They brought the deranged atmosphere of a Mechagodzilla movie to many a Saturday morning with a wave of merchandise that delighted kids and baffled everyone else. Now Haim Saban’s POWER RANGERS are to make another attempt at conquering the movies with Lionsgate on board to smooth the path to inevitable carnage.
Debuting in 1993 (yes you really are that old) the Rangers are a group of fresh-faced multicultural teenagers who can transform themselves into a brightly-coloured team of warriors – imagine if The Stig from Top Gear was multiplied by six and redesigned by Kylie Minogue – in order to battle an array of giant day-glo robots and rubbery adversaries. The series utilized footage from the Japanese Super Sentai series of superhero escapades and was initially controversial for its cartoonish violence.
I was dragged along to the first theatrical release, MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS: THE MOVIE in 1995, in which the group faced a sort of slug-faced dictator named Ivan Ooze (played by RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK star Paul Freeman). It was simultaneously an eye-opener and eventually an eye-closer as the frantic and garish tale took its toll. Watching it was akin to Homer discovering a foreign advert depicting his likeness in The Simpsons, in that you are watching something that feels familiar yet bizarrely translated by a third party.
Cast and crew details have still to be announced. While I’d much rather see Haim Saban turn his subversive animated series Ox Tales into a movie, the presence of Lionsgate, who have their stamp on such quality productions as THE HUNGER GAMES and Mad Men, bodes well for the future of the franchise.