Saturday, September 17, 2016

MMPR Season 3 Episode 2: A Friend in Need Part 2


Bulk and Skull Become Sick of Own Subplot
Grasshopper Suplexes Obese Gremlin
















Last week on Power Rangers, Saban licensed another Japanese property and didn't have enough faith in it standing on its own. That's when he remembered he had another dumbass children's karate show he could use to shill his toy racketeering. That show with the kid who goes "hut-seat-ooyah" all the time. What's it called? Tommy Karate and the Beat-Em-Up Bunch? Yeah that sounds right, put that new cricket show we bought on there, they'll eat it up.

Back on planet Edenoi, Count Dregon's evil Spiderbase continues to fire laser beams at the Power Rangers as well as the Masked Rider. Dex leads his newfound Earthling friends into a nearby cave where Dregon's armory won't be able to attack them. Once inside the cave, Dex undoes his Masked Rider transformation and reverts back to his Edenoite form. Billy balks at the fact that Dex looks to be a humanoid, and becomes depressed he isn't going to make friends with another hideous, kabuki-faced abomination.

Get your Steve from Blue's Clues-lookin' ass outta here

Dex tells the tale of how he became the Masked Rider, and was blessed with the power to combat evil and injustice. So long as his show proves profitable. His powers were bestowed upon him by his grandfather, the great King Lexian. So whenever this dude wasn't making spastic slave robots, he was giving his progeny magical bug powers? MY GRANDSON! THE FRUIT OF MY LOINS' LOINS! I BESTOW UPON YOU A SKINTIGHT SUIT AND THE ABILITY TO RUB YOUR THIGHS TOGETHER TO MAKE MUSIC.

Dex informs everyone that they can undo their transformation, since the cave is far enough away from the toxic atmosphere that is plaguing Edenoi. Oh is that how atmospheres work? If toxins erode the environment, then you need to get a few feet away and you'll be fine. Just like when a dead skunk is on the side of the road. Make sure to remember, if the Ozone Layer is ever depleted you can drive down a mile or two and be completely healthy. Cram that slideshow up your cramhole Al Bore!

Dex asks the Rangers to reveal their identities' and promises that he will not betray their secret. Well I'd sure hope you wouldn't, considering you just blew your cover too bug-boy. Even if these guys aren't working for Dregon, how do you know they aren't working for Edenoi's branch of TMZ? Maybe they're trying to get a hot scoop on the true identity of that fancy Masked Rider everyone is talking about.

The Rangers trust Prince Dex and remove their helmets. Hey that's cool that you can trust him with your identities', but maybe don't be quite as quick to get rid of your magical spandex on an alien planet. Dex mentions that the atmosphere on Edenoi is similar to Earth's, which is a whole bunch of "Yeah, sure, whatever" handwaving that Power Rangers has become incredibly good at. Then again what do I know? I don't fight planetary injustice dressed as a roach.

The other Edenoites remove their gas masks and Dex introduces them by name. Santiago, Impy, and Chimpy. What's that? They have real names? They sure do, but I'll be fucked if I'm going to turn on closed captioning to find out how many Q's are supposed to be in the name Donais. Try becoming actual characters next time and maybe I'll care.

The Edenoites ask what these crystal-less freaks are doing on their planet, and the Rangers sound off to explain this week's plot. Alpha 5 was being a total baby about his planet getting decimated by space Nazis so he sent his teenage marauders to go check out the situation. Tommy concludes this with some of the absolute worst line pacing I've heard from this half-baked show.

"And what are those…






crystals on your foreheads?"



Nice of Power Rangers to insert a piss break in-between Tommy's lines. I'm convinced that whoever edited this show secretly hated Jason David Frank.

Dex explains that his mind crystal allows him to communicate thoughts and images. They also act as an easy method for a cheap children's show to communicate the fact that their main character is supposed to be an alien. Dex' mind crystal creates an energy projection that resembles a T.V. screen on the cave's wall, as Dex narrates over his Japanese footage memories.

Dex explains that Edenoi used to be a prosperous planet that emphasized peace above all else. One day, Count Dregon's forces invaded and completely buttfucked the whole planet. When the Rangers ask how that could have happened, Dex tells them that Edenoi was a planet filled with pacifists. You hear that children? Peace is an unattainable goal. The only true path in life is to be prepared to murder the countless invaders who seek to harm you every waking minute. Existence is a cosmic joke, and you're the punchline.

WATCH MASKED RIDER, COMING THIS FALL!

Dex turns off his mind crystal's projection and turns back around to face the Rangers. After a commercial break, Billy asks him how he came to become the Masked Rider. Dex takes a beat, turns back around, and fires up his mind crystal again. I don't know if it's just me, but I laughed at that scene. Really hard. It's really awkwardly shot and looks so ridiculous. Like Dex was so close to saying, "Seriously Billy? I just turned this fucking thing off….alright fine. Let me get it running again. Jesus." I'm sure this wasn't supposed to look so stupid when there was an actual commercial break involved, but on DVD, it became a lovely mess.

Dex explains that the Masked Rider powers were given to him by his grandfather, King Lexian, when Count Dregon invaded the planet. Now Count Dregon seeks to control the Masked Rider powers for himself, and presumably become unstoppable or whatever. I appreciate the brass-balled tenacity of this show to literally show children a pitch meeting for its upcoming show. I hope Dex also informs us of the most likely times his adventures will be shown to us here in eastern/standard time.

So Dex is an intergalactic outlaw that fights against the forces of evil trying to destroy his home planet of Edenoi. He battles nefarious villains who have his entire race completely overwhelmed. Dex is a lone soldier who seeks to eradicate the forces of evil for what they've done to his homeworld and provide justice for the entire Edenoite race.

Yawn. Let's get an awkwardly interracial family and a simpering brain-dead Furby in there. That's what the audiences want.

Back on Earth, Alpha 5 gets in contact with the bed-ridden Kimberly. He asks if she's still feeling miserably sick, and she tells the cyborg to leave her alone for two goddamn seconds while she's trying to sleep. Oh wow, Tommy's in space this week? My throat feels like I've been gargling razor blades Alpha, stop calling me.

You know what this episode has been missing? No, not a reasonable budget. Bulk and Skull! Thank God we're making up for their complete absence in last week's episode with some of their wacky hijinx today. Well get hyped, because what we're about to see is Farkus J. Bulkmeier attempt to hit on some women. Watch closely kids, you're about to see a master at work.

 The Perfect Human Specimen

The very second that the girls look at Bulk embarrassing himself, he realizes how humiliating his existence is and sits at a table with Skull. It's beautiful. They look at him. He looks uncomfortable. He turns away from the babes. No words are exchanged, Bulk is a buffoon. Roll credits. What more could I ask for?

When Bulk asks Skull what he thinks about these girls, Skull responds with a distinctly creepy "NICE!" Skull informs Bulk that the girls must be talking about his dashing good looks, but Bulk tells his unfuckable chimp of a friend that the nameless women are actually discussing the Power Rangers. Bulk says he has another brilliant scheme, and I pull out a revolver. Ready to end it before I have to hear another utterly ludicrous plan to figure out who the Rangers are that will bore me to tears.

Then, a choir of angels sing. I hear the most glorious words from the most unlikely of sources. Eugene Skullovitch himself.

"STOP! No way! I'm not going looking for those Power Rangers again, I've had it up to here!"

You beautiful man. You absolutely precious crown jewel. Thank you. We're finally past all this Ranger identity nonsense. I was so tired. My 40 years in the desert are finally over. Skull you magnificent bastard, you've saved my life. Now if only you were fatter and fell down more I might care about you.

Bulk agrees that their Season 2 schemes are old hat, but they don't need to find the Power Rangers in order to get laid. All they need to do is be the Power Rangers. Skull sneers and proclaims his pal Bulk is a genius, and it feels like someone has rested my head upon the finest of pillows. Bulk and Skull are coming up with ridiculously stupid plans that will end in their humiliation? The plans will vary and won't rely on the same tedious plot? What an utter blessing to behold. Season 3, you've got me in your corner.

Bulk and Skull aren't the only ones plotting today. Lord Zedd is wandering around his chambers for no particular reason, all to set up this relatively amusing sight gag. Nothing else important happens in this scene, but I wanted to .gif this moment so whatever.

Directed by Mel Brooks

On planet Edenoi, Aisha mentions that Alpha 5 is still complaining about this Lexian guy, and asks Dex if this old fogey is dead yet or what. Dex proudly asserts that his grandfather is planning a rebellion against Dregon somewhere on Edenoi, and probably building even more expendable robo-slaves in the fight against evil.

Back at the Youth Center, Bulk and Skull talk up the Power Rangers within earshot of those two bodacious babes. The girls listen closely as Skull blatantly makes up a bunch of shit about reliable sources confirming that the Power Rangers meet up at "Fuck Mountain" every Thursday after school. The girls get excited, because they aren't actual characters and can't have realistic reactions to things. They exist to get pawed at by Bulk and Skull, and if they read the fine print on their contracts they would have known that. Sorry ladies!

Things might be looking up for Bulk and Skull, but there's a lot more danger on planet Edenoi. The Plague Sentry commands his villainous Cogwarts to investigate the cave and draw Dex out. While Plague Sentry is a pretty cool villain, the Cogwarts are anything but.

Did someone get Gizmo wet again?

The snarling Cogwarts giggle amongst each other as they stand idly by in Japanese footage, waiting for Masked Rider to show up so they can do something. I mentioned last week that there was a scene of Dregon's Spiderbase firing that got used no less than 83 times. This week, we get a similar scenario where footage of each of the Cogwarts growling is used every single time the monsters are mentioned. It's ridiculous.

Oh yeah, and there are some other monsters here too. Remember that Plague Sentry guy I've mentioned twice? The one who doesn't matter because he only exists in Kamen Rider footage? Well he has a squadron of his own to sic on the Power Rangers. An armored group of horse-riding villains known as the Plague Patrol!

Are a lot of Count Dregon's men nothing but Asian men in plastic armor?

Someone forgot to shave their arm this morning.

Sir, the Hellraiser movies are filming across the street.

Um...I guess these guys are okay...s'pose. But no need to cry. No matter how mundane these monsters are, I know that Finster had a monster cooking in his oven last week. We're going to see one evil son of a bitch this week, I can feel it!

Dex tells his newfound friends that he'll be happy to kill those gremlins, but he'll need some assistance in beating down those cheap-looking vikings. The Rangers offer to finish off the Plague Patrol, and Dex breathes a sigh of relief. He convinced the Rangers to fight the real threat while he gave himself the easy job of fighting those hideous frog mogwais.

The Power Rangers re-equip their helmets and accompany Dex as he exits the cave. The Cogwarts gibber around whilst off-camera and we pretend that they matter, and the Plague Patrol promise that they're going to do something interesting soon. Dex tells the Plague Patrol that his new friends prove that Dregon's evil won't last forever. Jesus Dex, just because they told you who they are doesn't mean they want to get involved in your civil war. Earth has its own problems you cricket-faced creep. Keep us out of your blood feud.

Once again, Dex transforms into the Masked Rider and poses with the Power Rangers. It looks really cool, and leads the audience to believe that maybe this Masked Rider show could be good. It's insane that a premise that seemed as strong as this could be cocked up so badly. Though when you see Masked Rider battling with the Cogwarts, it might illustrate that this show wasn't bulletproof.

MAH GAWD THEY GOT PRINCE DEX DOWN, THEY'RE STOMPIN A MUDHOLE AND HE'S WALKIN IT DRY

While Masked Rider battles with the Cogwarts, the Power Rangers battle the Plague Patrol triumvirate. Tommy takes on the Asian one by himself (natch), while Rocky fights Pinhead, and Billy, Aisha, and Adam battle the Patroller with the furry arm. The action isn't bad, but I'd enjoy it a lot more if it wasn't behind some hideous orange filter. It also doesn't help that all of the Ranger's fight dialogue is even cornier than usual. Billy battles against Ol' Robin Williams-Arm and tells him "You could use a breath mint!" How do you know that? He's wearing a mask for christ's sakes. Billy, would you shut the fuck up?

Masked Rider uses his patented Rider Kick to land a critical blow on one of the Cogwarts, but the creatures keep giggling and dancing around him. All they do is toss Dex around like a doll and then gibber. Somebody let Count Dregon know that his hookup sold him a bad batch of Cogwart eggs because these clowns aren't doing a damn thing.

Though the Rangers are battling valiantly against Dregon's forces, Alpha 5 is beginning to worry about his human friends. The Rangers haven't gotten in contact with them ever since they reached Edenoi, and now Alpha is in a tizzy. Didn't Billy install some new microchip inside the Communicators that would make it possible to contact Zordon while on Edenoi? Wasn't that something that last week's episode elaborated on for some reason? Could this show make up its mind when it's going to stick to established plot points, or is it going to keep wasting my time with half-baked hoopla?

At Zedd's Chateau, Rita demands that Finster bring out his new monster this instant. Yeah, I agree. I think the viewers are getting sick of watching Masked Rider wrestle with those pig-frogs. Finster shuffles out and introduces his newest creature to Lord Zedd. I introduce you to the loathsome Repellator!

Behold! A monster that can suck its own dick!

Hey you're not fooling me! That's Silverhorns! You just painted him green and gave him a big stupid fruit roll-up tongue. That's what I was waiting a week for? This mucus green goober? Goddamnit. Power Rangers, your laziness has fucked me yet again.

Repellator immediately displays his absolutely atrocious character traits. The first is that he is constantly slobbering and making disgusting sloppy noises out of his disgusting green mouth. The second trait is that he says shit like "I'm so displeased to meet you!" On second thought, maybe we could go check out what those Cogwarts are up to. They seemed pretty badass!

Repellator is sent to Earth, and Alpha 5 flies into a panic. Zordon tells Alpha to get in contact with the Rangers on Edenoi, but those chips that Billy programmed don't work for beans. Now how are the Rangers supposed to fight that drooling green asshole? What if he…I unno. Licks somebody? Truly terrifying.

Zordon comes to the conclusion that they only have one option to combat the monster. One bed-ridden, vomiting, cold-sweat covered option. Alpha buzzes Kimberly while she chugs bottles of Nyquil to inform her that she needs to go fight a big green tick with a comically-sized tongue. Sorry about your pneumonia Kimberly, but Tommy and the gang are fighting  some space-dweebs with spikes through their faces. You're going to have to bail us out this week. What's that? Aisha got Lyme Disease? Well Billy is studying, Adam's taking a nap, Rocky has ceased to exist, and Kim and Tommy are at Planned Parenthood. Better get in gear Aisha, that weasel with sickles for hands and a jetpack isn't going to fight itself!

After getting Alpha's message, Kim begrudgingly accepts the offer to fight Repellator on behalf of her team, and morphs to the scene of the crime. Repellator slobbers around before he notices the Pink Ranger ready to fight him. Kim attempts to threaten the monster, but fails to look intimidating when she sneezes mid-threat. Maybe this situation could have been resolved if Zordon would offer the Ranger Teens some morphenomenal health insurance (Not valid in the continental United States.)

Kimberly and Repellator duke it out on a tiny beach, and Kimberly is unable to contain her violent sneezing. She even sneezes "all over" Repellator, which might make a lot more sense if she wasn't wearing a magical Pterodactyl helmet that should prevent the spread of any and all boogers. Repellator becomes disgusted that this hideous wo-man dared to do something as disgusting as sneeze in his direction. You're one to talk you drooling, mush-mouthed, repainted pecker. You've got a tongue too fat for your mouth and you can't go two seconds without slurping out some disgusting line about how gross you are.

Repellator grabs Kimberly with his claws and uses some weird molecular scrambling attack on her. What does that mean? I don't know. The episode's over. But what's going to happen next time?! How's Kimberly supposed to survive? Is it possible for the Rangers to give the Repellator his licks?

You see because Repellator ha




TO BE CONTINUED



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Mind Crystals




Personal Thoughts



Even if I sounded a little pissy about this episode, I wouldn't say it was terrible. The team-up between Dex and the Rangers is cute, but it's really missing some oomph. The fact that Dex is off fighting one set of monsters while the Rangers fight another feels less engaging than an honest to goodness collaboration between the two teams. The real problem of this episode is how disjointed everything feels. We spend so much time in the cave with Dex reading from the series bible of Masked Rider, then the Plague Patrol have to be introduced with next to no introduction. They show up on horses, that's cool. Then they have incredibly generic lines and the Rangers taunt them with some horrendously vanilla insults. You can always tell when the writers of an episode gave up on the fight dialogue when the Rangers resort to calling a monster "ugly" or saying it has bad breath. Might as well call them a boogerbrain next you bunch of Kindergarteners.

The Plague Patrol have one thing that's distinct about them. They're all compiled of hacked-together pieces of monster costumes from Zyuranger, Dairanger, and Kakuranger. I'd explain these further in-depth, but some good people over at the Henshingrid blog have already done it for me. I'm going to callously use the images that they made to illustrate the point, but check out the article they wrote on reused monster costumes. Or don't. I'm not your mother.


The first Plague Patroller here has several pieces of armor from the character Iron Face Choryou from Dairanger. It's probably no surprise why we never saw him in Season 2 what with him being a Japanese man in knight garb. It's kind of surprising his costume ended up stateside for Power Rangers, but at least the U.S. crew got some use out of it. The buzzsaw on Plague Patroller #1's hand comes from a monster named Erik the Barbaric, who we'll see much later in Season 3. We never see him in American footage, but his costume clearly made it over, or else his saw hand couldn't be part of this suit. Savvy?


The Plague Patroller with the furry arm has a bit more going on. His armor, boots, and codpiece are all taken from armor worn by the Dairanger mentor, Master Kaku. Another odd prop to expect Japan to ship over, but oh well! He also has a decorative necklace from Gnarly Gnome's chest, a monster that was previously pilfered to create Grumble the Magic Elf. The final piece is his namesake, the furry arm, which comes from Kakuranger's Kamaitaichi monster. A creature that won't appear in Season 3 of Power Rangers, especially not after they cut his hands off.


On to the worst looking member of the Plague Patrol, who has one of the most interesting pieces to his design. First and foremost, he has pieces of fur from the Kakuranger monster Bakeneko adorning his legs, as well one of her claws. Bakeneko won't be used in Season 3 of Power Rangers, possibly because she has giant fucking cat titties. More important than that though, is the piece of Scorpina's tail braid on his head! I never would have guessed Saban had the Scorpina monster costume, considering we never saw any original footage of it, but maybe it was in really bad shape and they decided to scrap it for spare parts.

The one final thing I wanted to say about this costume is his blade arm. I haven't seen anyone else mention it before, but I'm nearly positive that his weapon comes from Kamaitaichi's other arm. The one that didn't go to Plague Patrol #2. Take a look and judge for yourself.



Sorry, that was probably a whole lot of "who cares" about three jokers who barely even qualify as characters. But it was an excuse to bust out my Kakuranger DVD's, so fuck it. If talking about recycled monster suits is a sin, then you're talking to the devil himself.

Speaking of reused monster costumes, what's the deal with Repellator? Did they really need to redecorate the costume for Silverhorns? They could have said that Zedd was going to revive Silverhorns or something. I know Repellator is supposed to be a "new" monster, but Silverhorns was plastered all over merchandise. He was even a playable character in the fighting game on SNES. I feel like this Repellator thing was a really odd choice. Why would they waste the time putting such minimal effort into redecorating a Season 2 monster and pretending it's something completely new?

Just cut that stupid tongue off. That's all I'm asking.









2 comments:

  1. "Try becoming actual characters next time and maybe I'll care."

    Well, one of them went on to play Nobu in Daredevil, so...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, yes, Nobu, the least interesting out of the 73 major villain characters on Daredevil (yes, I know the actual number is more like 10). I breathed a huge sigh of relief when Stick cut his head off, not because it ended the threat to the characters, but because it ended the threat that we'd have to see him again in season 3.

      Delete