Have the shows we grew up with started to grow up with us? Recently released on YouTube.com, Power/Rangers is a gritty, fan-made short film that lifts its content from a popular TV show whose name might be familiar if you were born in 1990s: Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
But this R-rated re-imagining is far from what you may remember from those Saturday mornings of the past.
In the classic TV series, the characters wore bright colors and upheld a simple concept of fighting evil with the power of good. Thrown in with some sci-fi elements, the show featured a sextet of high-school kids who battled a never-ending string of monsters, robots and aliens in a goofy, action-packed whirl of primary colors. In Power/Rangers,there are plenty of monsters, robots and aliens, but gone is the goofiness and the colors are decidedly dark. Say goodbye to the innocence of the original concept.
Released on Feb. 24, the 14-minuted-long Power/Rangers has gone viral with almost 12 million views and counting. Judging from the comments on the video, fans' reactions are mixed. Some praised its impressive production value and adult themes, while others complained that it trashed a beloved childhood memory.
Drugs, sex and violence are front and center in the film, which has stirred up controversy with the owners of the original Power Rangers franchise, Saban. The company is planning to release a full-length Power Rangers movie sometime in the future, but it almost certainly won't look like Power/Rangers. Meanwhile, Saban has decided to sue the fan-film’s creator for copyright infringement. The fan creation doesn't fall within the realm of the actual storyline of the Power Rangers, but according to an unnamed entertainment copyright attorney, speaking to deadline.com, "there is a gray area of 'fan fiction,' where tributes are made by fans and the studios don’t want to piss off their base by going after these people legally. The [creator] may have a fair use defense, or a de minimis use defense. It’s not a slam dunk by either side. Trademark law applies as well."
If you haven't watched Power/Rangers yet, check it below, before it's removed.