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Surprise! Director of Power/Rangers Doesn’t Give a Crap About Power Rangers

Megazord haha more like megaDUH.

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We promise, we’ll stop writing about this thirteen-minute long, overly gritty “fan film” when it stops being so endlessly fascinating to us.

In between countless petitions to Saban Entertainment and the current Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers rights holders to put his short film Power/Rangers back on Youtube and Vimeo, director Joseph Kahn found the time to put together a Reddit AMA to answer any and all questions we might have for him. First up: He doesn’t even actually like the Power Rangers because he was too far outside the age range.

I can’t front that I’m a fan of Power Rangers. Most people when they do projects always say they’re fans but 90% are lying just to please the fans. I was already shaving in 1993 when Power Rangers came out. It was aimed at 12 year olds. I would have been weird as fuck if I was going into clubs raving about a reappropriated Sentai show for kids. I would have never gotten laid (which I didn’t anyway so what did it matter). It was an interesting experiment to play with reboot culture and tone control. When I finally made it I was fully invested in the characters and the property but I didn’t come into it to please a fan base, per se, but to experiment with pop culture.

But… fan film? Not fan? HOW.

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In truth, the only reason he landed on Power Rangers as a vehicle for his “experiment” was that he was already committed to doing a sc i-fi short with Russ Bain, and Adi Shankar convinced him to turn to the ’90s television show for inspiration. “I self funded [the film] and shot it over 7 days. It was taken down because it was awesome,” he told Reddit. On a completely unrelated note, has Joseph Khan ever directed a music video for Kanye West? I would like to put those two egos in a room together and see who comes out of it, Highlander-style.

But stupendous self-confidence aside, Khan does make a really good point about the biggest failure of the movie industry—the completely arbitrary nature of ratings, which, in light of the film being put back on Youtube and Vimeo under an age restrictive wall, is a conversation worth having:

In POWER/RANGERS [I] was making a point about the ratings system. The people who want me to tone this down and make this a “PG-13” version – you know how I do that? Take out a few fucks and take out the blood when there’s a gunshot. That’s it. And suddenly everyone would have their kid friendly PG-13. But what exactly is that? The absurdity is people will accept this very short as entertainment for kids as long as you show guns are bloodless and people just kind of fall down when they get hit. This is a weird hypocricy of the ratings system, commercial necessity rather than a moral one. Even before PG-13 was invented a PG film like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK would show that guns, when shot at someone, would blow blood off his head into the lens. So this film is a response to that and making a more honest depiction of this sort of violent entertainment. To get a PG-13 all I have to do is cut our the cursing, keep the killings but just sanitize them. And no tits.

I’d argue that the MPAA’s problem with “tits” is probably a little more pressing than their problem with blood and swear words, given that you can only barely show a woman enjoying sex in a PG-13 film (if she enjoys it too much, it gets automatically bumped up to an R) whereas men get to have all the orgasms they like.

But he’s right that sanitizing a movie’s violence really doesn’t actually, you know, do anything. It’s still violent, you just don’t have think too critically about the real-world implications of that violence. Like Batman—sure, you didn’t kill anyone, but all the hospital bills will probably force those hooligans back into a life of crime faster than you can swear vengeance, right?

(via Comic Book Resources)

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