This week's Christmas chaos continues, and wouldn't you know it, even the friggin' Power Rangers got their own holiday special. Well, sorta. See, the Power Rangers Christmas Special forgot two very important things: the special, and the Power Rangers. Yep, Black Ranger Fans! Don't get your hopes up, he's pulling a no-show. In fact, there won't be any Power Rangers sharing in the Christmas joy for most of the show. Instead, what we got is one of the most haphazardly put-together programs ever dared put on home video, and who's our main star? Alpha.
For those who haven't had the sheer pleasure of watching Billy and Jason punch a bunch of dancing grey guys in the chest, here's the scoop on Alpha. No sci-fi/karate/nonsense children's show is complete without a robot who expresses its concern with a repetition on vowel sounds, so Alpha remains at the Power Rangers Headquarters, maintaining a bunch of red buttons which apparently have the dual power of alerting the Rangers to imminent danger, as well as creating cheerful holiday decorations at the HQ.
Alpha and Zordon front the base. Zordon is this weird bald guy who's giant head swirls around in a giant blue tube. We're not entirely sure what he's all about, but his word is law. Alpha, on the other hand, serves as an annoyance, especially for those of us who choose to sit down and watch him shake his hips. Picture C-3P0 with a girl's figure, and in total admittance of his sexual preference. While its true that Alpha is cool by default because he's a robot, that doesn't mean we particularly enjoy hearing him speak. And in a special where he's the only one speaking, chances are good that this review will contain the word 'bullshit' more than all my previous posts combined!
Alpha has a problem. He's a Catholic robot. Being a Catholic robot makes the whole 'don't live in sin!' thing much easier to swallow, but things get tough on him around Christmastime. Alpha wants to spend the holiday with the only people who won't try to deactivate him, but Zordon without the slightest tinge of remorse explains that the Power Rangers are off helping Santa Claus. Yes, MORE Santa Claus. This week, we've seen the guy kill people, fight martians, even try to have sex with statues. Now he's hanging around with the Green Ranger. He really can do it all!
Our robot friend explains to Zordon that he doesn't want to spend Christmas alone. In effect, he tells Zordon that he's a nobody and his company just isn't cutting it on this special day. Poor Zordon. Its not his fault he's a giant vague image of someone's head. Alpha negating Zordon's company is like one of us complaining that the zoo only has ugly animals, or deeming our birthday parties worthless because our entire families are in wheelchairs. But Alpha was never programmed with the proper rules of ettiquette, so Zordon forgives him...in abundance!
YES! Zordon presents Alpha with a Christmas tree! Now this is a holiday! Still, a Christmas tree was a nice gesture, but the stupid robots wants more. So, he pushes a few buttons, at random of course, and we see some people begin to materialize in the base! Has Alpha's wish come true? Is it the Power Rangers? Are we finally gonna see some action?!
Nope! Instead, Alpha literally steals a bunch of kids from their homes for his own personal enjoyment. The kids don't realize they've just been kidnapped, for a few reasons. Number one - robot on premises. You tend to forget all of life's little mishaps and problems when you've got a giant, blinking robot to play with. Number two - there aren't ordinary children. They're really, really stupid children. The rest of the show will serve as evidence, but for now, Alpha and the kids share a heartwarming Christmas hug.
For those curious about this review, and about that fact that I'm a 21-year-old trying to make sense of the Power Rangers, here's the deal. I really liked the first season of the show. It was so blatantly cheesy and awful that I really didn't have much of a choice but to sit down and detail the events and everything that was wrong with said events. I kinda lost interest when the Power Rangers started going Mega, Turbo, and into Outer Space, but I've always held a special place in my heart for bad dub jobs and totally useless scenes that are for some reason set in slow motion. I went over my sister's house to raid her kid's video library for more holiday specials. This is the only one my nephew would let me take. This kid has some of the worst movies I've ever seen, but this is the only one he'd let out of his grasp. That's not saying a lot about Alpha's Magical Christmas.
The chicanery continues with Alpha employing the use of his magical hands to create swank X-Mas decorations. (editor's note: that's the first time I've used the word 'swank' on the site. I think we found a keeper!) If the Power Rangers saw this, you've got to imagine they'd be pretty pissed. They're going through all this trouble to protect Orange Grove (presumably the only city on Earth in PR lore) while their pacifist robot friend has the ability to shoot magic out of his hands! This obviously could've made their jobs a whole lot easier. The actors playing the Power Rangers were also pissed. Had Alpha agreed to just fight Rita Repulsa's band of bad costumes himself, they wouldn't be needed, and they wouldn't have this amazing black mark on their acting resumes for the rest of their lives.
Allow me to introduce you to the Mystical Orb of Low Production Costs. This magic ball shows the kids all the special Christmas things we know and love. Only it shows the bottom of them all, as shown here with what I'm guessing is a sleigh. The kids look a little miffed that Alpha's trying to make this out to be a big deal. They know the drill. The people behind this video were working on a 50 dollar budget. 48 of those dollars went to the guy who voices Zordon. So with two dollars left to spare, the closest we're getting to a live, in-person Santa appearance is this stupid orb.
Luckily, one of the kids gives the Orb a stunning review.
In ten years, this'll be the girl hired for commercials to make a new variation of Clorox bleach seem like a big deal.
For the next 15 minutes, which I remind you is over half the show's length, we get a in-depth look at how seven-year-olds make holiday cookies and Christmas decorations. While this is going on, they're singing. Only they're not, since only three of them remembered to move their lips to the words. That being said, this program managed to butcher every holiday classic imaginable by having Alpha's voice turned up and superimposed into all the songs. You haven't heard a C note till you've heard Alpha belt one out in his startling rendition of Silent Night.
AND THERE HE IS! Santa Claus himself, courtesy of the friendly Orb! The Orb tells all! But its not just Santa...look who's with him! Its those bike racers from Pee Wee's Big Adventure! Alpha and the kids start oooohing and ahhhing over seeing both Santa and the Power Rangers working together as one in the Mystical Orb, but some of the kids start crying because they know they'll never meet the Green Ranger face to face. Speaking of which, I'm not trying to start any rumors, but any guesses as to where the guy's hand is headed?
On that note, its time for the kids to return home, in a really eerie fashion. Ever see Jacob's Ladder? Remember when Tim Robbins ascends to heaven? Or Ghost. Remember Ghost? It had Whoopi Goldberg making out with Demi? Well, just like Sam said his goodbyes and walked into the light, the kids apparently gave up their very souls to chill out with Alpha. Check this out...
Ahhh! The kids are enterting the afterlife! I'm not kidding, you have to see the looks on their faces. They're not just saying goodbye to Alpha. They're saying goodbye to life. I'm not making this up, it was really spooky. And don't tell me they need to walk through a angel-lit tunnel to get home...if Alpha can beam them up there with the press of (any) button, I'm sure he can beam them back. But the sordid and sorrowful look on their faces tells the story. These kids were obviously dead before they arrived, allowed to walk as mortals for one more day, and why? Because God owed Alpha a favor. Here, I'll prove it.
'Alpha, I promise you this. I can't pay you back the five dollars, but come this Christmas, the souls of the children are yours for the taking. Let us seal the deal with a dual rendition of Aretha Franklin's 'Respect'. We'll do it line by line. You go first.'
God wasn't the only one giving out Christmas miracles.
The Power Rangers have returned! They tell Alpha that they can only stomach him for a few minutes, but couldn't bare to let him spend Christmas alone. Alpha, quite slyly, forgets to mention that he's been hanging around with dozens of kids for hours. The Power Rangers and Alpha share in the holiday spirit by singing Christmas songs horribly, while the camera embarasses the actors by zooming up their noses and holding still for several thirty-second shots.
And oh yeah, the other Power Rangers aren't completely absent. They can see seen floating around the Orb. While all this amazing action is going on, we get to see flashbacks to some of the greatest moments of the show, which are completely inappropriate since this is a Christmas special. I'm not sure what watching Tommy playing basketball or the Pink Ranger kicking a bad guy in the genitals has to do with the holidays, but then again, I'm still not sure what the reason of this entire program was. I'm guessing money, but I don't think even the most devout of the PR fans fell for this one. Sure, kids are gullible, but not gullible enough to consider 22 minutes of Alpha and gross kids as an episode of Power Rangers.
With that, the end credits roll. The Rangers appeared for less than 90 seconds in the entire show. (much like the first season, since most of the action was old Japanese footage stock) On the plus side, it was nice to watch a movie where Santa's not killing someone after all we've been through this week. The downside? Alpha kills the holiday spirit with far more stealth.
The episode is short, so short that the ridiculous advertisements that preface the show actually ran longer than the special itself. Worse yet, they were far more interesting and funny than Alpha teaching kids how to string popcorn while signing Jingle Bells...
LEARN KARATE WITH THE GREEN RANGER! That's right, parents! With this video, your child will learn the powers of confidence, discipline, and how to kick the other kids' asses! Starring Tommy, the Green Ranger who used to be an evil Ranger who tried to destroy the good guys despite the fact that he continued to show up in the same high school classes with them, this highly educational masterpiece includes instructions on how to make Tommy's super-secret karate game face. A must have.
For those not interested in beating anyone up or mastering karate's inner mysteries, you could always join the official Power Rangers Fan Club for the low, low price of just 9.99 plus shipping and handling! Includes everything from paper to stickers, and even a bookmark! At ten bucks, its a steal. And it'll be delivered to your door in just 6-8 weeks! Silly Power Rangers, you'll be out of style by then!
But what's the most unfortunate thing about this video? Was it the dead kids? Alpha? The fact that metal constellations and horses were considered Christmas decorations? No. No, there was something far more disturbing about it.
Not one damn frigging appearance by Lord Zedd!
Java Arcade Madness:
Crazy Star Wars, with sirens!
Breakout, speed of your choice!
Blacksuns, he rules.
StileProject, if you're over 18!
UGO, because they send me travel bags.
Click The Above Picture For...Silence...of the Lambs.