Episode Title: Life’s a Masquerade
Original Airdate: October 30, 1993
There have been all sorts of different versions of Frankenstein’s monster in the movies…from Boris Karloff to Robert DeNiro. Today, though we get Frankenstein meets the Power Rangers. Yep, old flat top himself shows up in Angel Grove to do some damage in today’s episode, Life’s a Masquerade.
There’s a big costume party going on at the at the youth center and everyone is helping Ernie get the place decorated. Meanwhile, up in space, Rita has Finster working on a new super puttie to make stronger fighters. Until it’s ready, though, she has him whip up another creature to break up the party. It ends up being her own version of the Frankenstein monster.
Everyone shows up at the party, except for Tommy who is still putting some finishing touches on his costume. Even Alpha shows up…he just looks like a kid in a robot costume. When the Frankenstein shows up, everyone thinks he’s just someone in a costume. Before long, he goes a bit nuts and storms out. Billy decides to follow, thinking it might be Tommy in the costume. He follows the creature to the cave where Finster is working on his puttie. When it becomes clear that the monster is one of Rita’s pets, Billy morphs and fights the monster. Overpowered, Billy wisely decides to go get the others.
The team all teleport to the command center, but they can’t seem to reach Tommy. He ends up having a run in with some putties while on his way to the youth center. After getting the lowdown from Zordon, our heroes morph and quickly form the Mega Zord to battle the now giant monster. The battle gets pretty intense, even causing the leveling of several buildings. Luckily, the rangers manage to reach Tommy who summons the Dragon Zord. After forming the Mega Dragon Zord, our heroes impale the Frankenstein with their staff and save the city once again. The costume party then resumes and guess who wins first prize…Alpha, of course.
This episode is somewhat unique in that Rita’s monster is not someone in a bulky rubber suit. The Frankenstein makeup is achieved with half a mask to create the square top head we all know and love, but the rest of the actor’s face is visible. So we actually get to see some degree of expressions from the monster. This Frankenstein is also much more agile than most of the other monsters we see on this show. He does some pretty impressive moves. If you’ve ever found yourself wishing that someone would do a kung fu version of Frankenstein…well here you are. He even has some nun-chuk like weapons that are formed by pulling the bolts out of his neck. It’s crazy! It’s also interesting to note that we have versions of the monster in both the original Japanese footage and the new US footage. It actually feels like there is a lot more US footage in this episode than normal.
Since there is a lot more of the US footage, characters like Ernie and Bulk & Skull get to play a bit bigger role in this one. My favorite scene of this episode is where we see Bulk and Skull trying to figure out what costumes to wear to the party. One they hit upon is Skull as young slender Elvis and Bulk as old fat Elvis. Quite ingenious, actually. As for the rangers themselves, their costumes are fine, but nothing terribly original. Jason goes as Robin Hood, Billy is Sherlock Holmes, Kimberly is a princess (in pink, of course), Zack is King Tut, and Trini is an Indian princess. Tommy, very stupidly if you ask me, shows up as Frankenstein after the whole battle has taken place.
Speaking of the battle, it’s pretty wild in this one. At a few points, Frankenstein manages to pick up the Mega Zord and toss it into a few buildings which completely crumble underneath. I sure hope those buildings were evacuated. I don’t know, though…after all, the costume party at the youth center seems to have gone on somewhat unfazed while a giant Frankenstein is fighting a giant robot just a few blocks away. That’s life in Angel Grove, I guess. We never did get to see those super putties Finster was working on, though. They factor into things in our next episode, Gung Ho!