Thursday, October 05, 2017

Power Rangers Turbo: Carlos and the Count – review

Director: Lawrence L. Simeone

First aired: 1997

Contains spoilers

So this is a further example of a vampire in long running tokusatsu series Power Rangers. This example is in the Turbo incarnation and was almost a decade before the Mystic Force example.

Of course, Power Rangers is aimed at the kids’ demographic but this one felt (as an episode, I didn’t watch through the whole series as the vampire element was only in this episode) aimed at a much more juvenile audience than Mystic Force, which I felt edged more into the early teen demographic.

dressed as vampires
This can be seen in comedy characters Bulk (Paul Schrier) and Skull (Jason Narvy). Bulk is one of the longest running Power Rangers characters (appearing in 10 seasons at time of review, 7 consecutively) and this starts with the pair dressed as vampires as they welcome people to their scary movie night. The film, of course, is a vampire movie and is spied on by series antagonist Divatox (Hilary Shepard). She complains about the human obsession with vampires and flunky Elgar (Kenny Graceson) says *they* should try lunar bats as he tries to swat a particularly crap bat.

vampire hunters
Divatox like the idea and captures the lunar bat with her tongue, mutating it into the monster Count Nocturne (Tom Fahn). The monster goes to Earth and arranges for the attack and capture of Carlos (Roger Velasco), the Green Ranger. He bites Carlos and this is witnessed by Bulk and Skull who become vampire hunters replete with garlic, stakes and a book entitled “How to Track a Bat”. Carlos takes to wearing black and shades, he gains fangs and red glowing cat’s eyes. The only Ranger to become suspicious, at first, is child ranger Justine (Blake Foster).

Carlos turned
Justin’s research leads him to discover that vampires are sensitive to sunlight (hence Carlos’ shades), are warded by garlic and cast no reflection. We also see Carlos turn into a crap bat. In fact, after the rangers capture him (as he tries his luck at a blood drive) he is given an antidote but it is only partial and he regains some measure of reflection in the mirror. However the only way to be entirely free of vampirism is to destroy Count Nocturne.

Count Nocturne
All in all, this was a really fluff episode. Played often for laughs and aimed at a young demographic the vampirism might follow the classic rules but is not particularly imbued with any atmosphere or horror. As such it is likely to leave an adult viewer cold, unless that viewer has a particular soft spot for the Power rangers. I don’t, I’m afraid – 3.5 out of 10. The imdb page is here.

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