Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episode 25: Life's A Masquerade



Immortal Robot Slave Attends Party
Frankenstein Shaves Mullet, Becomes Unstoppable








Today's opening scene makes me very curious about something. Ernie comes sauntering into the Youth Center where the Ranger Teens, Bulk & Skull, and some faceless extras are decorating for a costume party. He sternly tells them they'd better hurry up if they want to get the party set up in time. The curiosity comes in here, does Ernie not have any employees? Does everything that happens in the Juice Bar get done by unpaid teenagers? Is this why we never see them paying for their smoothies? This never seems like a job for any of the Ranger Teens unless Ernie's greasing them all under the table. Man someone get the Department of Labor in here real quick.

Bulk and Skull have the right idea upon hearing the word "work" and start to hightail it out of there. Ernie throws some decorations at them before they leave and tells them to string them up. Maybe Skull should grow a spine and throw that shit back at him, he doesn't own them, they still belong to that hot dog vendor. However since they're complete pussies they waddle away to go hang up decorations, and kick rocks like the dorks they are.

As the bullies are trying to hang the decorations up, Bulk inadvertently causes some ridiculous domino effect that spills paint all over him. Why the fuck did karma make that happen? It's not like he was being an asshole today, he got pressured into doing something and went off to go do it. He's helping these assholes out and the world still decides to humiliate him for no reason. His life is nothing but going to hang out with his dumb friend and being ridiculed. What a depressing existence.

Rita's preparing for a wild night of her own, as Finster informs her he's found a deal on some prime cut Super Putty down in Guatemala. Whatever this Super Putty is, Finster has yet to retrieve all of it, so Rita has him concoct a monster to keep the Rangers busy at their costume party. Finster cranks up the Monstermatic and out comes the monster of the week.

A wicked beast who forgot to tie his prop gloves down

Finster, are you okay? You're busy with this Super Putty deal and that's fine, but did you just call up a buddy from art school and dress him up as Frankenstein? Stick up for yourself man, if you don't feel like making a monster just tell Rita you're feeling sick. Unless you actually designed a Frankenstein with a mullet, in which case this job is really taking its toll on you.

Rita sends the Frankenstein Monster to Earth to cause havoc by stumbling around like an idiot and grumbling. He would likely be able to find the Power Rangers faster if a bunch of dorks didn't stop him on the way to the Youth Center and inform him he's named after the doctor and not the monster.

The Ranger Teens meet up at Billy's garage and show off their costumes. For an episode about a costume party I'll give it credit they get to the actual costume aspect pretty fucking quick. The Ranger Teens are dressed up as a bunch of culturally diverse outfits that show more creativity than you'd expect from people with so little personality as these five.

Billy scoping out the goods before the party

Billy gets name dropped as Sherlock Holmes and Zack is named as King Tut, but the other three are just what you see. Kim's a princess, Jason's a musketeer, and Trini is culturally appropriating Native Americans. Granted Trini's the only person in town with Eastern blood in her, and since the last native american left Angel Grove in 1587, nobody can call her on being disrespectful since they don't know the difference.

Tommy isn't with the rest of the teens because his costume isn't finished yet. At this point you just need to get used to them shoving Tommy out of the plot, but at least this reason makes sense with regards to the episode. There's a costume contest, everyone wants to win because they're all weirdly competitive, so Tommy's taking extra time to work on his. This sort of reasoning works better than his Communicator being 4 feet away.

We then take a look at what Bulk and Skull are up to, and holy macaroni, we're filming in a unique set. Bulk's bedroom isn't just the Youth Center with a bed thrown into the frame. It's a pretty simple bedroom set, but what's astounding is that it's decorated with all sorts of food props. What initially seemed like a nice change of pace by the set dresser just turned into another cruel joke on Paul Schrier for being overweight. This is pig boxers levels of pettiness.

As the scene went on I noticed more and more food decorations and it went from funny to depressing. Just put yourself in Schrier's shoes: You walk on set and get told "YEAH WE'RE IN YOUR ROOM NOW BULK." from some snide set dresser, and see nothing but ceramic pizzas on the wall and neon light milkshakes. I would fall face first into a cake and suffocate myself to death. My suicide note will be titled "The Icing on the Cake."

This is how I write all my reviews.

Bulk wants Skull to get the pair a perfect costume for the contest, since they can't think of any famous duos consisting of a fat man and a scrawny man. What follows is a goofy scene of the pair trying on various costumes, which could be incredibly worthless, but the chemistry that Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy work so well together that it's actually fun to watch. It also helps that these two cause conflict for one another, which is sorely lacking among the Ranger Teens who love each other dearly since they don't have any family to go home to.

A genuine laugh comes when Bulk and Skull are dressed in Elvis costumes, with Skull saying he can be the young Elvis, then looking at his corpulent buddy and saying he can be ".......OLD Elvis." Good thing I laughed though, because you know what kids in the 90's didn't find a real rib tickler? Fucking Elvis jokes. It actually becomes even funnier to imagine kids sitting there wondering what the hell Bulk and Skull are doing. Then Bulk and Skull start dancing and the kids laugh anyways.

Say what you want, Bulk committed to that costume

While Bulk and Skull continue their shtick, the Frankenstein Monster walks by their window and looks at them, then growls and walks away. Oh nice! Frankenstein is going as Bulk and Skull's father for Halloween.

At the Youth Center, we see the party fully underway. Lots of extras dressed in shitty costumes that make the Ranger Teens costumes look much better by comparison. Zack tries to hit on Angela who's conveniently dressed as some kind of Egyptian princess, but she blows him off because his rippling pectorals do nothing for her. Jason comforts Zack and continues to infuriate me by not kissing him right then and there.

Bulk and Skull walk into the party wearing their usual fashion, and Skull compliments Bulk on the idea to come as punks for the party. As shitty as that is, it makes perfect sense all things considered. These guys are total assholes, so who else would come up with the idea to go as "yourself" for a costume contest. It's the laziest and shittiest idea, and it was even lazier and shittier when I did it in 5th grade.

Ernie pops up in an acceptable Dracula costume and threatens to suck Kim and Trini's tits blood. You weirdo Ernie, get away from these girls they're like 16. We get one of the corniest Halloween gags where the girls recognize him and he asks how they knew it was him. Because you're one of 12 people allowed to recite lines Ernie how do you think they recognized you?

He looks like Assisted Living Dracula

There are more guests to arrive though! Alpha 5 shows up and Billy just about explodes when he sees their top secret robot wandering around the Juice Bar. Alpha says not to worry since it's a costume party, nobody can tell he's a real robot.

Think about this scenario for more than half a second and it becomes clear how horrible Alpha 5's life is. He's a sentient android forced to put up with a translucent head's shit every day of his life for all eternity. He's never allowed to leave and the second he has a good reason to he gets chewed out by a dork dressed up like Sherlock Holmes. Not only that, he stole Bulk and Skull's idea, don't go as yourself you lazy dickhead.

Frankenstein stumbles into the Youth Center shortly after, and Ernie mutters about how that guy has a great costume. Ha ha but he's not really in a costume. He's actually a g-g-g-ghoul! Honestly though the idea of one of Rita's monsters invading the Youth Center is really cool. Pudgy Pig showed up to eat a bunch of food, but this is a monster who actually looks ready to do some killin'. Don't fuck this up for me Frankie.

I will permit you to raise the roof though

While Frankenstein goes incognito at the costume party, Finster has a group of Putty Patrollers inside of a cave digging up mounds of Super Putty. This Super Putty is the same type of material he uses to make monsters and Putties, but will supposedly make them invincible. For those doing the math, an invincible Putty would translate to a relatively competent monster, maybe Pineoctopus on a good day.

Back at the party, a bunch of women are all up on Alpha's dick because he talks cute or something? Doesn't matter, it's just there to make Zack mad he's not getting pussy from Angela. The guy Rangers spy Frankenstein wandering around aimlessly doing nothing and try to figure out who he is. Billy wonders if it could be Tommy, as the two are both buff idiots who wander around grunting.

The girls get asked to dance by two nameless nobodies, as Frankenstein lunges for them. Nobody actually sees this though, because the monster is so blitheringly incompetent. Frankenstein sets his sights on Jason and Zack, but a woman dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein grabs him and takes him to dance. You see, back in the 90's it was perfectly acceptable to let mysterious roaring monsters into your parties. Now you can't let Frankenstein's roam around your house without the P.C. police getting all in your business. This nanny state will be the death of us all.

Frankenstein's bride starts dancing with him, as he very clearly trys to assault her with good old fashioned Frankenstrangulation. She just avoids his moves and assumes he's dancing, culminating in her stepping on his big dumb feet. If I didn't know what was coming later, I'd assume this is the absolute worst monster Finster has ever made. He's just some idiot with social anxiety you made go to a party, no wonder he's freaking out so bad.

If you look closely you'll see the check from Tonya Harding in Frankenstein's pocket.

Bulk tells Skull to kick the shit out of that pile of limbs, and the lesser of the bullies pulls out a little dart gun and shoots Frankenstein with it. Frank has absolutely no time for these idiots and lifts Skull up and dumps him into Bulk's loving arms. The bullies run off as Frankenstein chases them out the door ready to squeeze their brains out.

Billy follows after Frankenstein who immediately ditches Bulk and Skull to wander off into the mountainside for seemingly no reason. He starts to stagger into the cave where Finster is building up his supply of Super Putty, as Billy follows behind him since we all know Frankensteins have no depth perception. Finster has a group of Putties begin molding all the Super Putty they're harvesting into a massive ball, when Rita wanders in an starts bitching at everyone because what else has she ever done in this show?

As Billy walks deeper inside of the cave, he accidentally walks past a small sensor that alerts Rita to his presence. What else can a space witch do to detect intruders? A spell? Fuck that, she has to use Lifeshield. Frankenstein comes lumbering out and throttling the young geek, when Billy uses his expert deductive skills to realize maybe this braindead idiot isn't his good buddy Tommy. Billy morphs to fight Frank, assuming any monster this stupid can't fight for shit.

Frankenstein went in the cave to get a haircut

Rita commands the Putties to roll her big brown ball of clay out of the cave like they're Ground Scaravich, and suddenly the whole city starts to quake. As the citizens flee in terror and buildings begin to fall into a massive sinkhole, the evil sorceress comes out from the depths of the Earth riding atop the ball of Super Putty. 

Billy rushes out of the cave to go warn the others, who are currently feeling the aftershocks of the Earthquake at the costume party. Billy tells his friends how he beat the Frankenstein into submission without a problem, but it miraculously managed to escape and didn't actually kick the shit out of him. The Rangers head to the Command Center to get the lowdown from Zordon. He informs them everything Rita's goons have already blathered about Super Putty, and tries to contact Tommy.

Just as Tommy tries to head into the Youth Center, apparently ignoring the massive earthquake that hit 30 seconds ago, he's is swarmed by a group of Putties who distract him from answering his Communicator AND getting to hang out with a bunch of extras dressed in bee costumes. Those bastards!

Zordon tells the Rangers Frankenstein is on the loose and they need to go stop him from wandering around aimlessly and growling. The Rangers morph to fight Frankenstein and this is the moment everything changes. Frankenstein was looking like a fool earlier, but when he starts to fight he goes fucking ham on these Power Rangers.

Keep it up Billy, you almost didn't get humiliated that time

It's nothing new for a monster to devastate the Rangers, but the way Frankie's going about it is so goddamn swift and vicious it's magical. He doesn't give a fuck about anything these idiots do because he just blocks them with his bolts and knocks them back. Usually the Rangers are losing fighting a monster four on one and the other Ranger comes in to help, or they distract the monster with the Blade Blaster or something. Frankenstein is taking all five on at once and isn't breaking a sweat.

It's jarring seeing Frankenstein fighting like such a goddamn beast because all he's been doing the last 10 minutes is roaring and walking around like a zombie. While he was at the party he may as well have just said "FIRE BAD!" and run off screaming. But the second he pulls those goddamn bolts out you know this guy means fucking business.

FrankensteinOHYEAH.gif 

Rita tells the Rangers they don't stand a chance and makes Frankenstein grow. For once I'm inclined to believe her because this guy's putting up a hell of a show. The Rangers call on the Megazord to give them a fighting chance, but even in a giant fight Frank is still demolishing them.

Frankenstein's bolts, now with a huge mace on one end, make their acquaintance with Megazord's face and trash the giant robot. The Power Rangers see how badly they're getting wrecked and decide even if Tommy isn't able to help they have one chance, the Power Sword. If they're able to bring that in and use it to fight Frankenstein they might be able to take him down.


Look at that shit. If you need any reason for me to love the Frankenstein monster so much it's this. He took a slash from the Power Sword, bounced it off his pecs, and laughed in the Megazord's goddamn face about it. This fight is beautiful.

Tommy's having a much easier fight though, and has successfully beaten the shit out of all of the Putties. Zordon manages to get a hold of him, because it's convenient to the plot that he contacts Tommy now. Zordon says he better get his green ass in gear or his friends are going to get smeared over the pavement, so Tommy morphs. He doesn't actually show up to the fight yet though, we just see Frankenstein continuing to devastate the Megazord. Tommy did you need to get lunch before the fight?

Frank throws his mace ball so hard it knocks the Megazord right through a building, spraying concrete everywhere. The giant robot tries to get back up but Frankenstein just kicks it right the fuck back over. Remember when Skull managed to stop him with a dart? Well now he's a fucking killing machine. Rita is so goddamned excited her monster is winning that she flies away on the giant ball of Super Putty laughing all the way to the Moon. Good for her though, if she hadn't left now she might have been able to tell these two guys are actually fighting on a sound stage!

Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Tommy shows up, throwing a Sbarro wrapper to the side before calling in the Dragonzord. Megazord now appears to be completely fine as though it didn't just get both cheeks spanked raw for the last eternity, and Frankenstein has put his bolt weapons away. The Zords try and double team Frankie but they continue to get manhandled by the monster. Frankenstein even lifts Dragonzord up by the tail and swings it into the Megazord. As the Zords try and regroup, Frankenstein belches some red gas at them that starts to suffocate the Rangers inside of the cockpit. 

Just when you think the Rangers might have had enough beating, Frankenstein decides they need some more and pulls the bolts back out. Let's keep in mind how many hits the Rangers have dealt to Frank by this point, oh that's right, still zero.

The Power Rangers realize they have absolutely no chance the way they are now, so their only possible option is to form the "MegaDragonzord". Congrats guys, you've called the Dragonzord Battle Mode the wrong name more times than you've referred to it correctly.

The Dragon BattleZord in Mega Mode tries to put up a fight against Frankenstein, and while it can hold Frankenstein back, it proceeds to get beaten just the same as the other Zords did. Dragonzord tries flinging the crescent from its head as an energy blade, but the monster catches it and flings it right back. All of a sudden Jason realizes there's no time left in the episode and has Dragonzord in Battle Mode power up the Power Staff. Frankenstein, no longer wielding his bolts, charges at the Dragonzord like a buffoon and gets impaled on its spear. It's an unbelievably anti-climactic finish for one of my favorite monsters of the season. I'll never forget you Frankie. 

Good Night Sweet Prince

The Rangers head back to the costume party and loudly comment how they sure showed Rita this time. They're literally standing right next to an extra as they say this, how flippant are the teens getting with this secret identity clause. Tommy runs in to say he's got to change into his costume but he'll be right back. Alpha continues to get groped by a bunch of women who find his shitty plastic body irresistible. Bulk and Skull start to talk some shit to the cyborg and demand to know his identity, but not before being cut off by...the Frankenstein Monster?! MY KING? YOU'VE RETURNED TO US?!

Not really! It was just Tommy!! He says that Frankenstein gave him an idea for the final touches on his costume. You saw that thing like 4 minutes ago Tommy, how the fuck did you have time to change whatever you were doing into that? You're a goddamned liar if I ever saw one Tommy. You took his corpse and you're wearing it aren't you? AREN'T YOU! I know your fucking game, you asked that beautiful soul to help you load a couch into your van then you locked him in and skinned him alive. You make me sick.

Ernie rightfully awards Alpha the award for the costume contest, which is great for Alpha, because he'll never see the light of day again, so at least he gets a shiny blue ribbon to look at and remind him of the life he's unable to have. Least he got a hay-jay from some Youth Center girls though.



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia
: Elvis


Personal Thoughts



Life's A Masquerade is easily one of my favorite episodes. There's a slight problem I'll talk about in a sec, but I fucking love the action in this episode and the costume contest is a harmless fun little premise that makes things a little more interesting than the Rangers practicing karate while discussing the plot. If you're at all curious in watching this show I implore you to try this episode. One sided fights where the villain is beating the shit out of the heroes are so goddamned satisfying, which is why almost everything I have to say next will be about how the Frankenstein Monster is my waifu.

As you can probably guess from the fact that the first half of the episode involves Frankenstein following the Power Rangers into the Youth Center, and assaulting Bulk and Skull there was a U.S. Frankenstein costume. It's almost certainly not a costume they got from Japan though, because the hair is completely different and the eyes in the U.S. version look like shit. The costume works though, and it's one of the few monsters the creative team could slap together and not make look ridiculous.

Oh yeah, curious who plays the Frankenstein monster in the U.S. footage? Why that's none other than Tommy's actor, Jason David Frank. They probably decided it would be cost effective considering Tommy already had to wear the costume for the joke at the end, so why not keep the makeup on Jason David Frank(enstein)

The only real issue I have with the episode at all was the tone revolving around the Frankenstein Monster. I addressed it briefly that he was acting ridiculous and getting into shenanigans at the costume party, so it feels weird when he has an actual fight with the Rangers and absolutely castrates them. You don't get a feel for him being a genuine threat until halfway through the episode, and it makes it seem odd that a monster who's being portrayed as so dangerous in the Sentai footage is just acting like an idiot in the U.S. scenes.

I'm not saying I want Frankenstein to decapitate Bulk and Skull, I just think we don't have a reason to find Frankenstein threatening in those scenes because he's made into a slow moving klutz, and when he's fighting the Power Rangers it's completely reversed. He's moving as fast as they are and blocking every move they make.

What I suspect might help in why Frankenstein feels so threatening is because he wasn't being portrayed by some guy in a huge restrictive rubber suit, but just a guy with a pretty simple make-up job on him. He can move a lot more fluidly and do great moves like that kick to the Pink Ranger's chest that still brings me peace in my dreams.

We don't get an explanation as to why Frankie is so strong in the Power Rangers episode, but in the Zyuranger counterpart Rita explains that Frankenstein is the first in a line of monsters made out of the Super Putty. I don't think it would be ridiculous to assume that may also be the case in the U.S. version as Finster is already quite aware of how powerful Super Putty is. Basically what I'm saying is please beg Saban to make Frankenstein being made of Super Putty canon. It's all I have in my life.

The Zord fight at the end is cut from two different episodes, as Frankenstein was around for a little while in Zyuranger. The most important thing we lost is the Power Rangers using those weapons I mentioned in the Madame Woe review on Frankenstein. This is why he's abruptly not holding his weapons and wounded when the Dragonzord in Battle Mode finished him off. Don't worry about these special weapons though, we'll talk about them soon.

Ranger Slingers
Ranger Slinger Use 2 Of 2

In case you want to see the Frankenstein fight for yourself, some beautiful soul on Youtube compiled the fight into one video. I'd advise watching the entire episode on Netflix or whatever, but this will at least let you see where I'm coming from.



2 comments:

  1. Jason David Frank(enstein) - now THAT'S funny.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So...the costume party resumed immediately after the earthquake?

    Was this supposed to be a Hallloween party?

    ReplyDelete