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Katee Sackhoff and James Van Der Beek Star in Gritty ‘Power Rangers’ Fan Film

power-rangers-short

It will be a while yet before we see what Lionsgate and Saban Entertainment have in mind for their 2016 reboot of “Power Rangers,” but it’s a safe bet it won’t resemble this new fan film by “Torque” and “Detention” director Joseph Kahn.

Produced by Adi Shankar (“The Grey,” “Dredd”), who was behind the Punisher and Venom fan films “Dirty Laundry” and “Truth in Journalism,” “Power/Rangers” is an incredibly dark and violent sequel of sorts to the long-running children’s franchise set in the aftermath of the war with the Machine Empire. (Be warned: The film contains blood and nudity.)

“The thought that weaponizing youth and training them to kill could’ve turned out so ugly for so many of them,” James Van Der Beek’s traitorous Rocky tells his prisoner, Katee Sackhoff’s Kimberly, in the 14-minute short, which finds most of the Power Rangers murdered.

Yes, it turns out “Power/Rangers” is the “super secret job” Sackhoff teased in August, sparking another round of speculation that she’ll play Carol Danvers in an upcoming Marvel Studios film. Kahn’s project also stars Russ Bain as Tommy/Green Ranger, Will Yun Lee (“The Wolverine,” “Bionic Woman”) as General Black and Gichi Gamba (“Torque”) as Zack/Black Ranger.

“There were a couple of things [about ‘Power Rangers’] that were appealing to me,” Kahn explains to HitFix. “One, as opposed to like taking something like Barney and doing your dark version of Barney, there’s at least a mythology there. The original mythology is really expansive and kind of silly in how many different […] I mean, these guys turn into dinosaurs. How do you take that seriously? But there’s enough of like a groundwork of the original source material that they based off this repurposed Japanese show that has like norms of anime and kung fu and all that stuff that appeals to me because I’m an anime and kung fu guy anyways. I just took pieces that I liked and then streamlined it and made a bare-bones version and really expressed the versions that seemed like they naturally fit within the down-the-middle dark and gritty reboot.”

Comments

  • Stephanie Cummings

    I would totally watch a dark version of the Power Rangers!

  • John

    Awesome. Awkward but awesome.

    That whole Barney thing.

    NOW THAT I’D PAY TO SEE

  • Viroro

    I’d suggest watching Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters if you want to. It’s the one Super Sentai series which likely won’t be adapted, but I think it’s worth a watch. Albeit it’s got quite more comedy than this video, it has an overall serious and dark tone.

  • chuckaluffagus

    MOAR

  • TokuSwag

    Way to miss the whole point of Sentai and Power Rangers. It was well produced, but that’s about it.

  • John Deane

    Wait…..I just saw something with James Van Der Beek that I actually enjoyed? ARGH! What is the world coming to!?!?!??!?!?!?!

    But interesting take on a show. I’d actually love to see a full length movie like that. It could be a lot of fun.

  • http://dallasgayboys.com/ Dallas Gay Boys

    Bravo! Can we put these guys in charge of the upcoming film? Wow just wow!

  • jedibanner .

    I’d watch this version of PR for sure!!

  • Pooh Flinging Monkey

    Wow, that may be the dumbest thing I have ever watched. Production values were great though, but good lord, so awful.

  • thiagoeis

    It’s been a while since I was wondering about a dark version of PR, and this is my answer. Fucking awesome!

  • trollhunter

    god that was depressing shite!

  • Brandon Smith

    This was about 1 minute of cool followed by 12 minutes of bottom of the barrel terrible. I’m not sure how anyone could like anything about this aside from the gimmick of “it’s a kids thing that we made “gritty”.” It has no appeal of it’s own. The director’s declaration that dark barney could have been just as viable really tells the whole story. There’s no affection for the characters, no truth to the telling of the story, and no inherent likability to anything. IT reminds me of when comics was remaking cartoons from the 80s for a while, except all of them were “gritty”. The problem was, once issue 2 came around, they had nothing to do with the 80s series anymore, so the only-selling-point of nostalgia became irrelevant.

    It would have been more successful if they had run with the premise established in the 1st minute or so of the short and just had it be a legitimate power rangers short with a new tone. Stay true to the characters. Don’t just dream up horrible situations and name drop character names for no reason.

  • RandomGuy

    NSFW warning would have been nice in the title!

  • Nixon Vicci

    WOW, I was NOT expecting to love this you guys

  • Dont_call_me_D

    That shit was horrible.

  • Shaun Sehanobish

    This totally missed the point of Power Rangers. It had good production value and decent acting but come on. They over use the word fuck just to show that “hey this is dark and gritty because we say fuck a lot”. Being grotesque for the sake of being grotesque is not what the Power Rangers are about. I don’t mind an “adult” version of Power Rangers but come on, at least leave the Power Rangers on the moral high ground. That’s the whole point of them.

  • Dont_call_me_D

    The guy in the power ranger suit looks like a fat fuck.. all this good production value and you FUCK UP THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.. THE SUIT.

  • Brandon Smith

    I actually liked them playing with the idea that the power rangers were kids because they couldn’t really understand what they were doing, but then it just never did anything with that idea. They just kept yelling it a lot. I don’t think you can fault a work for taking the premise “let’s make the heroes not so heroic”, but it has to work hard to support that premise.

  • Peter Parker

    That was beyond terrible. It was extremely well produced for fan video but it completely missed point of Power Rangers. Of all the things in the world that need a dark, edgy reboot, it’s no the Power Rangers.

  • http://www.dblegends.com/ Crono A7X

    I prefer the live action DBZ episode that released today http://dragonblogz.com/dragon-ball-z-light-of-hope-pilot-episode/

  • Spotted Feather

    Other than having the wrong uniforms, this was boring….

  • Dr. Steve Brule

    People complaining that this was too dark need to ligthen up(no pun intended). I’m 30 years old, grew up with the power rangers, have made countless Power Ranger fangames and own tons of merch. This is EXACTLY what we need if we want interest to return to the franchise. Cut it how you want it, but no season/cast has been as popular or as succesful as the original. Use those character that every power rangers fan loves, and give them some grit. Anyone who grew up on this stuff is older now, and giving us an adult version of power rangers is what we NEED!

  • greg

    that was great – make it like that!!!

  • DarkRanger99

    Go-busters is not dark lol. There were some dark things about it for sure, darker than what you would expect for a sentai, but it was still kid friendly and comedic. If anything comes close to a “dark” sentai, it might be Jetman and even that is no where near this. You guys do know the director wanted this to be a satire on dark gritty reboots right? He made it ridiculous on purpose.

  • http://albatross.org/ Albatross

    It’s great to see Katee Sackoff and a dystopian reboot sounds like a great idea, but I’m SO tired of choreographed mass murder.

  • Viroro

    Yeah, you are right. I didn’t meant to say it was totally darker and edgier and so mature (RPM still beats it by the premise alone, and even RPM is still kid-friendly if bleak). I do admit I need to still watch Jetman, though. And I do agree it’s way too overboard with grittiness to be meant to be done seriously, but sometimes people might get the wrong idea, especially with big name actors in big roles. I definitely do give it props for production values, but if this were an official product, it would be the Man of Steel of tokusatsu for me.

  • Techno Black

    No. No its not. Just like Superman doesn’t need to break necks, and Batman doesn’t need to kill by leaving them to die. There is a VERY huge margin of difference between making something adults can enjoy, and making something pointless grimdark because it was/is for kids. The Marvel movies get this right. There is fun, whimsy, and even campiness to all the characters, but they can also be realistic and dark, but it never looses the tone of being fun or goes against the nature of the characters. We need something more on the level of the first Iron Man, rather then Man of Steel. A person that actually understands the franchise could understand this.

    Hell, if you want to see this done RIGHT? Go watch RPM. A post-apocalytic world, where the Rangers has already lost, and are fighting just to keep what’s left of humanity alive. But it doesn’t turn everyone in boring assholes, doesn’t ramp up flash overly cliche drama, doesnt have fuck every other word; while keeping the fun and camp of the series, while just playing it straight (and even explaining it to some extent). Its a dark series, with a lot of heavy themes, but keeps to the core of the show, showing you don’t have to kill the series and rape its corpse to do so.

  • Dr. Steve Brule

    You’re missing the point here, and you bringing up RPM proves that. This isn’t about “Power Rangers” as a franchise, or as a series. It’s about the character from the original MMPR show. The characters that stuck with so many of us. I didn’t watch any PR series past Zeo, because Power Rangers in and of itself isn’t what appeals to me. It appeals to children(it sure did to me when I was a child), and that’s fine. But if you want to make something adults can enjoy, this is the way to go.

    End of the day it’s apples and oranges, just because I find this entertaining and exciting doesn’t mean I expect everyone else to see it that way. And you’re absolutely right about the Marvel Universe. The first Iron Man was incredible in tone, and would be awesome for a Power Rangers reboot. That’s probably more along the lines of what we’ll actually see. But that doesn’t mean something like this short fan film doesn’t have it’s place.

  • RandomGuy

    outfits are horrible but I like the rest.

  • Philip

    Not bad, but you know what it needs? Katie Sackhoff nudity

  • Techno Black

    “But that doesn’t mean something like this short fan film doesn’t have it’s place.”

    In the garbage.

    You are missing the point. RPM is the proof a series can do something like this, a dark tone, hopeless odds, chaffing against the military; everything beyond the gore and swearing. But then you move the goalposts.

    If your a ‘fan of the characters’ then this should be even MORE vile to
    you then it is to me, because it fucks them all over too. There is
    nothing of the characters here except a bit of lip service to Zack’s
    style of fighting and Billy being the mechanist of the group. Other then that it is generic grimdark trash, that one can find in any modern Sci-fi series of FPS video game.

    Its fan films like this that is why we can’t have nice things. Things that remove all the joy and love out of a franchise and replace it with pointless gore, violence and cursing because that’s mature and adult… if you’re in middle school. After that it slowly becomes very immature, to just kill and swear for the sake of it and that is all this is; the director killing and swearign becuase Power Rangers was for kids, and that’s the quickest way to ‘age it up’ rather then putting any real thought into it at all.

  • Amber-Lynn

    I am all for this, but the whole point of power rangers is their “tools” — turning a kids franchise into a movie with AK 47’s or whatever machine rifle they have seems too “war-like” for me…. should have put more thought into it.

  • TwinTurboTurtle

    Dark Dawson’s Creek? I was waiting for Pacey, Jen and Joey to show up.

  • Matthew Flores

    I need more! MOAR!!!!

  • David Alatorre

    God forbid people have a cool take on things and make it fun and interesting.

  • Jae

    I understand why some people hate this fan film. They think staying true to the Power Rangers means making them on the side of good, no matter what.

    Sorry, but I disagree. Rounding the characters out, making them question their lifestyles, and reminding viewers that violence is never one-sided is actually the hallmark of good storytelling.

    If you want to view the world as good versus evil, that’s your choice. But I like this short film and wish they could expand it into a mini-series.

    Perhaps I might be annoyed if this was an official continuation of the Power Ranger storyline. But it is not. So why not have some fun with it?

  • mesmorino

    Bloody hell, and I thought Kick Ass was dirty. I feel like I need a shower after this.

  • leo reyes

    Awesome except for the stupid subtitles and the whole Rita thing. That just ended too cheesy and not convincing.

  • Ilpalazzo

    By far one of the absolute dumbest and worst things I have every frikkin seen. It looks so damn carbon copy of every damn Michael Bay movie and COMPLETELY abandons the fun superhero element of the Japanese Super Sentai spirit. This isn’t gritty, and brain-numbing STUPID. This actually makes the original stupid American inserts like Bulk and Skull seem desirable, as horrible as they were..

  • Techno Black

    Becuase there is no fun to be had. One can do what you say, without resorting to this BS. Power Rangers, at its heart is a Super Hero series. To turn it into this, is immature garbage and drek. The Marvel movies do a grand job of keeping the idea of Super heroes bright and heroic, while not keeping the world black and white.

  • mel

    That was the point. Everybody want’s dark gritty reboots nowadays. They pushed it to the extreme.

  • Jae

    I respectfully disagree about the fun aspect.

    However, I admit there can be improvements that would allow more people to enjoy it. If they ever wanted to expand this short film, the best thing they could do is to make it a story about the Rangers rediscovering their roots after straying off the path for so long. If it was about questioning their roles as protectors and inevitably coming to the conclusion that they are the heros Earth needs, then I think it would be a success. Unfortunately, we don’t get that feeling from the film. It has more of a Watchmen/Transformers/Terminator deal going on.

    But it has potential.

  • Daniel

    3:32 = win

  • Dr. Steve Brule

    If you don’t like it, that’s fine. But don’t put on some holier than thou, elitist attitude that because other people enjoy that they aren’t “real fans” or whatever. This is a cool fanmade movie, that’s it. Doesn’t have to be anymore than that. Instead, you insist it’s because of this that we can’t “have nice things”. WTF does that even mean?

    I enjoyed the characters when I was a child. They were corny, they were pandering, and they could do karate. Now that I’m an adult, it’s pretty cool to see those same characters(not actors, but characters)doing more adult things. I understand that may not resonate with you and some others, but that doesn’t make it bad. Just dont watch it or acknowledge it if it’s THAT much of a problem for you. I get it. This is the internet and it’s cool to bash things.

  • Ed Retana

    Sorry, I just couldn’t get into it, and I Usually like these types of things. Dunno, I it was too pretentious.

  • Jay

    The video was taken down. It stopped right when I got to the twist! Halp!

  • Guest

    It’s still there. Try reloading the page.

  • Kaine Morrison

    Absolutely terrible!

  • Kaine Morrison

    I’m 34 and this was shite!
    I’ve been a PR fan since that fateful day in August 1993!

  • Kaine Morrison

    the twist was the end.

  • Jay

    I currently don’t know who was impersonating Kimberly. Was it Goldar? Because Goldar is the best idea. It should be Goldar.

  • Kaine Morrison

    Rita Repulsa

  • Jay

    Didn’t work for me, but I found it on Youtube.

  • Jay

    Meh.

  • Logan

    Cool. But you can’t kill them off. That’s just not cool. BUT. I do honestly have to give them credit for doing the research on one aspect: Jason and Kimberly. And I do like the thought of the ‘replacement’ turning on the originals. Extremely well made, but room for improvement story-wise.

  • Jesse

    This was posted along with an interview on another site, and the director said this was to be taken more as satire than seriously. He was trying to make a point that all the dark/gritty reboots aren’t really necessary.

  • Jesse

    The director was interviewed, and stated this was not supposed to be a serious piece. It was supposed to highlight how everyone wants dark/gritty reboots of series even when they’re completely unnecessary. It’s more satire, or commentary on the current state of the film industry than anything.

  • Conner Garry Sennett

    Some material from Go-Busters is supposed to be used in Dino Charge’s second season.

  • Viroro

    Yeah, I know that. I’ve the feeling it’s going to be like Dairanger in the second season of MMPR, though, so I don’t really consider it adapted until we have more specific informations on how they will use the footage.

  • JAS84

    Not second season, Dino Charge, period. But that was one report early in pre-production, and it only said elements – that could be as simple as using the suits as a Super Megaforce “New Power” (transforming into unadapted rangers) in an adaptation of Kyoryuger vs Go-Busters.

  • JAS84

    Yes, Go-Busters won’t be adapted. It was skipped due to low toy sales in Japan. Would’ve happened this year, but they used Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, the next series, instead.

  • http://whatstudioart.blogspot.com Walt

    Key words “FAN MADE”.

    FAN MADE… The actors involved probably did it all for beer and pizza!

  • Viroro

    I agree in full. My guess is that they’re gonna adapt them just for the sake of using the dino reunion for the finale of Dino Charge (which conveniently lacks both Rangers played by JDF, too, so no continuity problems in using it). At least, I hope so: I really hope Tyler doesn’t end up pulling a Daigo on us.

  • http://www.jwalkentertainment.com/ jwalk253

    Here is proof of concept footage of a gritty Power Rangers Trans-Media project we created a couple of years ago, We actually talked with David Jason Frank to be part of it but he was still under contract with the power rangers show. I hate that someone beat us to it but I can’t hate on their project, nice job!
    https://vimeo.com/66488594
    check out more at http://www.jwalkentertainment.com

  • Zenstrive

    Who runs the Megazord? Is it autonomous? Is that why it was lost?

  • Zenstrive

    Go-Buster is the darkest and my favourites sentai of the heisei era

  • riceface

    they need to put them in their fuckin costumes more… and action more over the top, a version like this would be a talk fest

  • Viroro

    So glad to see another person who liked it. I don’t get why it gets so much hate by tokusatsu fans just for trying something a bit different. I still think the secret agents theme would’ve worked quite well in America compared to Japan, and the suits design too seemed to be very adaptation-friendly. Pretty ironic that the one Sentai which references Power Rangers explicitly is the one who is going to be skipped as a main adaptation.

  • Techno Black

    “Instead, you insist it’s because of this that we can’t “have nice things”. WTF does that even mean?”

    In simple, it is attitudes like yours that are why we keep gettign stuff like Micheal Bay’s attempts as Nostalgic franchises, and DC’s current take on their heroes; both in movies and in their comics. Even Video games seem to go this way with many of the AAA titles. Extreme Violence, gore, sex, depressing themes. Its not once in a while, its all the damn time lately. Everything got to be dark and depressing, everything got to be dull and destaturated; becuase that’s Real Life. Real Life isn’t bright and colorful, it’s not happy. Its a constant state of misery, and everyone wants their entertainment to reflect that. [/sarcasm]

    I truly fear for the Ghostbusters reboot; not becuase its going to be about a bunch of women, not becuase its going to be a hard reboot; but becuase with how mondern culture is; its going to be a straight up horror movie that shoves how grim and awful death is with gory special effects, and probably mass sexism from the leads; rather then a somewhat goofy horror-comedy with 4 people making light of the darkness around them while being big damn heroes. We’ll get a subplot about how depressing catchign the ghost of people and imprisoning them is and how its takes a hit on the moral of the ghostbusters, or that they just won’t care because they’re just that big of hardasses.

    I really wish this quote was more embraced nowadays: “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” All this feels like is an artificial attempt to make stuff seem more adult and mature, because no one wants to enjoy anything bright and colorful and get bashed for liking baby/kids stuff. Stuff can be bright, it can enjoyable for all ages; it can hardle dark and heavy issues, while still being completely campy. But those are small flames in the darkness that attitudes like yours continue to encourage.

  • Techno Black

    One of my, rather minor in the long run, annoyance is that Katee Sackhoff was Kimberly, just becuase looking at her I think of Katherine instead; her replacement who was… well more like this… as well as another solider for Rita… as well as blonde.

  • djdoyle

    Butching up the Power Rangers… meh.

  • Zenstrive

    Saban take a look at Go-Buster and thinks: wow, there won’t be any actor who can portray Enter corretly and make the show still child-safe. That’s what I think :D

  • Viroro

    Lol, probably. Though I also think the real time Kamen Rider-like transformations would’ve been a pain to adapt. Especially considering most of the time they start fighting before to complete the transformation with the glasses. Still though, I think the series is great and very underrated. Plus, it’s likely the closest thing to an RPM sequel we will ever see.

  • Shaun Sehanobish

    oh, kinda like it now then.

  • Shaun Sehanobish

    totally agree.

  • EVH

    they couldnt get JDF to play Tommy for this? he just did an episode for Super Power Beatdowns, I’m sure he couldve done this. And who was Dawson supposed to be? the red ranger? he did kinda resemble the original dude.

  • Techno Black

    He’s Rocky, the Second Red Ranger; Jason was the first and shows up to die in a flash back.

  • Donald Draper

    Next thing you know, you’ll be watching Reruns of Dawson’s Creek! :}

  • Brandon Smith Has No Dick

    Wow, you just proved that you truly a lonely obese closed-minded limp-dick fuck. This was a small(and advanced) take on an older show.

  • Dr. Steve Brule

    well then you go enjoy stuff like RPM, and I’ll enjoy stuff like this. see? there’s stuff for everyone =D

  • Dr. Steve Brule

    it’s not for everyone, that’s for sure

  • Dr. Steve Brule

    ignore that guy, he’s some marvel fanboy(I love marvel too)that seems to bash anything that isn’t just like their movies.

  • Dr. Steve Brule

    for clarification, the director didn’t declare that dark barney could have been just as viable. he stated that would’ve been a stupid idea.

  • Kelderic

    That was incredible. Only problem was that it ended so soon.

  • Jared Prophet

    Masked Rider 555 is a bit dark and the Paradise Lost movie is fairly bleak. Ans so much better than this.

  • Jared Prophet

    Not fun, only slightly interesting. Mostly just painful to watch.

  • Jared Prophet

    The writing failed with the kid thing. It brought it up, but did nothing with it.

  • sgreen516

    Now that was dark. Wow.

  • Gary

    I wish filmmakers would start using their great talents to come up with original films, instead of ripping off and capitalizing on pre-exisiting intellectual properties.

  • Steve F.

    This was incredibly dark and bleak… but also incredibly gripping (especially the final twist with Kimberly and Tommy). Well done with the acting too – who’da thunk that Dawson had that in him?

  • Scott Hillman

    Why in so many Fan Films is the dominate image a woman tied up or tortured?

  • Scott Hillman

    I mean these are things people spend there own money on.

  • Theweensplosion3

    This looks awesome!!

  • Matt Carey

    … hipster

  • dave

    I’d see the hell out of this

  • David Alatorre

    You’re right… only your opinions and tastes matter.

  • josephthered

    I completely agree with you. The problem is I’m pretty sure the guys behind this would agree with you also. If you listen to any of the interviews you’d probably realize they were making fun at the idea that things have to go dark and gritty these days.

  • Alex Church

    David, Oh stop being a whiner. Is someone having an opposite opinion to yours ruining your day?

  • Alex Church

    Bawwww, no one can say anything bad about anything!! Bawwwwww

  • David Alatorre

    Good job using my point haha.

  • johnbajuice

    Or a gritty, post-apocalyptic reboot of Dawson’s Creek ;)

  • Techno Black
  • http://stevefoerster.com/ Steve Foerster

    Exactly which Power Rangers videos are you supposed to be watching at work?

  • RandomGuy

    The ones that don’t have naked breastisis in them. Would have appreciated the warning.

  • amadeomartin

    This is not even Power Rangers…

  • Abbey Sur Daress

    Dear TokuSwag, please google the term “satire”. Sincerely, Another Tokusatsu Fan.

  • amadeomartin

    Its not that it isnt cool, its that it isnt Power Rangers. They just use the Ranger names that is it. A few story plot points that dont really effect the story the new writer and director has made.
    This could be called something else and it would be the same film. I am going to make a Spider-man film. The plot will be Spider-man is living in robot and now can only fight in a robot suit and no longer has the spider powers. He now must fight off a Special army of robots coming to earth, (Its stupid i know) BUT if its filmed well and great action and etc etc… Do I still need to call it spider-man. Just because I’d be using Peter parker , mary jane uncle ben names, they would not be the same characters or not evevn close to there orgins… So why would I call it Spider-man? does that sound like something that should be called spider-man? No… this shouldnt be Power Rangers.

  • Abbey Sur Daress

    as opposed to… “you should be working” and not watching NSFW PR videos?

  • Abbey Sur Daress

    referring ot yourself, I see.
    as for me, i’m just trolling you.

  • RandomGuy

    Not against the rules, to watch PR videos.

    Even by your logic ALL videos should be labeled NSFW. Even better, you prove my point of the missing label.

  • David Alatorre

    there are zords… morphing… not much else to rangers…

  • Calvin Gregory

    I think it’s cool when actors get involved in fan films. It shows real class and lends credibility to a legitimate (but often overlooked) endeavor

  • amadeomartin

    Star Wars is just aliens and Light sabers… any thing I film with them, disregarding everything else in Star wars history or characteristics… It can be called Star Wars I guess?

  • Mike Axelrod

    Trash.

  • Deezy

    See “The Rules of Attraction.” He’s awesome in it.

  • Shaun Sehanobish

    The original