Kimberly is no longer the damsel in distress we knew her in the original Power Rangers. She’s all grown up, and she’s had to get a lot tougher as the world fell into chaos. Yes, she’s still somehow the one who gets captured, but it’s bloody brilliant (with emphasis on the bloody). Longtime music video director Joseph Kahn has been working on an R-rated Power Rangers short film that shows what happens to our beloved “teenagers with attitude” after the glam of the TV series has worn off. Long story short: shit gets real.
Kahn has directed a ton of music videos for the likes of Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and 50 Cent. But his Deboot of the Power Rangers is what we’d imagine the Rangers would look like if, say, Quentin Tarantino wrapped his sadistic mind around the property. According to Kahn, he made this his “take on the fan film,” but he spared no expense.
We open with the Rangers charging, machine guns blazing, towards a battle between a Megazord and an alien monster. It’s a dark, dank war zone, and the film will cut back to this moment a few times over the course of its 15-minute run. This is no longer the world we once knew it to be. After the battles with Rita Repulsa, Machine-like aliens have been waging a war against Earth, which has basically turned into Blade Runner. Yes, that is indeed Katee Sackhoff playing Kimberly. Although she’s being held prisoner, it’s by one of her old allies. Rocky (played by James Van Der Beek), the guy who came in to replace Jason as the Red Ranger, has now switched sides to the machines and is interrogating Kim for the whereabouts of Tommy Oliver (Russ Bain), aka the Green Ranger. By the looks of it, Rocky has taken some heavy damage over the years, as he now lugs around a robotic leg.
In a scenario on par with something out of Watchmen, someone (or something) is killing off the Rangers. It seems Trini was a casualty of war, but Zack (Gichi Gamba) was shot in the back of the head in his own home, Billy apparently shot himself in the head, Jason was gunned down eight hours after he married Kim, and Tommy became a wandering Ronin. Are Rocky and the machines behind it? Will Kim meet the same fate? Or will Tommy come and save her…like always? But there’s always a twist!
Everyone talks about making that dark and gritty take on Power Rangers but Kahn has actually done it! He’s been working on this for a while now and started filming shortly after Comic-Con. As he told HitFix,
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.
Lionsgate is working on a new Power Rangers reboot, which is said to be a reimagining of the property, but we’ll take Kahn’s Deboot any day. All we want now is for him to launch a Kickstarter campaign so he can turn this into a feature-length film.