WATCH Power/Rangers

Posted by The Daily Zombies Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fans of the Power Rangers, regardless if it's the Americanised Mighty Morphin version or the original Japanese tokusatsu Super Sentai? Brace yourself then for Power/Ranger, an ultra-dark R-rated short "bootleg" film brought to you by producer Adi Shankar. 

Here at The Daily Zombies, we are obviously huge fans of Adi Shankar, the American film-maker who have in the past brought us high quality "bootleg" short films (such as The Punisher: Dirty Laundry with director Phul Joanou and Thomas Jane, Venom: Truth in Journalism with writer/director Joe Lynch and Ryan Kwanten, and the animated six-episode mini-series, Judge Dredd: Superfiend), having covered all of the above previously. But we might just be on the verge of the biggest and boldest bootleg short film produced by Shankar ever: Lo and behold, the ultra-dark R-rated version of the Power Rangers.

Produced by Shankar, directed by Joseph Kahn and featuring Katee Sackoff and James Van Der Beek, Power/Ranger came from Shankar's compelling realisation that the high school kids ("teenagers with attitude" as they called them in the Saban Entertainment's Mighty Morphin version) recruited to fight in an intergalactic war they have nothing to do with are literally "child soldiers" are going to have PTSD and living the "most fucked-up lives". Fair point. And we must add, even greater execution, after we check out the entire 14-minute short film. If you are still hesitating by this point on giving away fourteen minutes of your life you can't get back, check out this GIF to whet your appetite.

Dead yet? Then without further ado, check out Power/Ranger right below. 

(Updated February 27: The video has since been taken down by YouTube earlier today. Find out how you can watch the video at the end of the article.) 

(Updated February 28: Apparently, YouTube has brought back the video earlier today. So now you can still watch it below.)

The Vimeo version is the full NSFW version containing full-on nudity and violence. In another words, the version to check out. 

And here's the full credit and synopsis:

Deboot of the Power Rangers. My take on the FAN FILM. Not a pilot, not a series, not for profit, strictly for exhibition. This is a bootleg experiment not affiliated or endorsed by Saban Entertainment or Lionsgate nor is it selling any product. I claim no rights to any of the characters (don't send me any money, not kickstarted, this film is free). This is the NSFW version. An alternate safe version is on youtube.

***For the record I wrote and posted this statement at release of this video, BEFORE it was pulled then reinstalled.***

Making Of: (to be posted soon)
Katee Sackhoff - Kimberly/Pink
James Van Der Beek - Rocky
Russ Bain - Tommy/Green
Will Yun Lee - General Klank
Gichi Gamba - Zack/Black
Director: Joseph Kahn
Writers: Joseph Kahn, James Van Der Beek, Dutch Southern
Producers: Adi Shankar, Jil Hardin
Executive Producers: Justin Smith, David Kang, Raymond Watt, Michael S. Kim
Co-producers: Renn Brown, Kathy Palmer
Cinematographer: Christopher Probst
Production Designer: Brett Hess
Costume Designer: Edda Gudmunsdottir
Stunt/Fight Coordinator: Don Theerathada/87 Eleven
Sound Designer: Fletcher Alliston

Music by: Brain and Melissa

Visual Effects: Ingenuity Engine
Visual Effects Supervisors: David Lebensfeld, Grant Miller, Chris Watts

The SFW YouTube version.

And here's a clip released simultaneously by Shankar entitled "Why Bootleg The Power Rangers" where Shankar explains precisely that. For the record, this is not a pitch.

And just so you know, Lionsgate Films is currently working on a new film adaptation of the material with the scheduled release date of July 22nd, 2016. And there is no chance in hell you will get to witness a grim and gritty approach to the Power Rangers.  

For more on the short, you can check out Kahn's interview with Hitfix as he explains why this dark vision of the material can only work in this short, 14-minute format as opposed to a full-blown feature film.

Updated February 27

Apparently, Saban Entertainment is much less tolerant than Marvel. Given how Shankar has pulled off his earlier "bootleg" films, we were surprised to learn that YouTube has pulled the clips over a copyright claim from Saban. Details as presented by a perplexed Shankar below.

In an interview with Deadline, Kahn has the following to say:

“I think it’s a huge blow for fandom. I think they’re hurting themselves. I think with this short they’ve gotten more attention than ever before. How do you break the Internet with the Power Rangers? I think it gave them a lot of publicity and revived its pop culture awareness. Instead of supporting the good will of the fans, they’ve turned it into a legal issue. It doesn’t sound like they’re thinking of the fandom at all.”

Fortunately, Shankar finally managed to identify a source willing to host the clip to make it available for free online. All hail Facebook!

The following is the statement from Shankar and right at the end of it, you can find the link to check out the clip:

Today, I was deeply disappointed to learn that Saban Brands decided to attack my Power/Rangers “Bootleg Universe One-Shot” film.  To all the viewers that enjoyed this film, I consider this an outright infringement on freedom of expression and individualism. I set out to make this film because I am a childhood fan of the Power Rangers. As children our retinas are burned with iconic images and as we grow older these images come to represent crucial moments within the trajectories of our own lives.  This film is a homage to the original creators of the Power Rangers, and a parody of a television series we all grew up loving. Films like my Power/Rangers “Bootleg” are vital expressions of creativity in our troubled world. If we suppress this creativity and become passive participants in the consumption of the culture we live in, we implicitly allow a dangerous precedent to be set for the future of the internet.  

Warm Regards, 
Adi Shankar 

P.S. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg for hosting Power/Rangers and taking a stand

Updated February 28

YouTube has brought back for some reasons.


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