.

I am, hopefully, the one person in the world who can successfully say I suffered horrendous withdrawals while watching Terror Toad eat some Power Rangers.

Maybe that's why I don't find him as sexy, I dunno.






3 comments:

  1. Terror Toad is fucking tough. My vote for best monster up to this point.

    He's everything Ticklesneezer wishes he could be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This episode is definitely cringe-worthy. I actually felt embarrassed for Johnson and Yost while watching it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yikes, I imagine it takes some courage to come back to this episode after having a near-death experience with it. I'm a little apprehensive about watching through to Power Rangers Zeo again just because back when the first episode premiered, I had it set to be recorded to VHS tape as it would have started a little before I arrived home, but when I actually got home during those first few minutes and saw that the antenna was turned the wrong way to catch a visible picture, I hastily spun the entire TV cart around so fast that the VCR slid clean off and crashed to the floor. I doubt the episode's cursed to make my clumsy self break something valuable again, but it was a little ominous how the tape we recovered ended with the chanting, "No more Power Rangers!"

    ReplyDelete