Like Ultraman, Kamen Rider and pretty much every other television series of the tokusatsu genre, Power Rangers — and its original Japanese counterpart Super Sentai — would be nothing without the monster-of-the-day bringing the hurt on a team of heroes in chromatic spandex. This entire concept has been around since 1975 and wasn’t properly introduced to North America nationally until 1993, when the series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger was repackaged as Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Having said that, 37 years in conjunction with a new Super Sentai series essentially being produced on a yearly basis meant there had to be a new monster for every episode made. That’s a lot of monsters, but the masterminds behind the creatures’ design didn’t let such a daunting task stop them from getting the job done, especially with inspiration being found in everyday life. Family pet? Monster. Hairdryer? Monster. City bus that reeks of vomit and urine? Monster.
But sometimes drawing inspiration from every conceivable object or living organism isn’t the best way to go as the end result sometimes varies from being too creative, frightening or just plain defies categorization. And these 10 bizarre Power Rangers monsters more than prove that!
Mary Shelley’s modern Prometheus may be in the public domain and therefore free to use, but in a show that features an eclectic array of monsters, who thought that having the Power Rangers take down Frankenstein would make for an entertaining episode? Really, if he were accompanied by Godzilla and Darth Vader you’d swear this episode was written by a five-year-old.
And what’s even lazier than the notion of the Power Rangers duking it out with Frankenstein is the outfit itself. Instead of crafting the standard rubber monster costume, it looks like the costume department was experiencing budget cuts that day and hit the post-Halloween discount bin at the local drugstore. For what it’s worth, Frankenstein would look good on a pack of cheap and rash-inducing monster make-up. (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, “Lie’s a Masquerade”)
9) Karaoke Org
More often than not, the Orgs on Power Rangers: Wild Force were anthropomorphic appliances or vehicles that further substantiate the theory that the franchise’s monster designers aren’t very picky when it comes to their sources of inspiration, at least for the sake of keeping their jobs. But none better captured the musical spirit and fun of one of Japan’s greatest past times, karaoke, in the form of the Karaoke Org! As if the Karaoke Org didn’t have the Power Rangers to worry about, he also fights an endless and losing battle against tone deaf — and sloshed — Japanese business men butchering perfectly good J-Pop. (PR: Wild Force, “Power Play”)
8) Brick Bully
One guess as to what the monster designers were blankly staring at during an unproductive day of brainstorming monsters for the show… or crashed their car into after a wild night of drunken escapades. See? The best ideas really do come out of nowhere! And like Karaoke Org, Brick Bully has various nemeses outside the Power Rangers, such as spray paint-wielding punks and derelicts with full bladders looking for a place to take a leak. Wait, didn’t Spider-Man already fight this guy on The Electric Company? (MMPR, “Another Brick in the Wall”)
Look, we get that Turbanshell is supposed to be a hermit crab and they carry their shells on their backs. And we also get that the designers were, to the best of their ability, aiming for some shred of anatomical consistency. But there are much better places for Turbanshell to wear his shell other than around his ass like a diaper. Aside from looking like a deranged lunatic’s take on Baby Huey, it really makes one wonder if Turbanshell is relieving himself in that thing (even the most evil of monsters bent on destruction need to use the can once in a while). If he does, couldn’t you imagine what would happen if the Power Rangers’ Thunder Megazord busted Turbanshell’s “diaper” open during a scuffle while he was gigantic? (MMPR, “Green No More, Part 1”)
Whatever the monster design team was taking at the time of Power Rangers: Turbo we’ll never know, but it’s safe to say that something as terrifying as Amphibitor can only be the result of having a drug-fueled brainstorm session at a Rainforest Cafe — a truly awful set and setting. (PR: Turbo, “Shift Into Turbo, Part 3”)
Seemingly popularized overnight by the television series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, people all over have been buying up these multi-colored, skin-tight zentai suits (as they’re called in Japan) not just for their ability to incite laughter and break the ice at large-scale parties, but also for that unnerving tang of creepiness that makes people tense. Which is an entirely appropriate response as they are partially synonymous with spandex fetishism. Which only serves to make the monster Impursonator creepier than she already is, because the zippered mouth clearly wasn’t enough. Neither was the fact that it showed the horrors of the morbidly obese donning zentai. (PR: Zeo, “Rangers of Two Worlds Part 1 & 2”)
In case Amphibitor wasn’t enough of an indication, Power Rangers: Turbo is notorious for having some of the creepiest monsters seen in the franchise with a few looking too human for one’s own comfort. Of them, Flashhead is by far the most nightmarishly hellish of the bunch. One-third obnoxious tourist, one-third Mardi Gra big head and one-third botched botox procedure, Flashhead is sheer terror incarnate and probably lead to children nationwide having an irrational fear of photographers. So many family trips to the Walmart portrait studio ruined… (PR: Turbo, “The Robot Ranger”)
3) See Monster
See Monster is every bit as disturbing as he is disgusting. The disturbing: he’s obviously inspired by the very depraved activity of concealing one’s privates beneath a coat and flashing such to unwitting passerby, even though See Monster does so to zap the minds of his victims (how did American network censorship let that one slip under the radar?). The disgusting: See Monster’s coat is a part of his body, so he’s basically flaying himself to reveal not only eyes but also exposed muscle tissue. Not surprisingly, this was the first and last time the designer would ever watch Silence of the Lambs whilst working. (MMPR, “Changing of the Zords, Part 3”)
2) Mr. Gooriffic
The preferred weapons of choice for monsters are swords, maces, staves, and other armament used in the art of warfare. But there are those that like to fight convention and wield something far different like… tubes of goo? Mr. Gooriffic is yet another horror show from Power Rangers: Turbo that chooses to strike at his adversaries with a generous application of goo that turns the target into an animal. But why, of all things, would someone create a monster that has to carry around a an industrial-sized tube of ointment unless you were intentionally doing so for innuendo and shock value? There’s one item such as this that comes packaged in a tube, and we ain’t talking about toothpaste! (PR: Turbo, “Cassie’s Best Friend”)
Well… Oysterizer is certainly one of the more sensual monsters seen in the entire span of the Power Rangers franchise. And likely the only design to have been inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s “floral” artwork. (MMPR, “An Oyster Stew”)