Recently, all my friends on social media have been buzzing and wanting to get my opinion on the new Power Rangers short film, with more than one person telling me that this was the Power Rangers movie that they’d be willing to go see. For my part, I like bits of the movie, with the caveat that it seems to be a parody of grimdark reboots that, by design, is not really Power Rangers at all. Indeed, if you listed all the things that I NEVER want to see full of blood, sex, cursing and the blue/orange filters, Power Rangers would easily make Top 5, alongside Tom & Jerry and Bloom County, which leads us to today’s smoky, blood-spattered query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is a little bit worried about the upcoming revival of ‘Powerpuff Girls, to be honest, asking: What property, movie comic or what-have-you would you LEAST want to see return as a grimdark post-apocalyptic gritty reboot murderfest?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Oh, there’s a list. I’ll start with Jonny Quest, based on the number of people who reeeeeeally wanted the 90s series to take its characterization cues from Evangelion; I get the mortal-risk elements, but it doesn’t need the “abusive parents, broken psyches, & constant conspiracies” that that segment so vocally demanded would truly update the series. There’s quite a few Hanna-Barbera series that fit the bill, actually, but hopefully Venture Brothers took enough of the piss out of any serious attempts to do them.

    The magical girl genre as a whole seems to be skirting this, largely thanks to the success of Madoka Magica, but all but the darkest & worst recent entries (*coughDaybreakIllusioncough*) have had enough sense to end in ways that are still rooted in the genre’s fundamental positive themes.

    • I honestly don’t mind the idea of dark takes on the magical girl genre in general (as in original works), but I certainly wouldn’t want to see dark reboots of existing series that were initially lighter in tone. Slightly more serious reboots or slightly more menacing villains, sure, but taking what was once a lighter series and making it super dark? No thank you.

  2. Truth be told, I’m kinda worried about this happening with the recent Ghostbusters reboot apparently taking some cues from Walking Dead. Apparently the director wants the new film to be legitimately scary, but one of the things I liked about the original was that it wasn’t scary. While I like a blend of humor and scares (like Rodrigo, I share a deep appreciation for “American Werewolf in London”), I’m a little worried the new Ghostbusters could be either too gimmicky or too dark if it tries to force this blend arbitrarily.

  3. Was that power rangers vid really parody? It didn’t seem obviously overly grimdark to me — just normally grimdark. It’s nothing beyond what Miller did with Batman or any of the other gritty treatment of a comic property.

    Regarding the question though… easy answers for me: Star Wars, and Sailor Moon. The tongue in cheek banter and goofiness is what makes those series work, and without it the properties fail.

  4. I certainly wouldn’t want Power Rangers to get a “gritty” reboot, but as I said in the thread about the fan film, I really wouldn’t mind an original work that is loosely inspired by Power Rangers, Super Sentai, Kamen Rider or the like that is more dark and/or adult in nature (Not counting Akibaranger since while it may be a bit more adult, it is more of a humorous parody/homage). I know there is a series in Japan that is a similar concept (I think it is called GARU?) of a tokusatsu series for adults, but I’m not sure how dark/gritty it really is.

    I also would never want a similar Star Wars reboot, but at the same time I really wouldn’t mind a standalone film that is dark. After all, they have established there are criminal empires, murderous Dark Side users, Witches of Dathomir and so on in the current canon (meaning no EU stuff, just the movies and the two recent cartoon series), and have implied quite a bit of dark stuff happening off screen (for instance, Anakin killing the Jedi younglings), so I could easily see a REALLY dark Star Wars standalone or spinoff film working (not that I expect them to ever make one quite that graphic) as long as it isn’t part of the main series.

    I wouldn’t want to see Transformers that way. I mean, I could easily see a movie set in the early days of the Autobot/Decepticon war being pretty dark, but bot on bot violence is a little different than post-apocalyptic Earth human genocide.

    I also have a hard time being able to picture Ghostbusters working that way. While I don’t mind the ghost aspect being creepy, it should be more about the humor than the horror. I MIGHT be able to accept a “possible dark future” scenario like they showed in “Extreme Ghostbusters” or some of the comics, but it would still have to be pretty tame (more “smudge of dust” than “gritty” and certainly no murderfest).

  5. Off the top of my head, Captain Planet, but essentially any story where the the whole point of the soft-action is because the main character/s represent hope and symbolize something better than mindless violence.

  6. So, so many things shouldn’t hit that level in a remake, so I’ll arbitrarily choose for the top of my list…

    Encyclopedia Brown

    Short-form fair play mysteries featuring the schoolboy son of the Chief of Police doesn’t need to have him having torrid affairs with partner-in-crime Sally Kimball or bone-breaking run-ins with local gangbanger Bugs Meany.

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