Its Bad Guy Time
We’re looking at a show that, throughout the years and its iterations, has featured a mammoth rogues gallery: The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and their villains. While many of the bad guys have been over-the-top and silly, some of them definitely stand out as being powerful and iconic.
Welcome to our Villain Rankings
For this list, I’m going to focus on the 9 most powerful villains in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers library. But, my list isn’t just going to be the ones who were the strongest or had the most weapons or even presented the most dangerous threat. I am going to consider how iconic a villain is to the iconography of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers canon.
Someone who might not have had the strongest laser beams or super strength. But is memorable for other reason, might find themselves on this list above other, more “dangerous” foes (you’ll understand what I mean in a bit).
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a franchise built on inherent silliness. A bunch of teenagers get super-powered transformers in the form of dinosaurs and are bossed around by a floating head? Sure! So some of the villains might have a similar bent.
So, onto the list of the Top 9 Most Powerful Villains in Power Rangers history.
But first, a brief interlude for some honourable mentions.
The Bad Guy Who Should’ve Won: The Unexpected Pathos of Fang
The character of Fang, a throwaway baddie who only ever showed up in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 1 episode “The Yolks on You”. Seemingly an insignificant character in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers canon. But was an unexpectedly fascinating case study in pathos and character motivation.
You see, Fang was obsessed with Gooney Bird eggs, a rare type of egg that was his favourite type of food. He had a collection of them hidden and ready to eat, but Squatt and Baboo had already eaten them, throwing Fang into despair.
Rita promised him that, if he were to defeat the Power Rangers, she would get him more Gooney Bird eggs. So the poor guy tried his darndest to defeat the Rangers (he did not).
But the thing is, Fang, wasn’t really as evil as many of the other villains. He just wanted his favourite food. Not world domination, not anything heinous, just his favourite eggs! And he was destroyed because of it. All because Rita manipulated him and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had to save the day.
I remember this episode when I was growing up and how it devastated me (well, not “devastated” but it affected me enough to write about it some 20 years later). In a show that was predicated on so much silliness, Fang was a rare villain who we felt sorry for, whether the creators meant to do that or not. And for that – the only real emotionally affecting villain on the show – he deserves a mention.
If Only It Were a Real Movie: Rocky and Power/Rangers
If you’ve never seen Joseph Kahns 2015 short film Power/Rangers, you need to go see it now. It is a short (15-minute) gritty reboot of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise. One that takes a critical, psychological lens to the premise of the show and exposes it. This was a franchise based on a team of unwilling teenagers. Who are kidnapped, brainwashed, injected with strange magic powers? Then forced to fight for a shadowy pseudo-governmental force. It makes you realise how messed up the whole thing is.
At the centre of this film is Rocky the Red Ranger. He has turned on the team and betrayed his fellow Power Rangers after he realised, naturally, how messed up their mission was. He tried to convince the Pink Ranger of this fact (and also tries to lure out Tommy/Green to take him out as well).
Rocky is played by James Van Der Beek. His scenery-chewing turn as “former cheesy teen heartthrob/comedic actor, turned heinous and captivating villain” borders Heath Ledger-Joker and Bryan Cranston-Walter White territory.
If this were a full-length film (a gritty reboot of the Power Rangers), Rocky would place much higher on the actual list. Also, I would own it on DVD and watch it weekly.
Anyway, on to the actual list:
9. Bulk & Skull
Hey, let’s start this game off with a big-time curveball!
Now, before you get mad and say that Bulk and Skull had no superpowers and weren’t villains. Let’s not forget that, especially in earlier episodes they were the most consistent thorns in the side of the Power Rangers. As the show progressed they kept trying to figure out the secret identities of the Power Rangers and expose them.
Of course, most of their villainy involved ineffective bullying and more human than hatred. But the fact is that they were consistent foils for the team over the years. In fact, Paul Schrier (Bulk) and Jason Narvy (Skull) have been on the show as their iconic characters longer than most of the other cast members. This means that they have to rank higher on this list than other, more “powerful” villains who nevertheless disappeared quickly.
Do you remember all the dangerous members of the MMPR rogue gallery over the years? Probably not. But do you remember Bulk and Skull? Of course, you do. And that’s why they have to be on this list.
8. The (Evil) Green Ranger
Another bit of a curveball. But also one of the first instances of interesting character development that the show went with (especially in the early seasons). Also one of the only times the show presented the possibility of defeating the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from within.
In the original incarnation of the Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver was put under the spell of Rita Repulsa. He turned into a sullen, brooding loner who fought the team (and almost beat them).
Then, once he overcame the darkness within him, Rita snatched his powers away (“The Green Candle”). Leading to him briefly leaving the team in one of the most pathos-inducing moments ever seen on the show. When he returned as the White Ranger, it was a huge triumph for the show (and I remember watching it and being really excited about it).
Then, of course, Rita and Zedd brought back the evil Green Ranger via a lock of Tommy’s hair, creating evil clone “Tom”; Oliver. Tom almost defeats Tommy, but in the end, the side of good prevails…but it was a close call. And it is telling that one of the few times the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were almost defeated, it was by the darkness within themselves (perhaps this is where Power/Rangers got its ideas from?).
The main villain in the Power Rangers in Space series. Astronema makes this list due to her intelligence and her ability to create devastating henchmen. She is the creator of the Psycho Rangers (who nearly made this list), a group that almost matched the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers themselves.
However, her backstory and ultimate character arc is a fascinating one. She was formerly known as Karone, the little sister of Andros (the Red Ranger). But was kidnapped at a young age and brainwashed by the Dark Spector into becoming Astronema and ruling over the United Alliance of Evil. After being defeated by her brother, his love for her brought her back to the side of light.
She earns the rank she does because she is one of the most complex characters in the series. Someone who was turned against the side of light by forces beyond her control. And, while she was certainly a powerful villain who nearly defeated the Power Rangers, she was able to find good again. After her redemption, becoming Karone once more and settling into her role as Pink Ranger.
Ransik earns a higher rank on this list than you might think. All because, besides to his powers (which weren’t as powerful as others), he definitely taps into the power of pathos that the show doesn’t often go to. Making him both a vile and powerful villain but also a sympathetic one.
From the Time Force series, Ransik was a genetically engineered mutant from the future. A time when mutants were disparaged and persecuted by the larger society around him in the 31st century (a bit like Magneto in the X-Men universe).
In essence, then, while he was a ruthless criminal, he was one with a justifiable grudge against those around him. If you were trapped in a society that hated you and everyone like you, wouldn’t you consider turning to the dark side as well?
Not only that, but he was redeemed in the end by the power of love; specifically, the love for his daughter Nidara. When he almost killed her in a fit of rage, he realised the error of what he had done (to his daughter and in general) and became an ally to the Power Rangers. Showing that no matter what happens, you can be redeemed if you see the light and change your ways.
5. Rita Repulsa
It may seem strange to rank ‘The OG’ of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers villains this low on the list. But the fact that is that, while she was iconic and an original, she was never really that great of a villain.
Her plans are never very well thought out. Her monstrous creations are usually more silly and bumbling than anything else. And she had a tendency to delve into self-caricature and being an over-the-top, silly baddie rather than a threatening one.
Plus, despite all her powers, she never really gets personally involved in fighting the Power Rangers. She usually leaves her (somewhat inept) charges to do the work for her.
Still, Rita cannot fall below number 5 on this list because of how iconic she is. She was the villain who started it all, and the main catalyst for the Power Rangers to form as a team (and for all the follow-up series to build upon). For her contributions to the longevity of the franchise, Rita Repulsa finds herself at the number 5 spot.
4. Dai Shi
The main antagonist of Power Rangers Jungle Fury. Dai Shi is a powerful villain and also a character that harnesses the power of hatred and bullying. He shows the power and possibility of redemption, no matter how far down the wrong path one goes.
An ancient evil dragon who possesses the vessels of Jarrod (a Pai Zhua student who fell from grace due to bullying and arrogance). And also Camille, forming a villain of incredible power and danger. The final form of Dai Shi, then, combines the ancient power of the evil dragon. With Jarrods bullying tendencies and hatred towards those who cast him out.
This villain was nearly unbeatable and may have won in the end if not for Jarrod recovering his humanity. And then realising that giving in to his impulses would only lead to his downfall.
The fact that he and Camille fall for each other and then realise the error of their ways, make Dai Shi a devastating antagonist and a powerful allegory. He shows what happens when one’s impulses go unchecked and, ultimately, how anyone can be redeemed.
3. Master Org
The main villain in Power Rangers: Wild Force. Master Org was one of the most human (and almost literary in his tragic character arc) of all the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers villains. Yes, he was powerful. He destroyed many Zords and wreaked havoc. But it was his backstory that made him one of the most relatable, and realistic, of all the MMPR villains, which is why he ranks so highly on this list.
His motivations were ones you might see in any other, more realistic TV show or movie (or even a book). Dr Viktor Adler was a man who loved a woman, Elizabeth Evans, who was married to Richard (who was Adler’s fellow scientist and team member). The two of them had a son, Cole (who would go on to become the Red Ranger).
When Richard and Elizabeth froze out Viktor, stealing the spotlight of their Animaria expedition. Viktor succumbed to the hatred in his heart and consumed the remains of the first Master Org to become the second one with that title. He then brutally murdered his former friends in cold blood before becoming a ruthless, conniving villain.
His character almost strikes a Shakespearean tone. A lot like in Richard III where a man, scorned by those around him, takes up arms to wreak havoc and willingly become the villain. Of all the powerful villains in any show, the ones that are most realistic are often the scariest.
2. Venjix Virus
The main villain in Power Rangers RPM and Beast Morphers. Venjix Virus shows that sometimes, the most powerful weapon a villain (or anyone) can fight with is their mind.
While he isn’t the most physically imposing and powerful villain, his intelligence is second to none.
He started as a sentient computer virus. Who quickly mutated into an all-powerful being whose code affected all the technology in the world. Leading to almost the entirety of humanity being wiped out within a few years time.
Besides his intellect. Venjix Virus can apply his mental acuity to adapt to any attack or strategy thrown at him, learn to counter it and improve his abilities.
Even in the end, when he was defeated, there were still hints that he cannot be fully destroyed. Meaning this brilliant, menacing villain may resurface one day to conquer the world. Of all the traits a villain can have, being conquerable might be the scariest.
No pressure, though, Power Rangers.
1. Lord Zedd
While Rita Repulsa was the first of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers villains, her successor (and future husband!) Lord Zedd was the first truly imposing and terrifying villain of the Power Rangers canon.
He was so terrifying that parents asked the network to have the show dial back on Zedd’s menacing character (still the only time such a request was made).
Zedd was such a threatening force, Rita Repulsa – the original big bad – was terrified Zedd would get rid of her. So she was forced to create a love potion to ensnare Zedd and make him her husband instead of her conqueror.
His creations – such as the improved putty warriors – were exponentially more powerful than Rita’s original creations. They almost led to the Power Rangers being defeated early in his run on the show.
While Ritas attempts at conquering the world mostly failed due to her ineptitude, Zedd nearly succeeded. Indeed, he succeeded in conquering many other worlds due to his more ruthless and
He was the first truly powerful and terrifying villain in the Power Rangers series. He was the original prototype upon which all the future villains were based. For that Lord Zedd takes the top spot on this list of most powerful Power Rangers villains.
Thanks for reading our list of Top 9 Most Powerful Power Rangers Villains! Hope you enjoyed the list; we hope it made you think, and we hope it challenged your perceptions on what makes a great villain! Did you REALLY think Ivan Ooze would make the cut???
That’s our list of the 9 most powerful Power Rangers bad guys. Do you have a different opinion on these rankings? Do you agree or disagree with our list or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Check out more from our TV page HERE.
Read IMDB information on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers HERE.
9 Movie Remakes That Should Never Have Been Made
Let’s have a look at nine movie releases remakes that definitely shouldn’t have never been made to seen the light of day.
It seems that in recent years, Hollywood have run out of original movie ideas. There has been remake after remake of films that were initially successful. As it often the case, film execs decide to cash in and remake these films for a new audience.
Now, sometimes this works. Oceans Eleven; The Jungle Book and Woman in Black are some examples that come to mind.
But sometimes it can go spectacularly wrong. This can be due to poor box office sales or being critically panned by the critics. Or it could just be the fact that the writing is utterly diabolical.
9. The Omen (2006)
If you’re going to have a pop at remaking a horror classic, then you have to bring something new to the table. The David Seltzer-penned 1976 original is a horror classic. Brooding and sinister, it doesn’t rely on shock scares. Instead, it uses atmosphere; some fantastic actors; a great script and an Oscar-winning musical score. This remake from 2006 didn’t live up to its predecessor’s brilliance. In fact, there’s no good reason why it was made. The plot follows almost the exact same story as the original film. A large majority of the scenes are practically identical, which seems pointless. You can’t blame the cast as there was some fine actors involved – Mia Farrow, Pete Postlethwaite and Michael Gambon to name a few. But their acting skills were not enough to make this movie good.
It adds nothing new to the original story; it’s just the same film with a different cast. It did make a healthy profit at the box office ($120 million), but the critic reviews were not good for the reasons I’ve mentioned. Fan-reviewed websites also have pretty poor reviews for it, so don’t just take my word for it.
8. Robin Hood (2018)
There have been a few Robin Hood movies over the years. Some are better than others, but this remake from 2018 is truly terrible. There are many factors involved and the two lead men are fine actors, but just not in this movie. Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx have a great filmography, but their ham acting is just cringeworthy here. Blame should also go to the script, which is cheesier than a large cheese pudding. There is plenty of action sequences, but the costumes and dialogue are all anachronistic. This all adds to the clunkiness of the whole debacle. It was also a box office bomb and universally panned by critics. If you want a good Robin Hood movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, watch Robin Hood: Men in Tights from 1993.
7. Get Carter (2000)
The 1971 original is often hailed as one of the greatest movies of all time. A lot of that had to do with the charismatic Michael Caine as the lead character. A gritty Londoner out for revenge after the murder of his brother. In 2000 the movie was remade, but this time it’s set in Seattle with Sylvester Stallone as the lead character. The premise is still the same as the original film, but Sly Stallone kicking butts in Seattle just doesn’t have the same impact. Yes, there are some cool fight scenes and Sly does a good job on the acting front. But it doesn’t have the coolness or panache of the original. It just another Sly fronted action-thriller with little substance. Critics and audiences agreed, and it was universally panned. It also lost $40 million at the international box office.
I’m going to open with the same point I made earlier in this article. If you are going to remake a classic movie, then be innovative and do something new. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 original is a masterpiece of creepy psychological filmmaking. Unfortunately, this 1998 remake failed to improve on any of that. Vince Vaughn played the Norman Bates character with Anne Heche playing Marion Crane. They do a fair job in portraying these iconic characters but bring nothing new to them. I guess seeing the film in colour helps bring a modern feel to it; especially as fake blood was used as opposed to chocolate sauce in the original. But interesting facts aside, it’s pretty much a shot-for-shot remake of the original.
Even the director Gus Van Sant admitted later it was an experiment to see if a shot-for-shot movie would work. It didn’t, as was proved by the critical and financial failure of the film. Then it barely made back half of its $60 million dollar budget. It was also given several Golden Raspberry awards for worst director and worst remake. This proves that you don’t mess around with Alfred Hitchcock.
5. Robocop (2014)
I remember walking into the cinema to watch this full of excitement. I left the cinema two hours later full of popcorn, but also full of disappointment. The original 1987 film is a cult classic. It’s mix of action; violence and satire made it one of the best movies of the decade. This remake from 2014 failed to hit any of those spots. Yes, it had some small elements of political satire and philosophical touches from the original, but little else. People with weak stomachs will applaud the lack of gore, but without it, the film seems too melodramatic. The updated effects make this remake look better, but the substance and excitement just aren’t there. Critics were overwhelming negative of the film too. There is also another reboot in the works. Why?!
4. The Fog (2005)
Enveloping fog has always been a good premise from a horror film. John Carpenter also thought so and made a creepy such film in 1980. The plot revolves around a mysterious fog that brings dead sailors to haunt and terrorize a Californian town. Sometimes the passage of time can allow for the special effects to improve, and it does here. But the gaps between the various grisly deaths are just dull. The characters are wooden, and you don’t end up caring when they meet their untimely demise. John Carpenter did produce this remake so it’s surprising there isn’t more depth to it. It did make a small profit at the box office but was universally panned by movie critics. If you do have to watch it just don’t engage your brain.
3. Total Recall (2012)
Another movie that tried to reboot an iconic sci-fi action film. 1990’s original was set on Mars and featured Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role. At the time, it was one of the most expensive movies ever made. This remake from 2012 had Colin Farrell in the lead role, supported by the brilliant Kate Beckinsale. This is another film that’s enjoyable to watch, just don’t try thinking whilst watching. There are plenty of spectacular action sequences that fizz, pop and bang, but don’t expect substance. It lacks any depth to the plot and misses the mark on the dry humour and character development that the original had. Pretty much all the movie critics agreed as well.
2. Bangkok Dangerous (2008)
Ah, Nicolas Cage. His movies in recent years have been a bit, well, hit and miss. And that’s being generous. It’s a shame as he is genuinely a great actor. But in recent years he’s picked terrible films to be in, and often dials in a performance. This remake from the Pang brothers Thai original from 1999 has none of the unique hallmarks of the original. For example, Nic Cage’s character is no longer deaf and mute like he was in the original. This seems odd as the brothers also directed this remake. A meandering plot; wooden performances and clunky cinematography make this a flop. It also received poor reviews and barely broke even at the box office.
1. Death Wish (2018)
The Charles Bronson 1974 original was a violent but successful vigilante movie. It also hit a chord with Americans at a time of increasing urban violence. It spawned several sequels, but this 2018 remake had Bruce Willis dishing out the justice. The original film had a point to make about taking the law into your own hands and did it with a visceral bang. The film was shocking at the time with its violence and rape scene, but it was relevant to explain how the lead character changed through the film. This remake doesn’t explore any of this.
It’s a brainless revenge movie that doesn’t have the same impact as the original and Bruce Willis dials in a lacklustre performance. It doesn’t add anything to the original film, and you’re left feeling empty after watching it. The whole thing seems pointless and morally bankrupt. In fact, it makes the 1974 original seem almost philosophical. It also received criticism for being released a few weeks after the Douglas High School shooting in Florida and for glorifying guns. It also barely made a profit at the box office and overwhelmingly received negative reviews.
And that’s our list of nine movie remakes that should never have been given the green light. Did we miss any? do you agree with us? Let us know in the comments below.
Read about what went wrong with the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street HERE.
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