Earlier this week, Lionsgate and Saban Brands released the latest collection of Halloween-themed episodes from Saban’s long-running Power Rangers franchise. The new collection—Trickster Treat—features four more Halloween-themed episodes from different eras of the hugely popular property. What sets the episodes featured here is that they are a slightly more representative portion of the Power Rangers legacy. That will be discussed shortly. On a related note the writing within each of the featured episodes stands out in examining the whole of this compilation. It is yet another reason that Power Rangers fans will appreciate this (apparent) second ever Halloween-themed Power Rangers collection. Last of note in this collection is the work of the cast within each episode. Even as many years have passed since Saban first introduced the Power Rangers to America, the work of each “season’s” cast has remained just as impressive from one season to the next. That is just as evident in these four episodes as any of the franchise’s others. Together with the work of the series’ writers and those charged with choosing the collection’s episodes, it rounds out the reasons that fans will enjoy this DVD and leaves fans hopeful that there will be more Power Rangers Halloween DVDs to come.
Trickster Treat, the new Halloween-themed collection of Power Rangers episodes from Lionsgate and Saban Brands is not the first of its kind from the two companies. Nor is it the first collection of holiday-themed Power Rangers collections from the long-running superhero series. However, it would appear that the new collection, which was released earlier this week, is only the second Halloween-themed collection to be released to date from the worldwide phenomenon franchise. If that is indeed true, then it is a shock within itself. That is because of the sheer number of episodes that could have been used over the years for other collections. That aside, Trickster Treat still proves in the long run to be a good addition to any Power Rangers fan’s collection. Its selection of episodes is the main reason for that. Being that there is apparently only one other Halloween-themed Power Rangers collection available to fans—Power Rangers Samurai: Monster Bash–this collection’s selection of episodes is an improvement from that collection. Whereas Power Rangers Samurai: Monster Bash featured three episodes and a bonus PSA, Trickster Treat features a fourth episode but no extras. That lack of extras is not a setback for the DVD either. On a deeper level, the episodes featured in this collection offer a little wider representation from the Power Rangers two decade-plus run than those included in Monster Bash. The episodes in that set include one episode from Power Rangers Samurai and two from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. By comparison Trickster Treat features one episode from the second season of MMPR, one from Power Rangers Zeo, one from Power Rangers Super Samurai and one from Power Rangers Megaforce. It serves to show at least a small cross section of the Power Rangers’ history. That is a lot more than fans got from Monster Bash. And considering that Trickster Treat is allegedly only the second ever Power Rangers Halloween collection, this gives quite a bit of hope among fans for even more collections in the years to come with just as much representation if not more from the Power Rangers multitude of installments.
The selection of episodes offered to Power Rangers fans in Trickster Treat is by itself a solid reason for them to pick up this collection. It is just one reason that fans will appreciate the DVD, too. The writing within each of the episodes is another reason that fans will enjoy the DVD. That is because there is such a notable difference in the writing style from one installment to the next. The writing incorporated into “Zedd’s Monster Mash” (MMPR) and “It Came From Angel Grove” (Zeo) presents stories that are more kid (and family) friendly than those of “Raising Spirits” (Megaforce) and “Trickster Treat” (Super Samurai). There is a lot more slapstick comedy and more relatable story elements in the episodes from those earlier installments than those from the later installments for lack of better wording. For instance, “It Came From Angel Grove” utilized the commonly used dream sequence story element for its base. From there, it proceeds to pay homage to the classic black and white horror movies of Hollywood’s golden era. And it does so in a way that will entertain audiences of all ages. “Zedd’s Monster Mash” on the other hand actually sends Tommy (in his White Ranger days) into a spirit world of sorts to battle a couple of previously perished bad guys by himself. On a totally separate note, “Raising Spirits” (Megaforce) is a clip show at its roots. Given the whole episode is not a clip show. And that is actually a good thing considering that it would have been so easy for Megaforce’s writers to take that lazier road. It shows that the writers in question didn’t want to do that but rather incorporate the element in question into the whole of what is overall an original episode. “Trickster Treat” is its own original piece. It could be argued that this episode pays homage to Wes Craven’s original Nightmare on Elm Street as the episode’s main villain gets into the Rangers’ dreams and causes them plenty of trouble. Now how it managed to do so isn’t exactly explained away. But that can be excused considering the episode’s execution. Now in examining each of the presented stories, viewers will see the clear difference in each episode’s writing style. The episodes presented in the latter series are less lighthearted overall than those of the Power Rangers’ earlier days. Is that a bad thing? No. Not at all. It is just interesting to note. It is a welcome juxtaposition of writing styles as a matter of fact. And with any luck fans will see even more of that variety in future Halloween-themed Power Rangers DVDs, going back to that core reason for the DVD’s enjoyment among fans. Both reasons together make a solid argument in favor of adding this DVD to fans’ home collections. And even together they are only part of what makes the DVD worth fans’ purchase. The work of each installment’s cast rounds out the presentation’s positives
Both the episodes selected for Trickster Treat’s body and the writing of each episode therein are of equal importance to the whole of this new DVD. The work of the episodes’ cast members rounds out the reasons that the collection proves to be a welcome addition for any Power Rangers fan. While the franchise’s writing style has changed over the course of its two decade-plus run, one thing that has changed far less is the ability of its cast within each installment. Jason David Frank is hilarious as a vampire in “It Came From Angel Grove.” Watching him, it’s obvious that he had great fun going back to Hollywood’s golden era. The same can be said of fellow cast mate Johnny Yong Bosch, who was the star of the episode. The duo’s acting is so carefree throughout. It is as if the episode’s director just gave them (and the rest of the cast) a certain free reign as they went through the episode. By comparison, the cast of Super Samurai is just as entertaining as it weaves its way out of its dream-induced conflict. Early on, there is a certain camp element as the Rangers’ outfits are decked out in Halloween costumes and the Rangers have to act out of sorts from the norm since they are in a dream. It could even be argued that there’s a hint of classic Japanese cinema in the cast’s acting here. And of course who could forget Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy (a.k.a. Bulk and Skull) in “Zedd’s Monster Mash.” Schrier and Narvy’s physical comedy and timing is impeccable. The duo’s Laurel and Hardy style comic acting played such a big role in the enjoyment of MMPR. That is just as evident here as Bulk accidentally eats a handful of red hots at one point and Skull breaks a handful of plastic knives trying to use them to carve a pumpkin. The pair’s reaction in each situation is timeless and will leave viewers of all ages laughing just as much today as in the episode’s original broadcast. It’s just one more example of why the work of each cast is just as important to the whole of Trickster Treat as the featured episodes and their writing. All three elements combined make Power Rangers: Trickster Treat another enjoyable new Halloween-themed compilation for fans. They collectively make the DVD so enjoyable that it will leave fans hopeful that there will be many more collections to come presenting even more incarnations of the power Rangers.
Power Rangers: Trickster Treat is only the second new Halloween-themed collection of Power Rangers episodes to be released in the franchise’s now two decade plus run on American television. Considering that, it has its share of positives. That is especially in comparison to the first collection released only a few years ago. The episodes present a good portion of the Power Rangers’ legacy even with just the set’s four episodes. The writing across all four episodes shows just how much has changed over the years but still done right. The work of each series’ cast is just as enjoyable to watch. All three elements together make this four-episode collection a good addition to any true Power Rangers fan’s collection and gives hope to those same fans for more releases in the future from the franchise’s other series. Power Rangers: Trickster Treat is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from Lionsgate’s online store now at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/product.asp?Id=32338&TitleParentId=10246. More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:
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