Music video director Joseph Kahn has forever altered the perceptions of thousands of fans of the 1990s children’s TV show, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. This is the Tarantino of bootleg videos.
You cannot have missed the buzz – let alone the uproar – surrounding Kahn’s fan-film release of Power/Rangers, produced by Adi Shankar of Dredd and Lone Survivor fame. As The Inquisitr recently reported, Vimeo has already taken Joseph’s video down due to an outcry from Saban Entertainment, which owns the rights to the Power Rangers brand and has a contract with Lionsgate for a feature-film release of Power Rangers, written by Jack Stentz and Ashley Miller, due out July 22, 2016.
Mr Kahn is having to fight the fight of his life, quite publicly on social media. Rather apt, given the unrelenting violence of the merciless 14-minute vendetta video.
— Rangerboard.com (@Rangerboard) February 24, 2015
The Kahn/Shankar ‘unbootleg short’, as Consequence Of Sound reports, came from Shankar’s belief that the original, perky Power Rangers were “essentially child soldiers drafted into an intergalactic war”. The world you see in the Kahn-directed Power/Rangers complements that seen in Shankar’s other work (that is to say, futuristic and rather bleak). As both assert, it was simply made for “the nerd-joy of filmmaking.”
— HorrorSociety (@HorrorSociety) February 24, 2015
To give a brief overview – and definitely in case YouTube must back down and remove the short at Saban Entertainment’s behest – Kahn’s Power/Rangers opens almost immediately with the decapitated head of the Pink Power Ranger. The lighting is dark, the colors gritty. Joseph’s camera cuts to a space age city in the style of Minority Report on speed. That is to say, it is a futuristic city (think Google Glass, but walls of it) built on poverty and filth. Next – be prepared Dawson’s Creek fans – Kahn shows James Van Der Beek’s deeply scarred face as Rocky the Red Power Ranger, sporting a (very noisy) bionic limb. He is interrogating Katee Sackhoff, whom we assume is Kimberly the Pink Power Ranger.
The majority of Joseph Kahn’s remaining video is a montage of violent death: a bloody wedding wherein the groom is gunned down, overdosing, bathtub suicides, a ménage à trois, and fight scenes that leave the screen splattered with thick blood from various gruesome deaths. The awesome soundtrack makes it speed by with great intensity. Kahn keeps the phrase, “It’s morphin’ time!”, but Shankar also gets in his querying of why such (ultimately destructive) power was given to children (a nod to gun safety?).
— HitFix (@HitFix) February 24, 2015
The ending is a twist that will delight those of you who can remember your oh-so cheery, happily cheesy Saturday mornings of harmless Power Ranger viewing. Enjoy, Kahn has made sure those days are gone now.
As MTV News reports, Kahn’s reasoning behind his extreme, some might say twisted, take on how the Power Rangers could turn out in adulthood is rather a valid point. It is certainly one many who have grown up with these sorts of shows and expected great things from later feature-film adaptations – only to be disappointed by the insipidness permitted by paltry PG-13 ratings – would agree with.
“This is the version I would personally want to see, but I also know this is the version that could never, ever be made in Hollywood.”
And perhaps, quite simply, that is because Kahn’s vision is 100% child-unfriendly. Possibly, we should have seen the warning signs of his taste for violence in the Taylor Swift “Blank Space” video but, nevertheless, Joseph’s bootleg video is fabulous for those of you who like a little Kill Bill or Sin City to your days; not so good for families wanting to reminisce over safe viewing of the past.
Kids, Kahn has made sure we’re not in Kansas anymore (and, please, do not show the kids).