Monday, June 5, 2017

MMPR Season 3 Episode 20: Changing of the Zords Part 2



Monster Reminds Audience That it Has Teeth For 20 Minutes
Zordon Cashes in on Ranger Life Insurance Policy














Last week on Power Rangers, Finster located a pack of ancient Zords that he planned to put under Zedd's control. In order to activate them, a plan was formed to take control of Ninjor and one of the Ninjazords. Katherine stole Kimberly's Power Coin in order to gain access to Tommy's Falconzord, which left the Pink Ranger critically ill. A giant-sized Goldar showed up, prompting Ninjor and Tommy to enter the fray. Before the heroes could rip Goldar to shreds, Katherine took over the Falconzord, and Ninjor was defeated by the golden goon. Now, both Ninjor and the Falconzord have been drawn into Zedd's clutches.

Inside of the Command Center, Billy scans Kimberly's comatose body. Tommy asks how she's doing, and Billy kicks him in the dick and responds, "I don't know boss, how are Ninjor and the Falconzord? Oh that's right, we lost both of them because you were too busy jerking off inside of the cockpit. You're telling me you couldn't beat goddamn GOLDAR with a giant ninja master backing you up? I don't know how your girlfriend is, but I'll tell you how we'll be if a giant monster shows up. Fucked!"

And also, Kim is in a deep sleep without her Power Coin.

Alpha 5 says "ay-yi-yi" a couple times while he wonders what they can do for poor Kimberly. Maybe they could get her a locker to keep her shit in instead of leaving it out in the open for cat monsters to snatch it. Maybe they could try keeping the Power Coins inside the Command Center. Kimberly can't even keep her parents together, how do you expect her to hold onto a coin?

Tommy pouts about how scared he is of losing Kimberly, because he finally found someone who knew the best place to scratch his belly. Zordon suggests that he and Alpha could find some sort of energy source to temporarily supplant Kimberly's Power Coin. Oh is that how this works? One of your Rangers' is on the fritz, so you head down to Home Depot to pick up a couple spark plugs and BAM! Pinkie is back up and running.

Adam and Rocky question how they can get their Zords up and running, though I'm almost positive that Ninjor's kidnapping should be cutting off their access to the Ninjazords. Zordon mentioned how crucial it was that Ninjor stay safe back when the Rangers first got the Ninjazords. Is that one of those lines that we're supposed to forget about? Sorry about that Power Rangers, you've met your match! Some loser with too much time on his hands that vaguely remembers some of the plot points of your cobbled-together show.

Zedd and Rita gloat that their plan is gaining traction, and soon the Rangers will be Zord-driving slaves for the Moon Crew. When Rita remarks that she can smell victory, Goldar asks if maybe that stench is really Rito. Rito responds by saying he can't smell that bad, because he took a shower last month.

Now obviously this is supposed to be a real hilarious joke, but Rito's a fucking skeleton man. Why would you expect him to bathe regularly? He could leave himself out in the desert and let vultures pick him clean. Sorry, Goldar. Not all of us can smell like dead cats and Lord Zedd's ass.

Squatt Goldar Rito Power Rangers
How are you smelling those without a nose, dick?

Zedd continues to prattle on about how they're going to have the ancient Zords up and running in no time, and all they'll need are six pilots to board them. Which is something that won't make sense when we see next week's episode, but let's ignore that for right now.

Rito mentions that Zedd needs pilots for the Zords just like the Power Rangers do, and Zedd says that's a particularly brilliant idea. Yes, I agree. I found it equally brilliant when you mentioned it about 40 seconds ago, Zedd. This scene started out with Zedd and Rita talking about having the Rangers under their thumb, then we get the characters forget what the fuck they were talking about midway through the same scene. Either this episode was desperately looking for ways to pad out time, or...nope. There's no other option. They needed to fill up another minute.

Later that afternoon, the Ranger Teens try and relax inside of the Youth Center. Tommy hammers away on a speedbag in an attempt to satisfy his limitless rage issues. Forgetting that he's in public and supposed to conceal his secret identity, Tommy growls that he wishes he could get his hands on Lord Zedd just once. Adam and Rocky note how out of character Tommy is acting, and tell him to calm the shit down.

Tommy says he's upset because of how much he relates to Kim's suffering. He recounts when Zedd stripped him of his powers and how painful it was for him. Which is a lot like Kim's current situation, except she's fucking dying. Tommy is the absolute worst human being in the universe. "Man, I'm sorry you have Power Cancer, Kim. It's almost as bad as the time I couldn't blow on a dagger and make a dragon come out of the water anymore. But it's okay! I got to come back on a big tiger. Vrrrrrrooooom! It moved fast like that!"

As soon as Tommy ponders how Zedd managed to steal her Power Coin, Katherine nonchalantly walks in and says hello. Subtlety, thy name is Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Kat asks if anyone's seen Kim lately, since they were supposed to meet up for a totally real lunch. Adam says that Kim is busy, and Kat brushes this off by asking if anyone else is free for lunch. She stares daggers at Tommy while gesturing towards her breasts and says, "Eh? Eh?" Tommy declines, as he has to spend time with his stupid unconscious girlfriend all afternoon.

Kat responds to this blow-off with a saccharine, "Well, I hope Kim shows up!" A line that really hits home. Katherine knows how responsible she is for Kim's condition, she knows things are bad for the Ranger Teens, and she knows they don't have a clue how evil she is. Catherine Sutherland sells this moment well, because you can tell she's a genuinely nice gal in real life, but makes you utterly despise her put-on niceties in this scene. I love it.

Rita asks Zedd how he plans to get the Rangers to become their slaves, and really she should know the answer by now. What do the villains of this show do whenever they have some mundane task to be fulfilled? They throw monsters at it until it's finished. Zedd whips up some lightning from his staff as he creates the vicious Incisorator.

What are you smiling about, ugly?

The dual-headed monster introduces himself to a pair of Earthlings and asks if they would care to join him for "a little bite." Now mark that one down, everyone. Time for us to count every goddamned tooth joke this monster belches out of its gaping maws.

After the two civilians run screaming in terror from this freaky creature, Incisorator proposes that he should find some other people to torment. This line isn't worth mentioning whatsoever, but it's the delivery that merits discussion.

Incisorator's line is "I'll just have to find some other victims. I mean guests." That line should be spoken as though the monster is feigning ignorance of its own malevolent nature. Instead, it sounds as if Incisorator was reading his lines and forgot to pause between sentences. He turns a period into a comma. It's the weirdest goddamned line reading. If you are reading this, please watch the episode and tell me I'm not imagining things. Or tell me I'm out of my bloody gourd.

Sorry, where were we? Oh right, that tooth monster is yelling at people in the park. Alpha gets in contact with the conscious Ranger Teens to warn them of Zedd's new creature. The teens morph and show up to prevent Incisorator from finding any more victims comma I mean guests.

The powerful monster manages to tackle all five of the Rangers by himself, armed only with a scepter and a bevy of awful tooth-related puns. Chomping at the bit, chew the fat, chew you up and spit you out, to tell the tooth. This cockchewer talks like he's a poster at the dentist's office. Get outta here you frog-faced fuck.

The Rangers fail to defend against Incisorator's onslaught, and even the mighty Tommy is sent flying by the creature's attacks. Incisorator doesn't have too many amazing moves, he just flings his cape around to disorient the Rangers before bashing them with his staff. You would think a monster that can't shut up about teeth might try biting the Rangers, but nope. The show couldn't think up enough cape puns to call this guy "Cape Fear", or something equally heinous.

Zedd and Rita's plot continues to unfold, as the moon sorcerers have Katherine act as a decoy to lure out Kimberly. From where? Her fuckin' hospital bed? This scheme would make absolutely zero sense if we didn't immediately cut back to the Command Center to find Kimberly waking up from her Power Coma. Phew! That was convenient. How else would we eat up another five minutes of this episode if we didn't add another contingent to this ancient Zord project?

Kimberly awakens to footage on the Viewing Globe of Katherine being attacked by Tengas. Kim exclaims that she needs to help her new best friend, but Zordon refuses to let her go anywhere. She's about 10 minutes from falling over dead, and Zordon's not going to let it happen in the heat of battle. If she dies inside the Command Center, they can write it off as an unrelated accident and HR won't be snooping around their books.

"ALPHA 5, REMEMBER TO TELL CAROL DOWN THE HALL THAT KIMBERLY WAS PRONE TO FITS OF SPONTANEOUS DEATH, AND THAT HER TRAGIC PASSING WAS A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION."

Kim refuses to let Katherine get mauled by a bunch of parrots, so she denies Zordon's request to stay in the Command Center. He asks if she understands the risk of her decision, and the half-dead Pink Ranger mutters out something that sort of sounds like a yes, so away she goes!

"YOU HEARD HER ALPHA 5, SHE CONSENTED TO THIS DECISION. SHE'S AWARE OF HER DECISION AND COMPLETELY LIABLE FOR WHATEVER HAPPENS. I TRIED TO STOP HER, YOU SAW ME DO IT!"

Kim ninja morphs to Kat's location and demands that the Tengas release her. Or else what? You'll swing at them and fall over dead? Whatever, I'm sure Typhoid Kimberly will save the day.

While the Rangers are busy in the throes of battle, our favorite bumbling cops are getting their asses chewed by Lt. Stone. He tells the boys that he's sick and goddamned tired hearing their Boy Who Cried Wolf bullshit about running into monsters every week. Bulk tries to explain that he and Skull are contractually obligated to appear in every episode of this series, and the writers keep finding ways to tie them into whatever half-baked nonsense the Power Rangers are up to this week, but Lt. Stone doesn't buy it.

Stone says he's going to tag along with Bulk and Skull for the next 24 hours. Why? Because he wants to get some evidence of these monsters the boys allegedly keep encountering. I guess so he can prove these two idiots are lying about monsters so they don't have to spend their day accosting young minorities? I don't know. I'm not a cop.

Kimberly continues her fight against the Tengas, but her waning powers cause her to collapse on the battlefield. Now that Zedd's cronies have a half-deceased Power Ranger in their grasp, you would expect them to do something like cut off her head or throw her into the ocean like a sack of cats. Instead, the Tengas…clearly don't know how to handle a victory.

Kimberly Power Rangers Tengas
COME ON KIM WAKE UP, MOM'S GONNA BE HOME SOON

Hearing that a teenager just passed out, Goldar appears to scope out the scene. Kim's Ninja Ranger powers dissipate as she's left unconscious and unmorphed on the ground. Goldar claims her powerless corpse in the name of Lord Zedd, while Katherine hides in the bushes and sneers that Tommy will miss her once she's dead. Yeah right. If you asked Tommy who the three Rangers who went to go live in Switzerland to learn about peace, he'd stammer and drool down his chin until you started scratching his chin while talking about Bruce Lee.

Speaking of the dog wonder, he and his team are still losing against the Incisorator. The Rangers prepare for a counterattack, but this toad-lookin' creep vanishes from the fight for absolutely no good goddamned reason. The Rangers talk amongst themselves to find a reason why Zedd's monster would bolt while it's winning, but they're unable to find a concise answer. Maybe it's because they couldn't handle the tooth.

Why wasn't I born in the 90's? I can make insufferable puns for money along with the best of em!

The Rangers teleport back to the Command Center, only to discover that Zedd's monster was nothing more than a decoy. In case you hadn't been paying attention, Tommy recaps all the bad things that have happened to them this week. Zedd steals Kim's coin, kidnaps her and the Falconzord, and causes Ninjor to disappear. Not only that, but Kim was unable to attend a beautiful luncheon with Katherine, and missed out on the chance to feast on the finest milk saucers this side of Stone Canyon.

Alpha 5 alerts the Rangers that Zedd has begun siphoning power into the ancient Zords, which are now referred to as Shogunzords. Named as such because shogun is one of the four Japanese words that Americans might vaguely recognize without being offended by the oncoming Japanese menace. Ah, the 90's. When buying a foreign-made car was tantamount to treason.

Zedd and Rita discuss the, hopefully, final part of this inanely convoluted plan. Zedd has the captive Kimberly strapped to a giant, rotating piece of glass, that is draining her of all her energy. What energy are you on about Zedd? The girl fell over dead when some birds looked at her too hard. She went into spasms because you took her magic coin from her for 10 minutes. The only person siphoning anything from Kimberly is the grim reaper.

Usually this table only gets used when Zedd lays underneath it.

Back in Angel Grove Park, Lt. Stone hems and haws that he's spent all day with Bulk and Skull, and they've yet to see one GD monster. No squids covered in bondage gear, no dogs with red asscheeks, no nothing! Bulk and Skull plead with him not to doubt their blatant insanity, as they really do encounter spooky rubber-suited goblins on a daily basis. Especially when the episode is running short and the writers need to fill an extra minute.

Speaking of filling an extra minute, there's a really pointless scene where Katherine's cat form runs by and Skull picks her up to pet her. As soon as Skull puts her down, she runs into the bushes and turns back into a human. She smiles at Skull and flashes her evil cat eyes at him, leaving the young officer perplexed. It's a corny joke that really does nothing for the episode. The whole gag is that Bulk and Skull are looking for monsters, and then a monster shows up and they don't even know it!

We're supposed to believe that Rita and Zedd have this ironclad plot to destroy all of Angel Grove, and Katherine is a crucial piece of said plan. Then for no reason, she's off puttering around in the park with absolutely zero ulterior motive. No more than two minutes ago she saw Kimberly pecked to death by a pack of purple monster birds, but then she got sick of that and decided to take a little stroll as a kitten. I find the setup to this gag scene to be highly illogical, because I am a sociopathic robot who writes about children's television.

Back inside the Command Center, the Rangers try and solve the Kimberly situation. This proves unnecessary though, as the Viewing Globe flashes with an incoming transmission. From who you may ask? Very simple.

Lord Fucking Zedd.

That's right, the father of all evil is making a housecall in the Command Center. He tells the Rangers not to worry about a solution to their Kimberly problem, because he's got one for them. As I prepare my doctoral thesis on why Lord Zedd showing up in the Viewing Globe is a bunch of bunk, Adam asks how Zedd is able to show up like this. Billy responds to said lampshading by stating, "I don't know."

So instead of concocting an answer for why this series of events is happening, Power Rangers acknowledges that it's out of the ordinary, and summarily has its most intelligent character explain that he has no idea why this is happening. Call it lazy, hacky, shitty, or whatever you want, but for some reason I like it. Zedd didn't tap into some rangomatrix wavelength from the mabufula constellation to hack their shit. He did it, and even Billy is at a loss for words. Sometimes you don't need an explanation for scenes that work.

Zordon gives Zedd the business and demands that he release Kimberly this instant. Zedd tells his old rival to put a cork in it, because that bag of face goo isn't the one who should be making demands. Zedd fiercely demands access into the Command Center, so he can make his offer to the Power Rangers in person. Alpha 5 refuses this proposal, as the Command Center is no place for some latex-y devilman all decked out in metal bondage gear. Zedd puts the fuckboi android in his place by asking if he cares what happens to little Miss Kimberly.

Tommy says that the Ranger team doesn't have a choice, and they have to submit to Lord Zedd's commands. Zordon becomes somber as he agrees, and allows Alpha to beam Zedd into the chamber of command. As Alpha presses buttons on the console, everything begins to go haywire. The alarm shakes, a low rumbling sound plays underneath the music, and the Rangers all look panicked before...

BOOM! A huge, destructive, affordable explosion rocks the Command Center. When the Rangers look towards the source, all they can see is a massive throne with the letter Z emblazoned upon it.

Lord Zedd gif
Oh sweet merciful fuck.

Zedd jokes around with his captive audience when he asks his "old friends" if they're curious how his trip was. It's a corny joke, but I love Zedd's presence in this scene. He's got the Rangers eating out of the palm of his hand and he knows it. They have to put up with anything he does, or they risk Kimberly losing her life. So Zedd turns on the charm and acts like this meeting is completely amicable, knowing full well that the Ranger Teens utterly detest him. It's such a great goddamned scene.

Zordon tries to get Zedd to spit out his demands, but the evil overlord ignores him. Instead, Zedd turns his attention to the control panel and tells Alpha 5 he can come out from hiding now. Alpha slowly rises from behind the computer and states, "I don't like you…Ed." This statement sends Lord Zedd into an absolute terror as he realizes no matter how badass he may be in this scene, he's still become fate's chew toy.

But Zedd calms back down, he brushes off the dumbass robot that can't even bother to remember his name, and he stands from his throne. Zedd walks down the steps of his chair as he makes his offer to the Power Rangers: pilot his Shogunzords, or let the Pink Ranger perish inside of his dungeon. Zedd offers the Rangers a brief moment to make their decision, and the Rangers group together to let Tommy decide their destiny. You four are nothing but lemmings, you know that?

As time ticks down, Zedd asks the Rangers what their decision is. Just as the credits get ready to roll, all we can hear is Zedd cackling as the Rangers look on in despair. In the face of unspeakable horror, all hope has been lost. Their friend's life hangs in the balance, as does the fate of the entire galaxy, and all they can do is stare in forlorn misery.

Because Tommy took this moment to start licking himself.



TO BE CONTINUED




Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Bathing Your Skeleton Monthly



Personal Thoughts



A damn fine experience to be sure. For all the repetitive attempts at build-up, this episode managed to bring it all home with the scene of Zedd inside the Command Center. The fighting with Incisorator wasn't bad, Kim's heroic struggle to help Katherine was nice, and the danger looming over the Pink Ranger's impending death worked out well. Though at the end of the day, this whole episode lives and dies on Lord Zedd busting in on Zordon and his goons to rub their fucking noses in it. This whole episode is worth watching just because of Zedd's callous dickery. It's the coolest thing this guy's gotten to do in at least a season's worth of episodes.

Sadly for Zedd, he appears to have had some issues behind the scenes of Power Rangers. Perhaps he was hitting the bottle too hard, but his suit is clearly falling the fuck apart. I didn't even notice this until eagle-eyed reader "Pumpkin Rap God" pointed it out.

"One thing I'm surprised you didn't notice, as perceptive as you are and how you're seeing all kinds of things that I never did, is that Zedd's costume is falling the fuck away by this episode. His right shoulder is off-color and looks patched on, and in the "Grow Rito" scene (with the torn film) the bottom jaw that normally wiggles a bit when Ed Neil says whatever it is he says that gets dubbed over has completely come off. There's practically a second mouth flapping under the mask."

Well thanks to my dear Rap God, I couldn't help but notice this goddamn suit looking like trash all over the episode. I've seen it in a few other episodes, so I might make a habit of catching screenshots of whenever Zedd looks like total garbage, but here's an image of how bad he looks in this week's episode. Take a look at his decaying, brown shoulder.


Speaking of villain costumes, because what else do I ever talk about, Incisorator has a bit of story behind him as well. Incisorator doesn't technically come from Kakuranger footage, because his body is a hodge podge of three different monster costumes. The first is Nurarihyon from Kakuranger episode 1. This guy only showed up in a prologue to the series proper, and never had a fight with any morphed Rangers or Zords. Since his suit didn't have any usable action, they decided to decapitate him for Incisorator.

Nurarihyon incisorator

Incisorator's body came from another Kakuranger monster, one of the Shuten Douji brothers. We'll talk about them quite a bit later, but don't worry too much about his relevance for now.


The final piece of the puzzle is Incisorator's cape, which comes from the Dairanger monster Birdcage Vagabond.

Birdcage Vagabond Power Rangers

Mix a Spanish-speaking birdcage's cape with the body of an orange ogre and the head of a ninja, and you get the pretty respectable looking Incisorator! Or Fangenstein if you prefer.

Incisorator Power Rangers

Oh yeah, I should probably mention that. This monster was referred to as Fangenstein in the international audio, which means somewhere along the line his name was changed in post production. I think? I don't know. If anyone has a link to the Fangenstein version of this episode, I'd be curious to see it. Why did they bother changing his name? I couldn't even hazard a guess. Maybe they came up with Incisorator and thought that was a better pun? Who gives a shit?


9 comments:

  1. Great review as always, consider me a fan.

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    1. I'm honored Captain Gao. If you haven't already, hit up the back catalog and tell me if I've changed at all. If it's gotten worse over the years, please instead talk about some totally sick ranger monsters.

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    2. Oh, I will, but I had a question about your reviews actually. Do you plan on doing the whole of Power Rangers? Or just MMPR? And are you going to cover MMAR (Mighty Morphin' Alien Rangers)?

      Secondly, about totally sick ranger monsters... let's see. Lord Zedd and Rita themselves. Have you ever noticed how grossly personal they are in the lives of the teenagers in Angel Grove, that they know them by name? Watch them like a soap opera, know who their parents, family and friends are? Yet they only send down week by week monsters who they can apparently revive repeatedly after they are defeated.

      Honestly I think Zedd and Rita actually like the teenagers and are holding back on them. They totally had the rangers beat one time with their parents and never did it again. Then they always send their monsters to Angel Grove, yet they always attack abandoned districts and never EVER thing of going to other parts of the world.

      When Lord Zedd was introduced, I noticed this majorly when he's standing there, watching the teenagers converse in the juice bar. Then he captures them 'dooms them' lets them go, welcomes them back. Wants to make them his Zord Pilots, yet never actually engages in any real acts of destruction or terror.

      If I were Zedd and was serious, I'd make six monsters, have them attack New York (The Ninja Turtles don't have Zords.) When the power rangers show up, grow their Zords before they get into it so they can't control them and then have the monsters ambush their helpless asses.

      But Rita and Zedd aren't only G-Rated Villains, they are personal, have all the information even a two bit thug with a gun could ruin your life with and they do nothing. I personally have been wondering if Zedd and Rita enjoy their back and forth with the rangers, their 'dance' if you will.

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  2. So after Dairanger gave us monsters who think a single eye constitutes a complete face, Kakuranger gives us monsters with creepy extra faces in their faces, like that WHITE CAT yokai we never see

    I saw the "Fangenstein" version on Netflix, which is extra funny because Zordon disagrees and calls the monster "Inciserator" nevertheless, though perhaps with a different pronunciation than Zedd used in your copy. One thing I discovered RangerWiki was helpful for was linking to comparison videos that went unlisted on the thepasswordisfail account for being too long or something: http://powerrangers.wikia.com/wiki/Domestic_vs._International_Masters
    Thus most of the rest of the ADR changes had to do with the US airings calling the Shogunzords that through all three parts, while the international audio waited until the ending for Zordon to suddenly come up with that new name.

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    1. Ferneau, you're a goddamned hero you know that? I didn't know if I'd ever hear this (because I'm too lazy to look.)

      I also planned on mentioning the different pronunciation of Inciserator during the review, but I hit a real roadblock in terms of making it funny. As pedantic and lame as I get, sometimes I just look petty when I pick too many nits. Just rest well knowing I heard Zordon botch that line.

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  3. I've been immortalized in a recap! Alright, time for me to ride off to a Peace Conference.

    I honestly didn't notice Zedd Rot in this episode, and it's because the lighting has him in shadows a lot of the time, which works for a really creepy effect. I think part of the problem is that they filmed these episodes out of order, given that they possibly had to prioritize any scene that required Amy Jo Johnson while she was around and then film the rest of them later. One such scene has the costume take quite a thrashing. But that's for next week...

    Fun fact about this episode, and when I say "fun" I mean "stomach-churning adult material":

    I don't want to slander anyone who worked on this episode, but when it originally aired, fandom couldn't help but notice that the sight of Goldar kidnapping Kimberly was almost step for step the same sequence written in an infamous Kimberly snuff-porn fanfic that was the object of much scorn and disgust from fans. Particularly when Goldar looms over her, bellows triumphant, and hauls her away. Everyone in the 90s online fandom (IRC, newsgroup, etc) was sort of disturbed that either someone in the writers room or the production had possibly read that thing?? It always could have been a coincidence, but it was really a crazy coincidence.

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    1. Correcting myself: my HUNCH is they filmed out of order.

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  4. The Netflix version calls him Fangenstein too. Probably also on the DVDs from Shout? He calls him Fangenstein when he creates him and says "Behold! Fangenstein!" But later on Zordon calls him Inciserator. o_O They also go between calling the zords the Shogun Zords and the Ancient Zords of Zordinia.

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    1. I don't have the DVDs yet, but I've heard they might be a mix of versions, a "whatever we could dig up" kind of situation.

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