The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have been everything from samurais, to ninjas, to time travelers, to aliens in their decades-old history, but never once have they been angry, blood-thirsty adults. Director Joseph Kahn and producer Adi Shankar have finally made that happen with this newest “bootleg” short film that explores the idea of the Power Rangers being adults in a violent war instead of goofy teenagers frolicking around Angel Grove.
UPDATE (03/01/2015 20:25ET): It’s back! The ultra-violent, not safe for work Power Rangers fan film is once again available on Vimeo after director Joseph Kahn and lawyers from Saban Entertainment and Lionsgate came to agreement. There are now several disclaimers so this fan version of the popular show does not confuse bright-eyed innocent kids into seeing a Power Ranger get decapitated. As Kahn told Deadline:
They put these disclaimers on so kids so don’t confuse our super-violent film with their Power Rangers brand. There are no hard feelings. We signed contracts. We can play it anywhere we want on all platforms. I think they realized that people just want to see it.
Similar to the first version of the Power Rangers that debuted in 1993, it features the most well-known Rangers Kimberly the Pink Ranger (played by Katee Sackhoff), Tommy the Green Ranger (Russ Bain), Zack the Black Ranger (Gichi Gamba), and of course Rocky the Red Ranger (James Van Der Beek). But unlike the kid-friendly show that aired on Fox all those years ago, this re-imagining features more headshots, blood spurts, and a whole lot of swearing.
If you’re interested in the NSFW version, and want to see the bloody carnage as it is originally intended, that can be found in the Vimeo video below.
And if you’re a little more squishy to bad language, or wasting time at work watching the video with snooping co-workers, the slightly more SFW version can be found on YouTube below.
The short is directed by Joseph Kahn, who is known mostly for directing pop music videos dating all the way back to the Backstreet Boys‘ video for “Backstreet’s Back” in 1997. He’s lately moved on from music videos and has done more grindhouse-esque films such as 2004’s Torque and 2011’s Detention.
Adi Shankar took up the role as producer for the short, something he has done for several other similar short films in the past in what he calls his “Bootleg Universe.” He’s also done one for The Punisher called The Punisher: Dirty Laundry in 2012, and last year he joined in on the push to get a Dredd sequel made by producing Judge Dredd: Superfiend. If you’re interested in hearing his whole reasoning behind The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers bootleg, he posted a video explaining why, which you can see below (NSFW language).