You've Never Seen the 'Power Rangers' This Fucking Dark Before

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

It's morphin' time again — but not the way you remember it.

From Joseph Kahn, the director of 2011 horror film Detention, comes Power/Rangers, a new take on the '90s kids' action series Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. These aren't the Tommy and Jason of your childhood, though: Starring Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as Pink Ranger Kimberly Hart and James Van Der Beek (Dawson's Creek, this batshit Ke$ha video) as Red Ranger Rocky DeSantos, Power/Rangers isn't just dark. It's pitch black.

Source: YouTube

Zordon's not gonna save you this time. The version on YouTube is the clean one (the NSFW edition is on Vimeo) but your childhood memories of Tommy, Kim and the rest of the Rangers will be irreparably scarred after watching either one. The 15-minute short film features school bullies Bulk and Skull killing one of the Rangers, another Ranger defecting to the dark side and yet another losing himself to a world of addiction.

It's an extreme take on what is perhaps the most highly recognizable piece of '90s television nostalgia, including a hyper-realistic version of the Rangers's weapons, Megazords and the likely psychological effects a spot in the Ranger squad would have on the infamous teenagers with attitude.

In a way, the fan film reflects the trend of making properties from the '90s more serious in tone, from the Transformers film series to last year's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Call it Bayization, named for Transformers director Michael Bay: As the audience of children who once watched this grows up, they yearn for something darker and grittier.

From a quick look at Rangers fan forum RangerCrew, however, reception for the short film among those still devoted to the series years later is mixed. Reaction ranges from "a total waste of talent" to "I didn't hate it."

"I have to give this film props: The visuals for it are amazing," one fan, going by the username Miss CD, said. "But this should also be seen by every young, inspiring filmmaker on what not to do."

It's not just this squad suiting up: The franchise's first film since 1997's Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie is set for release in July 2016. The series itself is still around, now in its 22nd season — Power Rangers Dino Charge airs Saturdays on Nickelodeon.

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Kevin O'Keeffe

Kevin is the arts editor at Mic, writing about inclusion and representation in pop culture. He is based in New York and can be reached at kevin@mic.com.

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