(NSFW) Well, this takes the YouTube "Fan Movie" to a whole other level. Joseph Kahn (director of Torque and Detention) has teamed up with Dredd and The Grey producer Adi Shankar and rebooted Power Rangers with a filthy, brutal, methane (and meth) fueled mini-movie before Lionsgate could start their own PG-13 reboot. It's called Power/Rangers and it's 14-minutes long. James Van Der Beek (where ya been?) not only stars, but also co-wrote the script with Kahn and Dutch Southern. (We're not sure if the former Dawson's Creek star is responsible for some of the unprintable lines; the movie is below.)
Battlestar Galactica star Katee Sackhoff plays Kimberly, the original Pink Ranger, while Van Der Beek appears as the former Red Ranger, Rocky Zeo. Russ Bain is Tommy, the Green Ranger.
Without having anyone's permission to make this, Kahn and Shankar went for a very bloody interpretation of what happens to Tommy, Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Zack and Trini after being child soldiers in an intergalactic war. They now have PTSD, drug problems, and warped world views. Several of the Rangers turn on each other after the war with the Machine Empire (Power Rangers Zeo). And the opposition gets brained.
As Hollywood continues to mine nostalgia and add darkness and grit to it, they also create warped world views because the PG-13 rating actually hides the darkness that they imply. Kahn explains why he tackled Power Rangers in an interview with HitFix (who debuted the short):
"All of Hollywood, they all keep toying around with this 'dark and gritty' concept, and they're all PG-13," Kahn told HitFix. "I mean, look at the gunshots. You have a guy going in there shooting a bunch of people and it's just like puffs of smoke. There's no repercussions to these gunshots, which to me is even more dangerous than when you actually show some blood. You're teaching kids that you can shoot a gun and there's no repercussions to it. It just looks like you fall down."
"So when I did the dark and gritty version of this, I mean, we go full out," Kahn continued. "There's blood, there's brains, there's gunshots, there's sex, there's violence. I mean, basically we made the version that Hollywood could never ever make. If I had to watch the 'dark and gritty' reboot, then this is the way I would want it. This is the version I would personally want to see, but I also know this is the version that could never, ever be made in Hollywood. They would be crazy, it would be financially irresponsible, but this is what I personally would like to see out of a Power Rangers film."
Basically if you liked Dredd and ever had any dark, twisted fantasies about your childhood goofy shows, this is for you.
A more sanitized, PG-13, far less-likely to spray blood on the camera (or use the c-word) version of The Power Rangers is slated to hit theaters July 22, 2016, with Robert Orci (the Star Trek reboots) producing. But Power/Rangers is a preemptive "Game Over" strike. (NSFW)