One fated Sunday night, my drunken self had decided to scroll through HBO’s upcoming features and mark selected programs for recording.
One of them was a Power Rangers movie I had not seen since its initial theater run. The year was 1997, the same year as the North Hollywood Shootout, South Park’s debut, Clinton’s second inauguration, and various other disasters. Not content with selling a crapload of toys, the show’s creators decided they needed a feature-length movie to segue into the new season, this time with cars that combine into a giant robot to fight rubber-suited villains.
So a few days after the recording, I dedicated my night off to get properly drunk and view this train wreck of a movie. So began my re-acquaintance with Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.
The following are my thoughts, recorded live, synced to the recording’s timecode, as I’m already two beers in with a plate of Bagel Bites ready.
1:10 -- Still watching HBO house ads. This is the family edition of HBO, so I’m seeing Percy Jackson, Night at the Museum and Ice Age sequels being advertised.
2:37 -- Fox logo. About damn time.
3:18 -- 47 Seconds of Logos. (ding!)
3:44 -- Discount Star Wars scrolling text.
4:17 -- Main title. Graphics right out of the ‘80s.
4:46 -- We’re starting with archery. Because wizards are best hunted with crossbows. Also, their target looks like an anime Ewok.
5:43 -- Sincerest apologies to my mother, who had to sit with us while we watched this dribble.
6:25 -- Fairy dust ex machina
6:43 -- Active teens are active. “You’re trying too hard” cliché.
7:24 -- The only way to keep kids on a bus occupied in the 90s was to sing Row-Row-Row Your Boat. Today, they all have iPads.
8:19 -- Ranger down. No man gets left behind.
9:04 -- Nobody who watches the sky for a living noticed the metal fish from space taking refuge in the ocean. (ding!)
9:30 -- Divatox is kind of a babe. Cleavage and everything. I was ten years old when this came out. All kinds of new thoughts and feelings.
10:05 -- They took all the sets, costumes and props from the TV show and swapped out video cameras for film. A nice way to cut the budget. They were, after all, looking for a smooth segue from movie to TV show.
10:54 -- Divatox’s pet eel is straight out of Japanese porn. They when filming, they forgot this is supposed to be a kids’ movie.
11:10 -- Graphics and stock footage straight out of the ‘80s.
11:35 -- Puppet birds terrorize the Anime Ewok wizard and I’m out of Bagel Bites. Switching to pizza rolls.
12:45 -- Holy shit, I forgot about Alpha. Man, he was annoying even when I was a kid.
13:50 -- Touching hospital scene is touching. Sad childhood story is depressing. Oh shit, secret’s out!
15:30 -- Finally found the spelling for “Lerigot” (the Anime Ewok). Apparently, he sunburns as easily as the Irish. Speaking as one of Irish descent, I can sympathize. Congrats, movie, you finally presented a single sympathetic character.
16:42 -- Chimps adopt alien. That’s the trigger for the bad guys to find him. Way to fuck it up for the good guys, chimps.
17:58 -- Metal fish was in an alien ocean. Original comment still applies when they land in an Earth ocean.
18:36 -- Bulk and Skull. Two city cops patrolling a baseball game. Because a baseball stadium never has its own security.
20:19 -- “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” cliché.
21:32 -- An alien abduction. Cheesy, even for 90’s kid movie standards.
22:10 -- Glory shot of Pink Ranger’s ass in tight shorts. Are we sure this was a kid’s movie?
24:05 -- Pink Ranger and Master Chief share a fatal weakness: waist-high water.
25:38 -- Bad guys find the wizard, but now that they’re closer to him, they can’t anymore.
26:08 -- Evil dominatrix Divatox is awfully forgiving.
27:32 -- Of course the wizard has magic healing powers. All anime ewok wizards have those.
29:30 -- Underwater abduction. Because they already used the “lights in the sky” abduction.
30:08 -- Anime Ewok has a family solely so we can pretend to care about his predicament. And aloe vera is his Penicillin.
31:27 -- Divatok has got legs for days. Remember, kids’ movie.
33:10 -- “We are so fucked” exposition. Followed swiftly by the “we can do this” platitude.
35:25 -- Slow-motion jumps!!
36:26 -- Mysterious crystal of magic doesn’t work for the bad guy. Maybe she should try some of those feminine wiles. Would probably work on me. Even with that tongue of hers.
38:48 -- New powers conveniently arrive with forced induction.
40:28 -- Did they bring in the Japanese actors that fit into the costumes specifically for this movie? The antics are almost painful.
42:55 -- Cars did not come with properly-installed fog lights.
43:30 -- Kid shows up. He’s a new ranger, we all are just okay with it. And I am not okay with a kid driving the alien equivalent of a Ford Excursion.
45:20 -- Kid with no experience finds the key piece crucial to plot advancement.
46:15 -- To hell with autonomous cars, I want an autonomous yacht. Also, we made these suped-up cars to attack an enemy which resides in… the water.
48:50 -- Divatox has sent evil wantons to attack the Rangers.
51:00 -- These teens have been on the boat for more than a day. What did they pack to eat?
51:45 -- 10 year-old karate kid defeats alien mutant dinosaur. When the hell was this kid trained in martial arts? I didn’t see any exposition on this.
53:00 -- Oh, the one-liners.
53:45 -- Why put the brig on the outer hull of your ship? Divatox needs a new ship guy.
54:00 -- Discount Bermuda Triangle
56:45 -- Dumb shit is happening too fast.
57:44 -- Anime Ewok has done some Tinkerbell shit and now they’re through the gateway. Whatever the fuck that meant.
58:30 -- Alien metal fish ship has the same “Tilt” light as the pinball machine at the local arcade.
59:45 -- Kid drops his key. Told you he wasn’t ready to drive.
1:01:20 -- Opening the door for Bulk and Skull seems like a much easier endeavor, and might have been better done before cracking open the hull and letting all that water in.
1:01:45 -- “Swim now, like a little guppy.” That line had haunted me for much of my life. Any time someone said “swim.”
1:03:35 -- Need more Bagel Bites! Movie keeps playing.
1:06:45 -- What? Did I miss a cameo from Rita? Damn you, Bagel Bite craving!! That might have been the only saving grace of this movie!
1:07:43 -- How did they get the cars on the boat? And one of the cars is amphibious? Couldn’t just ride that car the whole way?
1:09:43 -- I’m surprised they had the ship explosion in the budget.
1:10:00 -- All the cars are amphibious??!!!! What the fuck was the reason for the boat?!!!
1:12:00 -- I’m not even gonna start on how zooming the binoculars changes the camera angle.
1:13:05 -- More fairy dust bullshit.
1:14:00 -- Same VFX as the TV show. Only worse in 16x9.
1:16:30 -- Oh, the antics. All the antics. And the clichés. And the one-liners.
1:20:05 -- I just can’t even. Not anymore. I’m just gonna keep drinking.
1:22:45 -- More fairy dust bullshit. Need a refill.
1:23:00 -- Nope. Can’t write any more. I’ll just chug until the movie’s over.
1:30:30 -- Why haven’t I blacked out yet?
1:36:50 -- Oh, thank God it’s over. But I can still walk straight. Something’s gone horribly wrong.