Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episode 57: Enter the Lizzinator


20 Year Old Pop Culture Reference Manages to Remain Relevant
Alien Monsters Subdued By Movement










Was anyone in the mood for an episode where a Ranger Teen teaches a kid how to be confident enough to pursue some form of athletics? How about an episode with Kimberly at the forefront? Well hope you didn't watch the series two weeks ago. Or three weeks ago.

Kimberly is watching her ginger cousin Kelly practice cheerleading in a group of middle schoolers. Unfortunately Kelly's unable to keep up with the rest of the girls because she has braces and that means she can't hang out with a bunch of conventionally attractive 14 year olds.

This girl came from the same gene pool as Kimberly?

Kelly's upset she can't be a good cheerleader like her cousin Kimberly was, and comes to the conclusion she should just give up. Kimberly tries slowing down the cheers to give her stupid cousin time to see how they're done, but Kelly gives up because this cheerleading shit is too hard. Kelly tells Kim the people at Angel Grove Jr. High are still talking about what a great cheerleader she was and there's no way she can live up to that reputation. Kelly forgot to mention the only people still talking about Kimberly being great at cheerleading were some of the science teachers and one of the janitors who was recently placed on mandatory retirement.

Rita gets real testy that the Earthlings aren't cheering for her and tells Finster it's time to make a monster. Goldar's plan is for Finster's new monster, the Lizzinator, to destroy the world after Kelly is kidnapped. Squatt and Baboo are eerily excited for the prospect of kidnapping a young woman to "teach them cheers." Yeah and to help you tend the rabbits too you fucking creeps.

By the way, the monster is a super powerful lizard creature and not a cactus with pom-poms that we need to justify with a cheerleading subplot. Sorry if you lost a bet on that.

Ernie catches up with Jason at the Juice Bar and asks if he'd be willing to pick up some supplies for the Juice Bar. Jason says he'd be happy to help and then inquires if Ernie's willing to pay him for it. Ernie laughs and slaps Jason on the shoulder while telling him what a funny kid he is, then heads to the back of his cafe to drink some more horse grease.

Trini, Zack, and Billy come by to see Tommy and Kimberly trying to help Kelly figure out this cheerleading business. Kelly is awful though, not because she's bad at cheers, but because her actress doesn't know how to sell being bad at something. Cheerleading isn't exactly the easiest thing to do, but Kelly isn't being asked to do anything taxing. All Kimberly is showing her is how to very loosely put her pom-poms up in the air and say generic "let's go fight" jargon. It just makes Kelly look like repeating someone's words confounds her.

Kelly says she'll never be as good as Kimberly and throws her pom-poms to the ground. Kelly runs out of the Youth Center to join a circus where all the other freaks go to live when they can't arouse a bunch of perverts at junior varsity football games.

Tommy and Kimberly catch up to Kelly in a park somewhere to try and raise her deflated spirits. Kimberly informs the audience that she had to practice a lot before she was any good at cheerleading. That means Kelly isn't bad at cheerleading, she just needs to practice and then she'll be amazing at it. Hear that kids? It's impossible to be bad at something as long as you devote time to it. Power Rangers is here to prove the sunk cost fallacy is a bunch of horseshit.

Squatt and Baboo are soon commanded by Rita and Goldar to go down and capture Kelly to be Rita's personal cheerleader. An idea Goldar got from a real saucy video he found on Kazaa. My only question is why are you kidnapping the shitty one Rita? You had your pick of the litter and you got the girl who couldn't B-E aggressive if her life depended on it. Baboo bumbles out a plea for Rita to send someone else down to kidnap a defenseless child, because he was busy enjoying the luxury of being a completely worthless and forgettable character.

Kimberly then gives Kelly a more useful bit of advice when she tells her cousin not to compare herself to Kimberly's record. She just needs to be herself and do the things that she's best at. You know what? This is actually an awesome moral to be giving kids. Just because you can't do what your older siblings or friends can do doesn't make you some little trashbag. I appreciate this premise more than a generic "never give up and always try your best" lesson.

The Putties show up to ruin Kimberly's lesson, while Tommy and Kim go on the offensive. It's a fun Putty fight mostly because it takes place near a playground, allowing for some more creative choreography. Things like this.

Imagine the wedgie that Putty has right about now.

Squatt and Baboo arrive shortly after the Putties are defeated, because they're too stupid to appear while Kimberly and Tommy are occupied. The two morons kidnap Kelly with Squatt saying "Come on little girl." For those of you who thought I was joking that Squatt is clearly a degenerate Predator, here's exhibit A through Z. The prosecution rests.

Kimberly shouts for her cousin but it's too late. Squatt and Baboo vanish before Kimberly is able to stop them. Kimberly panics while Tommy tries to find the easiest possible way to tell Kim she's going to have to buy a new cousin. Kelly, Squatt, and Baboo all appear inside of a cave in the middle of nowhere, because Saban didn't have a set for Rita's palace so they couldn't film her there.

Kim rushes to alert the rest of the Ranger Teens while Jason goes to pick up Ernie's boxes of discount rat penises ingredients. While he's there, Jason witnesses Finster's Lizzinator monster rampaging. A monster who sounds exactly like a bad impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Lizzinator immediately spots a car and starts beating the shit out of it and causing all sorts of Collateral Damage. Jason morphs and demand he knock off what he's doing before he gets his ass stomped. Lizzinator mulls over his options before deciding the best course of action.

Let off some steam Jason.

Jason starts talking tough and whips out his Blade Blaster to take on the monster. Lizzinator responds by promptly mocking Jason with an incredibly sarcastic "I am so scared!" As Jason tries slashing the monster, Lizzinator willingly lets the Red Ranger hit him while laughing at how ineffective his attacks are. It's so fucking boss and I love it. God bless the Lizzinator.

Lizzy tells Junior to back off before he gets himself hurt, but Jason keeps trying to stand back up. Lizzinator puts the Heat back on Red by lifting him up, doing a fireman's carry with his body, and hurling him into a bunch of boxes. Jason gets embarrassed by the fact that monster just fondled his junk and could tell he was going Commando, so he tries assaulting the Lizzinator again. The Villain lifts Red up by his neck and tosses him away like a pile of goddamn garbage. This monster is so dominant he makes you feel like you're getting cuckolded by proxy. This dude's so strong he's like Hercules.

In New York

Lizzinator tells Jason to his chickenshit face that he's nothing, and fighting all of the Power Rangers is the only challenge suitable for him. The monster vanishes in the speed it would take to go Around the World in 80 Days with Jason left completely vanquished. You guys know how Jason is one of the strongest fighters on the Power Rangers team? Well he got left laying amongst a pile of discarded boxes. Forget all this cheerleader shit, I want an episode of the Lizzinator humiliating fools and talking all sorts of smack to them while beating the fuck out of them.

At the Command Center, Kimberly tells Jason and Zordon that her cousin got kidnapped by a couple of Predator 2 in the park. Jason Recalls being Totally eviscerated by Rita's newest monster and tells his team how bad a dude the Lizzinator is. Tommy pleads with the team to forget about his having limited powers, because this is a fight he needs to be a part of. That's nice and all, but Zordon says to the Ranger Teens that all six of them together may not be able to defeat the Lizzinator.

Holy shit. Guys I love this buildup so much. Lizzinator is getting my little heart a flutter.

Billy looks at an analysis of the Lizzinator's body in the hopes that he can find a weakspot. It turns out that not only was Billy unable to do so, but he's revealed that the Lizzinator's entire body is made out of supermetals from distant galaxies. Not only are supermetals now apparently a thing, but the Lizzinator is made out of nothing but. Does the Megazord have a formation to make imminent buttfucking less painful? You guys might need it.

While Alpha goes on a Scavenger Hunt to find Kelly, the Ranger Teens morph to combat Lizzinator in a desolate quarry. Before they show up, Lizzy finds an abandoned car he gets a big raging reptile 'rection for destroying, but the Rangers pop in to spoil his fun. Lizzinator blasts them with eye lasers and summons a pack of Putties to take on the Power Rangers while he goes back to banging that car.

Jason breaks away from the Putty fight to stop Lizzinator's attempted vandalism of a car that belongs to someone who abandoned it out by the mountainside. That's just poor car practice Rangers, the Lizzinator is doing a public service by junking that thing. Jason kicks past the Lizzinator and tries to get inside the car for no particular reason. When Jason opens the car door he's meant with a Putty's fist in his face that knocks him back onto the dirt. Afterwards we get one of the most unforgettable moments of all Season 1.

Sometimes when things in life are rough, you just need to remember this scene

The Lizzinator blasts Jason and the car with more eyebeams, which end up dumping the Red Ranger in the bottom of the quarry. The monster challenges Jason to a rematch. The Expendable Rangers continue fighting Putties while Jason goes toe to toe with the main lizard. My heart starts pounding as Jason tells the Lizzinator he'll play any game the monster wants. Lizzinator suggests soccer and kicks a massive boulder at Jason. How do you think it feels when a monster won't even fight with you for real? When he throws shit at you to mess with you? Pretty humiliating I'd imagine.

Jason lays defeated on the ground like a total baby, and Lizzy gets ready to slaughter him. Lizzinator pulls up a massive Styrofoam boulder and tosses it at Jason, but the Green Ranger leaps into action and kicks it right back at the monster. I'd also feel remiss if I didn't show you how fake that boulder is, so here you go.

Most rocks have a split down the middle right?

Tommy asks Jason if he's okay, and why he's losing so badly to a ferret with a mullet. Jason tries to retain dignity by telling Tommy he can't take on this monster alone. Lizzinator, because he's a total badass, gets excited to fight Twin opponents and starts Running. Man I love this guy. Jason nearly collapses after getting spanked so bad by the Lizzinator, so Tommy takes on the vicious monster mano y mano. One of the best monsters we've had in months VS. the future Turbo Man. Who will come out on top? I'm on the edge of my seat.

Then we cut back to Squatt and Baboo, which is exactly what I wanted to see in the middle of a pulse pounding fight against one of Rita's best godamned monsters ever. Baboo sincerely informs Squatt that they're bound to be rewarded because they finally did something right. His words, not mine. Squatt hopes its food, because he's fat. You clowns are sucking up some perfectly good Lizzinator time right now and I am not happy about it.

Kelly realizes she's going to get eaten twice if she doesn't escape the clutches of these goons, so she comes up with a foolproof plan to get away from Squatt and Baboo. No it isn't "Tell them to turn around and then run away." It's also not "Walk past them while they cartoonishly fall over trying to stop you." It's not even "exhaust them by showing them how to do cheers of their own." Oh wait. Yes it is. Sorry.

Back at the fight, Tommy lands a critical blow on the Lizzinator with a well timed punch. The other Rangers show up and congratulate him on finishing a fight they were too ineffectual to do anything about. The Lizzinator becomes furious, before amazingly referring to his nemeses as "chowder rangers." Rita then makes her monster grow, and Tommy summons the Dragonzord to take on the behemoth.

Tommy, wanting to prove he's the Last Action Hero and doesn't need the Megazord's help to conquer Lizzinator, takes him on alone. Unfortunately for him the monster just toys with the Dragonzord and slaps it around without getting harmed once. The Dragonzord tries using its trusty tail whip, before disaster strikes.

WHAT KILLED THE DINOZORDS?!

While Tommy humiliates himself, Kelly teaches Squatt and Baboo some dumbass cheers about how the Power Rangers always beat Rita. Yeah good idea guys, I bet Rita would love for you to sing her a bunch of cheers about how she sucks and always loses. Since Squatt and Baboo are hideously out of shape they immediately start collapsing over themselves and are subdued. Awesome subplot guys. A+.

The other Rangers realize how dumb it was for Tommy to go in alone so they summon the Megazord to help Dragonzord out. Lizzinator isn't dissuaded and starts slashing the shit out of both of them. He just laughs at both of the Zords and then blasts him with a blast of gas from his mouth which he calls his "super stink breath." Jesus Christ Power Rangers would you get it together? Your city's about to be destroyed and this lizardman's onion breath nearly killed you.

The Rangers realize how bad they're getting railed so they summon Titanus to charge up the Ultrazord. Lizzinator then has a great line where he says "Hey wait no fair! I was just about to win!" Regardless, the Ultrazord blasts Lizzy and brings him to the End of his Days. Pasta la pizza bitch.

With the monster dead, Kimberly whines that her stupid cousin is still missing and presumed dead. Zordon tells her to take a chill pill because Alpha 5 found most of her carcass in some cave somewhere. Baboo and Squatt start whining that doing cheers is too hard for members of the most notoriously powerful evil empire in the galaxy, so they teleport away and leave Kelly alone. Just in time for the Power Rangers to show up and congratulate her on managing to subdue two total losers.

Back at the Youth Center, Kelly thanks Kimberly for teaching her to believe in herself and for buying her a new outfit after getting Squatt's saliva over her last one. Sadly for Kelly, another pair of incompetent bumblers have shown up to ruin her self-esteem today. None other than Fat Batman and Robin themselves: Bulk and Skull.

Even though they haven't been in the episode at all today, Bulk and Skull trash talk Kelly because she's going to blow her cheerleading tryouts. To which Kelly responds "Why don't you two go pick on someone with your own I.Q." OOOOOOH BURN! Maybe you shouldn't talk back to people who have souls you little snot.

Bulk tries to save face by performing an impromptu cheer about how he's amazing and everyone loves him. This culminates in Bulk ripping his pants and humiliating himself in front of a bunch of people who hate him. But it doesn't matter, because we start to pan down and I know what's coming next. Let's set those piggies free and unlea-



WHAT?! WHAT IS THIS? WHERE ARE MY FUCKING PIGS!? BULLSHIT, THIS EPISODE SUCKS, BETTER LUCK NEXT WEEK ASSHOLES




Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Arnold Schwarzenegger Impersonations Being Considered Amusing



Personal Thoughts



No seriously I like this episode a lot. I'm sure I hid it very well but the Lizzinator stuff rocks my world. The subplot with Kelly wanting to be a cheerleader I can give or take, but it also has a good enough heart that it manages not to annoy me like the most cloying of Power Rangers aesops. I was worried I would end up really disliking the episode because of the Kelly storyline, but it surprised me in a good way.

The only thing that strikes me as bizarre is how dissimilar the fight footage is with the civilian plot. Kim teaches a kid to believe in herself and Jason loses horribly to a buff ass lizard creature while Tommy helps him out. Granted we covered Tommy and Jason's friendship last week, and also sort of touched on it during the Two Headed Parrot episode. We didn't need another episode of Tommy and Jason remembering they're friends and high fiving while Bulk and Skull fall into a bunch of pies.

Don't get me wrong, diverting from the Sentai footage is totally fine and pretty much mandatory if you want to focus on any of your characters in any detail. My problem is that you could do absolutely any other plot in this episode so long as you write in an excuse for Jason to run into the Lizzinator. If you want me to care about any of your protagonists, what are you doing shoehorning in Kimberly's cousin we'll never see again? The Ranger Teens are such cardboard that you don't take the time to flesh them out and instead take the time to introduce new characters I'll never give a damn about only to dump them in the garbage next week. Enough of that shit.

Now for the meat and potatoes of this episode for me. The Lizzinator. He's such a hardass I can't help but love him. He's a lot like the Frankenstein monster in a lot of ways. He's introduced taking little to no damage in the ground battle and proceeds to completely manhandle the Zords when he grows. The biggest difference from Frankie is the Lizzinator gets a lot more shit talking in and that's always a plus for me.

I mentioned in the Two Headed Parrot write-up that that monster appeared to be doing a maneuver where it ducked down and curled into a ball before growing. It was just for a few frames and you all laughed at me! You said I was a crazy man! Well look upon the Lizzinator's pre-growth scene and be awed as I am proven correct.

With another cardboard rock behind him.

Yeah I unno. This was probably supposed to have been cut by the editors since Rita was still around to make monsters grow, and has no meaning whatsoever if Rita's the one making them giant. Maybe the Zyu2 producers assumed Rita wasn't going to be around in Power Rangers anymore since they had filmed scenes of the Ranger Teens sealing up Rita for Doomsday. Who knows?

There was a bit of cut footage of Lizzinator's car antics indicated in the script. During the initial vandalism, Lizzinator was supposed to break one of the car's windows and shatter the glass everywhere. Much more interesting was the ending to Jason on top of the car with the Putty. After Lizzinator blasts the car with his eye-beams, the car was supposed to go careening off a cliff! Sure explains why Jason was separated from the other Rangers after his joyride with the Putty. Now I'm just hoping the Lizzinator footage gets released so I can see a Putty driving off a cliff. it's the simple things in life.



3 comments:

  1. The scene with Kim and her cousin at the youth center talking after she's saved is one of the most cringe worthy moments in the show, in a good way. You can see David Yost looking embarrassed in back of them while interchanging looks with Thuy and Austin.

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  2. Considering how lame the excuses often are for the cast separating ("I need to get to a karate tournament but cutting through the only park in a city of 376,000 people"), Jason doing a pick-up for Ernie was actually a really good one, and no park!

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  3. Wow, first the B thing and now this? How long have you been sneaking in this stuff for and I just haven't noticed? C'mon, give me The Rundown.

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