Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episode 31: Calamity Kimberly



Troll Watches Teenage Girl Outside Her Window
Golems Utilized as Slaves for Food Preparation










We've all had one of those days where you wake up and you wish the apocalypse had happened overnight. When the alarm's blaring shitty Christian rock and you feel like you just woke up from a hard night of drinking bleach. Well today, Kimberly has just fucking had enough. Somehow even on her worst day she's still adorable though.

Dat POUT tho.

She clearly slept like trash, she falls out of bed, her outfit in the closet's been burned, and the pièce de résistance is that Kim's hair looks TERRIBLE! What's a 90's Barbie doll stereotype to do when your hair's a mess? She looks in the mirror and gasps to see how bad it looks, and if the production company wasn't so cheap you know they would have played the Psycho violins. 

After setting the mirror down, Kim looks out her window to see it's at least going to be a nice sunny day out today. Immediately after she closes her blinds, some guy on the roof starts spraying a hose on her window and playing dime store thunder sound effects. Kim becomes livid that her life is nothing but a shitty sitcom when suddenly an earthquake hits for 3 seconds to knock the mirror off of her bed and shatter it. Kim bemoans that she now has 7 years bad luck, and compounding with the mirror she broke last week, now she's got 49 years she doesn't get to look forward to. Give or take a black cat crossing her path.

So we've got the plot set in motion, Kim's having a bad day and she's still a valley girl. Things clearly aren't going her way, but this is the least of her concerns. Look at what else Kim has to deal with in her day to day life.

Squatt disgusting
Where's his other hand? WHERE'S HIS OTHER HAND

UGH. Holy shit. I'm no longer making jokes about Squatt being an obese goblin shaped pedophile. I'm making sincere astute statements about how goddamned creepy he is. Nobody realized while filming the scene with the troll man giggling outside a high school girl's window while she was about to get dressed that it might be sort of disgusting?

Squatt goes up to the Moon Palace to tell his queen Rita that Kimberly's room smells really nice and next time he's going to pet her pretty hair until he breaks her neck. Rita commands Finster to make a monster for no other reason than the fact Kim is feeling a little blue. Usually they do a better job of writing around why Rita's calling forth a monster, but this is exceptionally half assed. Finster is full assing his monster making though, as he's created one of his meanest monsters yet. A creature known as the Samurai Fan Man; not only a ridiculous name, but an adequate way to describe me.

Samurai Fan Man
My beard's a little bushier.

Kim gets into school soaking wet, not because of seeing Tommy but because her shitty umbrella broke on the way to school and this day totally sucks dicks. Kimberly tosses the umbrella in a recycling bin, successfully recreating the cycle of pollution she and Trini ended so long ago.

Tommy moseys up to Kimberly and asks why she looks so fucking hideous today. After complaining about how she's having a bad day for the 60th time in four minutes, Tommy pats her on the back and says it's going to be okay. He then dries his hand off on his shirt in what might be the only bit of non karate related physical acting Jason David Frank has ever done.

Bulk and Skull show up to harass Kimberly and boy do they get some zingers in. Skull laughs that Kim must have been serious when she said the reason she had to cancel their date was because she had to wash her hair. Kim informs him she would never date a loser like him, and Skull puts on a melodramatic show and says "My feelings are hurt." It's actually tragic if you read between the lines.

Skull's putting on some bullshit bully show and the girl of his dreams is telling him he's got a shrimpy dick. Skull puts up a brave face before going home and crying into his pillow about how lonely he is. All of this happens while a somber remix of the Bulk and Skull theme plays. Holy shit someone make this happen in that Power Rangers reboot they're doing.

Tommy calls the bullies banana brains which is when shit starts to go DOWN. As Bulk and Tommy begin to quarrel, a janitor conspicuously knocks over a bucket of water that Bulk is too stupid to notice spilled right behind him. Tommy throws him, he slides into the bucket, you knew what was going to happen why am I telling you this? Something more worth pointing out is this weird shot of Bulk where his face is sweaty for absolutely no reason. It's a comical amount of sweat on his face so you'd think it was for a joke, but he's just sweaty inexplicably. That or they filmed him after he got his face stuck in a bucket.

We did 58 takes and that was the best one.

With the bullies vanquished, Tommy says those two are so ridiculous they should get their own T.V. show. Yeah that'd be great, unless a bunch of goody two shoes whitebread losers interrupt them drinking pizzas and eating bugs. Tommy offers to walk Kim home and her response is that "anything could happen." Which is supposed to be a threat because of how bad her day's going, but sounds more like she'll blow him if he walks her home.

During the walk home Kim mentions to Tommy she had an awful dream where Rita was her new stepmother. This is a kind of cool little moment that probably doesn't mean shit to you little kids today, but Kim's parents are divorced? Yeah they are, and it's referred to in a throwaway line. Kim's got four parents and we're not going to make a big 90's deal about it where Tommy asks "WAIT A MINUTE KIM, WHAT'S A STEPMOM?!" and we get a horribly awkward scene of her describing her family life. They're split up, that's a thing, now shut up.

While Rita may not be her new stepmom, Kim meets her new stepdad in the park, the Samurai Fan Man. He threatens Tommy and Kim from off screen while he opens up a massive bottle attached to his hip. The bottle unleashes a flurry of terrible looking yellow wind effects on the two teens, as they cry out for each other. Inexplicably Tommy seems to get knocked out by the wind and falls to the ground, while Kim vanishes and reappears inside the monster's bottle.

Fan Man's been using that thing as a spittoon. 

Zordon brings the other Ranger Teens to the Command Center to tell them that two of their friends are probably going to die thanks to a fat man with a bottle. He brings the unconscious Tommy inside the Command Center onto a plain looking black couch. Zordon has all this high tech gadgetry and the best he can do for a concussion is a loveseat. Enjoy your internal bleeding Tommy, we have a fat samurai to fight.

Zordon shows the Rangers Kimberly's current predicament and informs them she's trapped inside of another dimension. A what? She's just inside of a fucking bottle Zordon, what are you going on about now? Are you making this up to make her feel better? So her team doesn't make her feel even worse for getting caught in a mason jar?

Jason promises the Rangers will beat the Samurai Fan Man, and kick him into another dimension. What the fuck are you people blathering about dimensions for? Whatever, it's the closest any of these characters are getting to being multi-dimensional. 

Zack, Billy, Trini, and Jason morph to fight Rita's monster, when the rest of her legion of creeps shows up. Goldar fights the Power Rangers while Fan Man stands off to the side and lets the bloodflow get back into his knees before he starts fighting. Jason decides to involve the monster personally and leaps at him with the Power Sword. Since the Fan Man's a big goober all he does is shove Jason aside while belching out generic taunts.

The Rangers try to charge Fan Man but Zack tells them to chill their heels before they make a fatal mistake. The Black Ranger informs them not to hit the bottle, or else it'll end the same way it did when his uncle hit the bottle; a wife who takes the kids and disappears into another dimension. Trini immediately ignores all this advice and charges the monster who coldcocks her. No fancy tricks or special weapons, just knocks her flat on her ass. Now that we're halfway through the episode, the Samurai Fan Man decides to finally show off his Samurai Fan, man.

He's blowing them into the low income housing district of Angel Grove

The Rangers get launched into the distance by Fan Man and begin to fall into a distant black void. Alpha 5 redirects their path into the Command Center where the four Rangers flop to the ground. Zordon tells them they fucked up that whole fight real bad and Alpha informs the Rangers they were almost trapped in another dimension. Holy shit are we still doing this? Where is all this dimension garbage coming from today? The writers must have been confused what show they were working on and assumed they had to make ridiculous explanations for every dumbass thing that happens in this episode.

The Rangers ask how they can possibly beat the Samurai Fan Man since he beat them once, and no monster has ever managed to do that before. Zordon, honest to goodness, tells them to use their Zords to beat the monster. Where would we be without you Zordon? The rest of the Rangers complain they'll need Tommy and the Dragonzord's help, because without Kimberly's Dinozord the Megazord wouldn't have a shield over its chest, rendering it completely inoperable.

Zordon tracks Rita's cronies at what he refers to as the "Putty Bowl Restaurant." It has a group of Putties in yellow vests serving the monsters food and drinks in a little outside cafe area. It serves as one of the weirdest fucking things that we see for only 4 seconds on the Viewing Globe and is such a ridiculous concept that leaves so many unanswered questions. Is Finster creating Putties who can only serve food? Why are they wearing adorable little vests? Are the Putties cool with getting paid minimum wage? How does the Samurai Fan Man tip?

Doesn't matter what job you give 'em, a Putty ain't wearin' pants.

Squatt peeks into the bottle, having gotten a taste for spying on Kimberly. He then shakes it all around because he's a crazy mongoloid who has no idea how to treat living creatures. Suddenly the other four Rangers show up at the Restaurant since they're in the mood for some appetizers. We even get to see how they got to the fight so fast! A bunch of toys the editors couldn't cut around so now they're just there without explanation.

Battle Bikes
The Triceratops Cycle not having its horns be the handlebars hurts me deeply.

Samurai Fan Man busts out a rake and starts beating the shit out of the rangers. This is the second monster in the season to use a rake as a weapon so far, but he's a lot more intimidating than the last one.The Rangers are left completely at the monster's mercy as Rita makes Fan Man and Goldar grow. Our heroes call on their incomplete Zord team to try and take on the two monsters. The rest of the Zord fight is spent praying that the Triceratops Dinozord's flimsy horns can somehow murder a fat man holding a gourd. 

The Triceratops and Saber Tooth Tiger Dinozords blast Fan Man while T-Rex fights Goldar one on one. That's what happens when only one of your Zords is giant size Zordon. Thanks for nothing. The fight goes miserably as Goldar blasts the three mini Dinozords, and Fan Man just stands there not having been damaged once. Billy uses his massive intellect to tell the other Rangers none of this shit is working and they need the fucking Dragonzord in here to beat some ass.

As if on cue, Tommy wakes up inside of the Command Center while complaining about having a headache. He also complains about mild hemorrhaging but the other Rangers are in trouble! He needs to go help out! Tommy morphs to the fight and summons the Dragonzord to help out. Jason makes some use out of the other Dinozords by combining them to make the Dragonzord in Battle Mode to fight Samurai Fan Man. Jason continues to fight Goldar in the Tyrannosaurus Dinozord because Rita's lackey has such a piss poor winning streak by now they may actually be able to kill him with one Zord.

The Dragonzord in Battle Mode knocks Samurai Fan Man's stupid rake right out of his hands and gives him a glorious punch to the face. The Fan Man isn't down yet though, he's got even stupider ways to combat the Rangers!

Dragonzord is looking a little less impressive lately.

The Dragonzord is somehow not defeated by safety pins, and whips out its drill staff and stabs at the Fan Man's bottle. Might want to be careful not to gore Kimberly while she's in there, but it seems to work! The bottle falls off his hip, uncorks, and releases Kim from her prison. She morphs immediately and boards her Dinozord. Good call! Now we can use your Zord as a chestpiece. That's the only validation you get Kim, to get kidnapped and hit by giant Samurai monsters.

Jason unassembles the Dragonzord in Battle Mode to form the Megazord while calling for "Ultrazord Mode." Spoilers you piece of shit! I don't want my finishing moves telegraphed for me, you gotta surprise me with that. The Samurai Fan Man busts out another weapon, his "Samurai Lance" which he promises will knock the Power Rangers into another galaxy. What it can't knock them into another dimension? You're slacking on your arsenal Fan Man.

Megazord summons the Power Sword to take on the Fan Man while Dragonzord battles Goldar. It's actually a nice little bout between the monsters and the Zords. Megazord uses the Power Sword to break the Fan Man's lance, so he busts out his titular fan. He uses it to blow the Megazord and Dragonzord into a mountainside, presumably somewhere in another dimension.

The Rangers realize they've been completely curbstomped by these idiots and call forward Titanus and form the Ultrazord, just as Jason ruined for us a moment ago. The Samurai Fan Man gets blasted by the Ultrazord's finishing move, and explodes. May his remains rest well in the next dimension.

All that Ultrazord fire for two explosions?

Back in Billy's garage, the Rangers gather around and watch a news clip of some crusty old white dude saying how great the Power Rangers are and how today they blew up a fat guy in red slacks. Kim walks in and doesn't look like a complete mess anymore, so Tommy informs her it looks like her day's getting better. Kim laughs about her day couldn't have gotten any worse, then as she turns up the volume on Billy's T.V. it explodes.

That's not really part of a bad day for Kim though is it? That sucks for Billy. It's not like he'd ever ask a pretty girl to do anything for him, he'd stutter and cum the second she looked at him. Is this supposed to be a precursor to next week's episode when it's Billy having bad luck? Can't wait till some guy traps Billy in a jar and the other Ranger Teens promptly forget about him.



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Dimensions


Personal Thoughts:

Before I conclude discussing the episode, I wanted to plug a little Christmas eve charity stream that fans of this blog might enjoy attending. It's hosted by my friend Phil of Noiseless Chatter fame. The stream will be this Wednesday at 8 PM Eastern time, and will host a plethora of horrible Christmas specials in addition to some original content.

Donations will also be held for the Trevor Project, a charity for at risk and suicidal LGBTQ teens. Donations are by no means mandatory, but if the spirit of giving strikes you then feel free! You're welcome no matter what. All the information will be available in advance on Noiseless Chatter and is summarized here. If you have time to attend we'd love for you to show up! I don't want to give too much away but fans of Power Rangers won't go away empty handed! Now back to the fat guy with the bottle.

For an episode that has a pretty basic premise, I actually like Calamity Kimberly quite a bit. It's cute to see Kimberly who's usually really put together feel like garbage. You see her out of her element which is nice, considering Kimberly is one of the few characters they give enough focus to that you can understand why she's so frustrated. The action in this episode is really good too. There's a lot of slugging it out with the monster and the Zord fight gets to show off a bunch of different formations against Samurai Fan Man. We even get Goldar thrown into the fight for a little extra fun.

There's a bit to say about Samurai Fan Man, aside from his goofy ass design. Fun Fact! His design is based on a character from Journey to the West known as the Golden Horned King, or Jīn Jiǎo. You might know Journey to the West as "that thing Dragonball was based on." Which is why Fan Man has a fan that was a plot point in some Dragonball episode, and his Samurai Lance looks exactly like a Power Pole. I haven't read enough Journey to the West to know if Jīn Jiǎo used a rake though.

Fan Man's suit wasn't available for filming in US footage, and this time I can actually explain WHY they didn't have the monster costume. Samurai Fan Man's costume was actually used for a "unique" costume in the next Sentai season, Gosei Sentai Dairanger. It was a nameless armored guard that showed up at the end of the season, but it's definitely him. Check out his big belly, dragon shoulder pads, and weird sumo loincloth around his waist. The only shame is that you lose his big goofy Muppet head.




Those motorcycles you see behind the Rangers during the Fan Man fight have been dubbed the "Battle Bikes" by toy catalogs and other promotional materials like coloring books and puzzles. Whatever they could slap the Rangers on really. The reason we never see the Battle Bikes in the show proper is because most of the footage that was used of them was of the unmorphed Zyurangers riding them.

They still sold toys of the cycles, but this is the only time they're clearly visible in the series. It's weird to me that they made toys out of something they didn't want to include with the Battle Bikes, but the Thunder Slingers that they made a big deal out of obtaining never had toys made.

Another thing that Power Rangers kept from the Japanese version was a shot of the four unmorphed Zyurangers falling down a pit after getting blown away by the Samurai Fan Man's fan. It's a total 'blink and you miss it' kind of shot, but it's pretty jarring since the Rangers are suddenly unmorphed, dressed in tribal clothing, and Zack is looking pretty pale.


The final note today is the couch Tommy is laying on proves a point I mentioned several months back in the episode Foul Play in the Sky. The prop couch that he's laying on was the exact same one you can briefly see in the Command Center that Kimberly was supposed to be laying on in the original script for that episode.



Funny enough that the prop that was deemed unusable for an episode because it featured Kim as a damsel in distress was reused in an episode that made her exactly that. That's the 90's for ya.



2 comments:

  1. They have the Battle Bikes, it came with the package when Zordon got those five Power Coins. They were never needed, and they collect dust somewhere in the Command Center with the Thunder Bikes (which came from a different package when he got the five obsolete Thunderzords).

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  2. Heh, the most exciting thing about this episode (to me) is we got to see Kim's house. I actually wanted to see more of her home life.

    I notice Kim has a twin-sized bed. I bet that comes in handy whenever Trini comes over for a "sleepover".

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