TOKUSATSU GESUNDHEIT: Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills

Our heroes

Welcome to Tokusatsu Gesundheit, where today we’re turning our eyes to a wholly American piece of Tokusatsu – Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills.

Plot Rundown

Emperor Gorganus and his cadre of evil space aliens have set their eyes on capturing the Earth, a natural nexus of wormholes called Power Portals. Nimbar, the gelatinous protector of the portals, selects four California teens to become a new team of Galactic Sentinels, gigantic superhuman warriors empowered by a tattoo-like mark on their arm. Thus, the four teenagers become the Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills!

Nimbar, the answer to the question “What happens when Zordon sneezes?”

Brief Background

The unexpectedly massive success of Power Rangers in the early nineties spawned several imitators – oddly enough, most of them from the same production company as Power Rangers itself. Only two of these imitators were created out of whole cloth and the first of those was Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills, debuting just over a year after MMPR.

Highlights

  • The show feels like a hybrid of Power Rangers and Ultraman, as the Galactic Sentinels and the monsters they face are giants, start to finish.

    Isolus, one of the better MOTW.

  • Glenn Shaddix, who you might remember from his appearance in Bettlejuice and his prolific voice acting career, voices Nimbar. On this point, TTAFfBH beats most* of its Japanese-American hybrid competitors hands down.
  • The series could only afford ten monsters of the week for its forty episode run, meaning the monsters recur fairly often. This made the show resemble the standard American Saturday morning cartoon, with its fairly static recurring stable of baddies.
  • The show introduced a “sixth ranger” type character, one of Nimbar’s alien sentinels, mid-way through the run. He appeared in exactly one episode, which seems like a missed opportunity.

Review

The series looks seriously low budget, enhancing its corniness over and above that of Power Rangers: the sets for the monster fights are sparse, the heroes and villains most shoot post-production energy beams at each other rather than physically battle, and the monster suits are below the level of your average Youmacon cosplayers. That said, the show has a certain amount of charm and is ultimately comparable to  Goranger or an original series Kamen Rider.

I don’t even pretend to understand the physics of how four teenagers combine into a robot knight.

*Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad had Tim freaking Curry as the voice of its villain, hence “most”.

Come Back Next Week for a New Installment of 1 out of 5 – Would Reccommend!

 

About Chris Walker

Chris Walker (@back2past) is affectionately referred to as Back to the Past’s social media lackey. He’s all over finding nuggets of pop culture news, wherever they may be hiding!

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