Saturday, August 13, 2016

MMPR Season 2 Episode 49: Storybook Rangers Part 2



Space Witch and Fictional Metal Japanese Man Trade Favors
Insufferable Puns Prompt Reviewer's Suicide









Last week on Power Rangers, Kimberly, Tommy, and Rocky were all transported into a storybook by Rita's plot-convenient magic. They encountered a whimsical land filled with pathetic special effects and recycled monster costumes from 100 episodes ago. While all that was happening, Bulk and Skull bought a book to teach them how to make a monster so they could trap the Power Rangers in whatever. This nonsense is going to be over in like 4 episodes. Anyway, Kim and company get caught in an avalanche by a dumbass yeti and I guess they're dead now.


Aisha, Adam, and Billy ask Zordon how they're supposed to find the book that their friends are inside. Thankfully, the big blue gasbag was able to pinpoint the book's location: the Angel Grove book fair! Remember when Zordon couldn't find the book last week? Well fuck you, he found it as soon as the episode started. Hope you enjoyed all that needlessly drummed-up tension used to trick you into watching from one week to the next.

The Ranger Teens who haven't been stuck inside of a novel head to the book fair in an attempt to locate their friends. A problem arises when the teens realize they don't have a clue which book the others have been trapped inside of. So how do you think this scene is going to conclude? The Ranger Teens using their ingenuity to recall details from the book that they saw on the Viewing Globe? Oh you poor naïve child. What show do you think you're watching?

Inside of "Grumble the Magic Elf," the other Ranger Teens are stuck inside of a snowy cave where they wonder how they can escape after that devastating avalanche. So wait, hold on a second. How did they survive that? Did they find that opening due to last-second cunning? Did the avalanche conveniently spare them and trap them in a small enclave somehow? Doesn't matter. Part 1 gave us a cliffhanger, Part 2's job is to resolve it as quickly and tepidly as possible.

Bulk and Skull continue to dick around in Skull Sr's garage, attempting to make a monster that can trap those dastardly Rangers. Then these two morons can finally uncover the secret identities of the Power Rangers. Did you remember that was their character development this season? You know where this plot hasn't lead them? Into a big messy pile of desserts. For once in this god-awful season could we have someone throw a pie? Jesus Christ.

Lord Zedd and Rita watch the bumbling goofballs working on their monster and offer a bit of assistance. As Bulk fires up the kiln, Zedd fires a beam of energy from his staff at Earth to make an actual monster out of…whatever Bulk and Skull were creating. The smoke clears inside the garage while Bulk and Skull come face to face with their creation.

Turkeyjerk
Thankskilling 3 Now Available on Crackle

Ugh. Yeah. That's Turkeyjerk, the menacing creature that Skull accidentally made from consulting his mother's cookbook. It's stupid, it's ridiculous, it's absurd, and somehow the fact that he's a gigantic dumbass turkey isn't the worst part about this guy. We'll get to that soon, so preheat your ovens and get ready to stick your head in.

Bulk and Skull see their inbred turkey-beast and flee in terror. An attitude I don't quite understand, because wasn't the whole point of this to make a monster? I get that monsters are pretty goddamned scary, but you're going out of your way to create one. Maybe it was because the monster was so much more intimidating than they expected?

…No. No that couldn't possibly be it.

Yes, I know this monster is obviously supposed to be silly. That's the point. I'm just having a lot of trouble sitting here and talking about a gigantic turkey running around gobbling at Bulk and Skull. It's mixing the superhero aspects of the Power Rangers with the slapstick comedy elements of Bulk and Skull in a way that I don't quite care for. This big idiot should not be portrayed as a threat to the Power Rangers, but I know he's going to be and that's rather unfortunate. I would rather he attempt to fight the Power Rangers, but Adam takes him by the throat and shoves croutons inside of him until he submits.

Before I write off Turkeyjerk completely, there is one scene involving him that I quite enjoy. As soon as Bulk and Skull gaze upon their horrible creation (in all senses of the word), they run through a sheet metal wall and leave cartoonish outlines of their bodies behind. This is a solid enough gag, gives me some yuks. But then Turkeyjerk follows suit and adds the cherry on top.

They could have just traced their fingers if they wanted to make an outline of a turkey.

Back at the book fair, Aisha is about ready to call it quits on this book search. They haven't even come close to finding their friends, and there's still so many books left over. That is until Aisha arbitrarily picks up "Grumble the Magic Elf" and it begins vibrating in her hands. So yeah, the big mystery of which book the other Rangers were in is solved because "Grumble the Magic Elf" was glowing and pulsating with purple energy. Why in the hell couldn't Zordon find this book? He can figure out the general whereabouts of that book, but can't figure out it's the one that's lighting up like the Toxic Avenger?

The story-bound Ranger Teens ponder how much oxygen they have inside of the cave. Exactly what I would expect from an episode about superheroes trapped inside of a magical Christmas storybook. The looming threat of suffocation in the icy wilderness. Ho Ho Ho! Happy holidays everyone!

While our heroes contemplate their own mortality, Grumble the Magic Elf appears before them and asks if they need help. The Ranger Teens ask how he got past that horrific Snow Monster. As it turns out, that pun-spewing shithead got caught in the avalanche as well, and I guess that means he's dead now. Did you want the Power Rangers to fight him or some kind of mighty morphing action to take place? You make me sick.

Tommy thanks Grumble for rescuing them, and concludes that they're not getting anywhere in this dumbass book. Tommy decides that they all need to go back to the beginning of the book instead of trying to reach the ending. Even though the entire crux of this episode was about reaching the end of the book to escape it. Now that the Rangers are halfway through, they decide to waste even more time backtracking to the beginning. Tell me again why this had to be two parts?

Grumble and the Rangers look around their pallid hellscape and try to locate Mondo the Magician. The devious wizard who put the grumpiness spell on Grumble to begin with. They're unable to figure out how to get backwards, and Kim asks Grumble if he knows how to get back to page 1. Grumble grumbles at them and asks why they couldn't have picked a Dr. Seuss book to get caught in. Oh I know the answer to that one! Because licensing issues would mean Saban would have to pay for a Dr. Seuss story and we all know if it costs money then this show won't be doing it. Instead they licensed a book by Dr. Snooze.

Billy attempts to scan the "Grumble the Magic Elf" book inside of the Command Center, but he's soon interrupted by the alarm. Adam, Billy, and Aisha turn their attention to the Viewing Globe where footage of the Turkeyjerk plays, but whoever was editing botched it. They kept in the footage before the guy in the Turkeyjerk costume knew he was being filmed which leads to an awkward few seconds where Bulk and Skull are reacting to an unmoving creature. 

Bulk and Skull remain consummate professionals throughout.

Zordon says that this piece of shit turkey idiot will be able to destroy the city if his malice is left unchecked, and for some reason nobody laughs in his giant floating face. You see that gif up there? That's all that Turkeyjerk is doing. He isn't causing any destruction. He's goofing around and asking Bulk and Skull to play with him. Because he treats them like his parents. Which is at least kind of a joke? The show only uses it for one or two lines from the monster, but I mean I laughed. I don't know.

Do you understand how hard I'm trying to find something to enjoy from Turkeyjerk?

Billy leads his team in a morph so they can take on the overstuffed menace. The Rangers politely inform this monster they intend on killing him, and Billy refutes its claims that Bulk and Skull are his parents. Sorry that some of us might be adopted you brainiac dipstick, why don't you leave your stupid comments in your pocket and go back to fingering your Einstein fleshlight.

Turkeyjerk whips out a big turkey baster to blast the Rangers, and then the episode completely fucks itself. From this moment on, almost every line from the monster or the Rangers is some kind of half-assed pun on turkeys or birds or Thanksgiving or a gun in my mouth. It's some of the most insufferable bullshit and makes the Snow Monster's horrible puns from last week look like Shakespeare wrote them.

I honestly want to skip to the end of this fight because this endless onslaught of half-baked jokes are simply groan-worthy. Then I wanted to list every single pun in order, but I have some level of respect for you as readers. What I will do is mention the most egregious and horrible joke in the entire scene. The crème de la crème of dogshit that I still barely understand after about 20 years. Are you ready? Neither am I. Okay, here we go. Adam whips out his Power Axe and says…he says…I mean what he says is…

…WHAT?!

No seriously, what? What does this even mean? I know that turkey is slang for someone who's a big chump, but this line still doesn't even kind of almost work. It sounds like it was translated from Russian on Babelfish. I'd almost guess this line was supposed to be about separating the light meat from the dark, but someone found it too gruesome during ADR and replaced it with this complete baffler. I'm absolutely astonished. What else is there to say? I'm done talking turkey.

Back inside the storybook, Kim knocks on Mondo the Magician's giant door. The Ranger Teens reassure Grumble that Mondo will be happy to revert him back to his cheery old elf-self. Even though he was a petulant enough dick to turn someone grouchy for no real reason. I'm sure a couple of high-school students can convince this freakish wizard to undo his horrific black magic spell on a blue vampire gnome that delivers gifts to orphans.

God what a beautiful series this is.

Lord Zedd becomes concerned that the Power Rangers will be able to stop this plan by playing on Mondo the Magician's profound stupidity. Rita assures him that no such thing will happen, as Mondo the Magician is actually an old friend of hers. Yes everyone, you read that correctly. One of Rita's number one homies is a fictional character inside of a children's book. That's the most ludicrous goddamned thing that this show has ever given us, and no more than two minutes ago it gave us a giant turkey monster. Power Rangers is eventually going to hit an absurdity singularity that will cause the entire universe to collapse.

Back at the park, the Blue, Black, and Yellow Rangers continue their battle with Turkeyjerk and his wretched puns. In case you wanted to know if this episode was worth your time, the monster throws exploding cranberries at the Rangers. Please draw your own conclusions.

The Rangers are getting walloped by Turkeyjerk, but Aisha recommends that they summon the Power Cannon. I wasn't even aware that the Rangers could use the Power Cannon if all six of them weren't together, but there's no sense of doubt from any of the Rangers about this. They summon it and poof, it works perfectly. They don't even load it with those big sphere things or jam swords into it like usual. They fire it flawlessly and blow Turkeyjerk to hell. Good riddance to bad poultry.

Inside of the storybook, Grumble the Elf is terrified to approach Mondo the Magician because he's supposedly a powerful master of evil magic. Something that's not going to be illustrated through anything other than various characters informing us, so keep pretending any of this malarkey is true.

Tommy knocks loudly on Mondo the Magician's door once again, prompting the wizard to finally respond. Not by answering the door and speaking with them of course, but by bellowing at them from inside his home while we can barely make him out through the windows of his front door. It's like the scene in "Wizard of Oz" where Dorothy tried to get into the Emerald City, but significantly cheaper and less entertaining. Also the Wicked Witch lives on the moon for some reason, and her flying monkey is half-dog.

WHO RANG THAT BELL?!

When the Ranger Teens ask Mondo if he would be willing to reverse the spell on Grumble, he refuses because it's not supposed to happen in the story. Well thanks for nothing you jerkoff. Those orphans aren't going to get any presents this year because you refuse to break kayfabe. Mondo demands that they remove themselves from his presence before he turns them all into kiwis. Yikes! Who would possibly want to watch this show if all the Power Rangers were kiwis? Besides fans of Ninja Storm.

Billy, Aisha, and Adam return to the Command Center where they try to figure out how to end this stupid story once and for all. Adam recalls that the book will end as soon as the toys are delivered to those stupid orphans. Fucking parentless losers have to make things worse for us all yet again. Why can't some pair of idiots adopt them like those beautiful turkey babies?

Aisha notices that the presents are no longer inside of the book, but she comes up with a foolproof plan. She asks for Alpha 5 to give her some colored pencils. The robot slave inexplicably hands her some that were apparently sitting inside of this magical superhero palace. In case Alpha kidnapped some kids and they got bored before he murdered them.

Aisha uses the colored pencils to scribble in a new cart of toys for Grumble to deliver. She draws this cart by haphazardly scrawling on the page, and a terrible digital effect of a toy cart pops up underneath her colored pencil. I don't know why they felt the need to do this when they could have had her mime drawing in the book and cut to a drawing of gifts later. It's almost like this show doesn't have any idea what in the holy hell it's doing.

With a new cart of toys, the teens and Grumble happily escort them to where the orphans reside: The Village of the Damned. As our heroes and their blue elf-demon wander the forest, Grumble tells them to be silent. They're currently on the pages where Mondo the Magician resides, and if Mondo catches them then they'll all be turned into fuzzy green fruit. But enough of what Kimberly called Tommy's balls in Season 1.

Mondo the Magician is certainly on this page but something about him looks a little off. Maybe he's a horrifying, otherworldly creature that I can't fathom. Maybe his mystical powers have turned him into an Eldritch abomination the likes of which our universe rejects. Or maybe they shittily rotoscoped him into the scene from Japanese footage.

Like most magicians, Mondo is an iron-faced Asian actor in a BDSM outfit.

Lord Zedd realizes his dumbass toy-stealing plan has failed, and demands that Goldar get inside that storybook this instant. I guess he wants another plan to fail while he's already got a check in the L column today. Rita says that she's got a much better idea than using a gold-plated gorilla to fight a Christmas elf. She'll use her magic to unleash Mondo the Magician on downtown Angel Grove. Because we already killed off that Turkeyjerk clown so what other choice do we have to pad out this episode?

Grumble and the teens make it to the orphan village where the children finally get their toys. One kid in the back pouts at the wooden boat he got as he claims, "I didn't get the parents I wanted." A little girl kisses Grumble on the cheek to thank him, and I guess that breaks the spell over him because he starts talking about how happy it makes him to see the children happy. The Ranger Teens blandly state the moral of the story about how important it is to make people happy, and Grumble joins in to follow up. "Now you get the moral of the story? Then get out of my book."

Alright I'll admit it. I'm going to miss Grumble.

The Ranger Teens depart from the storybook and land back inside of the Command Center. Unfortunately for them, they got back at the same time that Rita and Zedd escorted Mondo out of the storybook! Now the evil magician is making a ruckus in downtown Angel Grove! The Rangers better be careful though. I heard that Mondo has the power of a rhino, a wolf, AND a crocodile to fight anyone who gets in his way.

The Rangers morph and summon their Zords, since there's no usable footage of Mondo the Magician fighting at ground-level they can burn through. Tommy and company summon their Thunderzord fleet to battle the storybook leather daddy wizard. At least that's what the show tells you is going to happen, because it's yet another awful splice-battle where the fighters will never make contact with one another.

I can't wait for this fucking season to be over.

There's seriously nothing to talk about during this horrible Zord battle. It's even shittier than all the rest of the splice battles. It feels so lazy and phoned-in. At least when one of the Zyu2 monsters got killed there was a solid explosion. When Mondo gets killed (by the Thunder Saber OF GODDAMN COURSE), we have to see this dreck.

Mondo the Magician
He was so strong he needed two slashes to beat!

So now that all 7 unrelated plotlines have been wrapped up, the Ranger Teens find themselves back in the book fair cleaning up all of the decorations. Ms. Applebee informs our heroes that the book fair is a big hit, and now poverty has been stricken from South Korea forever or whatever charitable thing they were trying to do this week.

Bulk and Skull barge into the hallway and donate the books they purchased from the book fair back to Applebee. Obviously to rid themselves of the grief of losing their only son. Kimberly consoles them by offering up her copy of "Grumble the Magic Elf" so that the boys can learn how to read with something a bit less complicated. Then Skull opens the book and Grumble waves at them and they get spooked.

The boys look into his cold, dead, heartless eyes. He beckons them to join him in his endless holiday hellscape. If they enter the book, they'll never have to leave. They can finally find peace in the empty abyss of a storybook. You can find peace without your son. I promise.




Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Separating the Men From the Turkeys




Personal Thoughts


Honestly, I probably wouldn't have minded this episode if it simply happened a couple months ago. Season 2 of Power Rangers has me so fucking burned out that I don't even know what to say. This episode is some gloriously insane nonsense that only this show could provide. I'm not saying that makes it good, but at least it isn't so abysmally boring that I want to rip out my eyeballs during it. It isn't some shitty clipshow disguised as an episode about the Rangers being on T.V. It's ridiculous, but it feels like too little too late. I mean there are only 3 more episodes to this season, and there's no way in hell they're going to redeem all the shit we've had to slog through.

As it stands, this one isn't terrible. You got Doug Sloan writing it, and he actually has some pretty good episodes under his belt. By no means did this thing need to be two parts, nor did we need some turkey thing to show up in an episode about a fantasy fairy tale or something, but I get why these pieces were here. You need to make a certain number of episodes, and a plot about a grouchy elf story isn't going to fill up 40 minutes of material.

Turkeyjerk is worth mentioning again, because there's a bit more to him than meets the eye. Just like Snow Monster and Grumble, Turkeyjerk is a redesigned version of another monster from long ago. Chunky Chicken. His big, fat, awkward body was given a big metallic shell and a potato sack to cover the weird chicken gills he had. Then his face had the fur shaved off it and got repainted light brown. People used to speculate that the shell encasing him was made from Pudgy Pig, but it looks more like various pieces of shitty looking plastic superglued to him. Which looks absolutely nothing like a Power Rangers monster of course.


I forgot who uploaded this on Rangerboard, but thank you!

I kind of appreciate the balls it took this show to hatchet up three old monster suits for the sake of these episodes. It's not like we needed a Snow Monster in that avalanche scene, and it's not like Turkeyjerk added anything to this episode either. They had some moldy rubber suits and said "To hell with it, let's make something stupid and weird out of these."

I'm a bit curious why they felt the need to add in Mondo the Magician though. For as stupid as he was, couldn't they have made a Zord battle with Turkeyjerk? They've got the Tigerzord and Thunder Megazord costumes. Why not do something with them already? It couldn't have been any worse than the trainwreck that was the Mondo the Magician battle.

Here we go now. The elephant in the room. Mondo the Magician. Why is there a Japanese man with a metal face in this episode? Quite simple really. He's the primary villain from Gosei Sentai Dairanger, Shadam. Shadam was usually just a Japanese man wearing a leather coat, but he would sometimes morph his face into steel for no adequately-explained reason. Since Power Rangers was so obviously getting desperate for Zord battle footage, they bit the bullet and used Shadam's brief bit of giant footage for a new Megazord fight. 

The reason that this was a splice-fight was actually rather dumb. In Power Rangers, the Thunder Megazord and White Tigerzord took him on. In Dairanger, it was the Red Dragon Thunderzord who battled him solo. Why not put Adam or Aisha in the book instead of Rocky, and then when Mondo grows giant you can have Rocky fight on his own because the other Zords aren't enough to damage him. There was plenty of usable footage and they chucked it in the trash so they could shoehorn in the Thunder Megazord. Then we have to finish the fight with another horribly tedious Thunder Saber slash. If I never see them use that piece of shit again it will be too soon.






7 comments:

  1. Here's another bit of trivia: the Snow Monster, along with Stag Beetle, Eye Guy and a couple of Beetleborgs monsters made a cameo in National Lampoon's Men in White.

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    1. I tried watching that movie as a kid and holy fucking lord is it...yuck. The best thing about it was the Power Rangers costumes. And that's saying something.

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    2. Also, there was a cameo from the Blue Space Ranger and one of the main characters was the Blue Aquitar Ranger.

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  2. A few years to either side of this episode airing, there was a short-lived post-apocalyptic sitcom called "Woops!", set after a nuclear accident wipes out everyone on earth except for the regulars (and Santa, who guest stars in the christmas special). I bring it up because there's an episode where they find the last surviving turkey and decide to fatten it up for thanksgiving. Only the feed corn is irradiated and the turkey grows to kaiju-size. But just when they think all hope is lost, they're saved because it starts raining. And turkeys being very stupid, the giant turkey looks up with its mouth open and promptly drowns.

    I'm just saying: I think we could redeem this episode if the final battle had been Turkeyjerk being defeated by rain.

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    Replies
    1. I'd be on board, but only if Bulk and or Skull followed suit.

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    2. (That is also the punchline of the sitcom. After the turkey dies, they have to rescue their Dumb Guy who is also near-drowning)

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  3. I say the ideal solution would be to learn how to splice in a Mega Tigerzord finisher, because we definitely don't get to see that enough, and how hard could it be to animate a line of bird-flame across the target?

    ReplyDelete