Ho ho howdy folkses! Welcome to the Sixth Day of The Twelve Days of Shitmas! Our previous entry, was a bit of a mixed bag with some heavy-handed prosthelytizing and a recent celebrity scandal making it a hard sack to carry, but at least it had decent music and a few amusing gags. Not so today's feature, which is not so much a holiday treat as a toxic pathogen designed to thin out the world's population and leave more Christmas presents for those of us left behind.

What's brown and sounds like a bell?

We're posting a new review of a different Christmas special every other day, culminating in what we consider the worst of the bunch on Christmas morning...or such were our intentions when we began this little project. To be frank, I'm skeptical that anything could be worse than the steaming pile of Yule logs I bring you neatly gift-wrapped today. It's proof positive, however that though not all presents can be winners it really is the thought that counts!

Alpha's Magical Christmas was produced as a fan club exclusive for the immensely popular Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show. In the interests of full disclosure: I don't particularly give a shit about the Power Rangers. They're so far outside the radar of my personal experience that I have no opinion about or attachment to them at all, so I went into this with no vested interest, no agenda and no feelings to hurt. That said this thing is such an infuriating assault on the senses, so in-your-face obnoxious, and such a noisome affront to all aesthetic decency that I actually felt deep and sincere pity for fans of the Power Rangers series who excitedly bought this thing hoping for a harmless holiday diversion. Like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Christmas video from this same year Alpha's Magical Christmas is a cheap and cynical attempt to make a quick buck off the most devoted of the show's adherents, the very folks who helped make the franchise popular and relevant! Still, the TMNT special at the very least did not actively seek to harm its audience, while there's something genuinely sinister, subliminal and horrific embedded within this special's gaudy, tasteless music and disingenuous sentimentality.

We begin at the Power Rangers HQ, where perky robot assistant Alpha is putting the final touches on his tree and decorations. Right away I'm struck by how annoyingly tinny and adenoidal his voice is and I brace myself for what will doubtless be an unpleasant ride. If I'd known then just how badly I was underestimating the misery this thing was about to inflict I would have shut it off immediately and hurled it directly into the crackling fire.

Alpha tells us how happy and excited he feels about Christmas this year, but also says that he didn't start out excited at all. We fade to a flashback of that morning, with Alpha having a chat with Zordon (big floating head who I presume gives the Power Rangers advice) about how lonely he is with the Power Rangers away.

Zordon looks like an accountant...from space!

Zordon tells Alpha to cheer the fuck up. He says the Power Rangers aren't around because they're helping Santa get the presents ready for all the children.

There's a big white sphere that displays video and we get some stock footage of Santa feeding a reindeer, probably at one of those "Christmas Wonderland" type places that pop up in random fallow fields around the country to fleece the tourists each December.

Smell the Glove.

When Zordon talks his mouth is blurred out so you can't see that his lips don't synch up with what he's saying. It's obvious they recycled old footage and dubbed the voice in later here, but I don't know whether that was just for this special or a cost-saving technique used throughout the series. All I know is it's super cheap and super annoying.

Alpha gets the idea in his head that if he decorates the HQ for Christmas like other people decorate their homes then Santa will stop by and the Rangers will be able to come home and join him for Christmas. Alpha's awfully clingy and none too bright. I'm thinking maybe they left him behind for a reason.

Alpha hits some buttons and magically makes a bunch of tacky, plastic holiday crap appear. Zordon reminds him he still doesn't have the most important decoration, a Christmas tree, because he's a big Grinchy asshole who likes to make robots cry. Alpha counters that the rest of his decorations are so wonderful and he shoots little golden magic light from his grubby little robot mitts to make them even more shiny and special.

This is borderline unwatchable already but it's about to get a whole lot worse.

Zordon says "Alright Alpha, you win. Push the red button on the console" (there are two red buttons side by side but we're apparently supposed to ignore this detail), so Alpha does so and suddenly a Christmas tree descends from the ceiling on a magical platform made of shimmering Christmas stars.

"It's the magic that was missing!"

Now we get the first of what will be a relentless series of Christmas songs sung in the nauseatingly strident "Kidz Bop" style of blandly arranged music and an inflection-free, shouting chorale made up of children forced to sing by overbearing theater parents looking to live off the fruits of their simpering offsprings' supposed talent. Our first abomination is "Oh, Christmas Tree," and it's accompanied by more stock footage, this time of completely random locations and various stereotypically Christmassy things. There's London Bridge! There's a random house somewhere! There's a little girl we don't know putting a red shiny ball on her tree! There's a teddy bear nestled amongst plastic pine branches! There's the Arc L'Triomphe in Paris! There's some other random house somewhere! There's a Canadian Mounted Police officer tree ornament!

"Please don't drag Canada into this now...wait until Shitmas Day 8."

At about this point, just under three minutes in, I began to develop aches, chills and other flu-like symptoms, including nausea, headache, fever and painful flashes of light at the periphery of my vision. "What a terrible time to get sick," I thought, but when I hit the pause button to get some aspirin my symptoms suddenly receded, and when I pressed play they rapidly returned. I know now I should have stopped there, shut the video off and destroyed it, but I was determined to complete the review. Surely I could tough it out for another 23 minutes! If it became truly unbearable I could always just shut it off later, right?

That decision, as it turns out, would soon be out of my hands, as within only a few more moments I became so sapped of vitality I could no longer hold the remote. What insidious, minatory force had I allowed into my home? What dastardly covert influence could a simple Christmas video conceal? I gradually became too weak even to ponder these questions, and was left an inert, unwilling spectator of a fever-dream from hell, some demon-spawned, phantasmagoric delirium, slowly compressing my brain and churning my guts into Christmas gravy. I remember thinking at the time "This must be what it's like to die of cholera."

The song ends and Alpha whines that he's lonely. STFU Alpha! You're the neediest goddamned robot I've ever seen! Zordon has him push a blue button now and suddenly little balls of light emerge from the random houses and locations we just saw during the song. They zoom across the sky and enter the Power Rangers HQ.

Conveniently located atop our old friends the Vasquez Rocks.

Now we see a whole gaggle of children whom Zordon has forcibly abducted from their homes just to pacify the extreme narcissism of a mincing sociopathic automaton. We fade right into "Here We Come A-Caroling." I begin to internally panic as the abductees hug the robot.

Not a euphemism.

After the song Alpha says "Thank you for coming to my magical Christmas party," as if they hadn't just been straight-up kidnapped by a fucking alien, and they shout in perfect unison "Anytime Alpha!" like it's a ceremonial response in some secret rite of a doomsday cult.

Alpha now utilizes the children as slave labor, forcing them to make crafts and other sacred objects to sanctify his domain. One child says "I will make strings of popcorn," another states "I will make the garland," while a third responds "I shall make a shroud of human bones as a vestement for you, Lord Alpha!" It's staggeringly clear at this point that whatever Alpha put in the childrens' Kool-Aid has definitely begun to take effect.

And now it's time for a bland 'n shouty rendition of "Deck the Halls."

As the children sing their obeisances, Alpha shoots his little magic beams to make ever-more-gaudy decorations appear in the darkest recesses of the command center's enormous vaulted dome.

"Behold what Lord Alpha has made! All hail the Chosen One!"

Alpha ends the song by integrating into it what is ostensibly his catch phrase:


It was at this point that my abdominal cramps and muscle paralysis began to set in.

Alpha now informs his glassy-eyed disciples that many families have their own special traditions at Christmas and asks some of them what their families like to do.

"We like to ritually sacrifice a yearling goat, Chosen One."

One of the kids says he likes to go sleigh riding and Alpha asks if the sleigh has jingle bells on it. When the young acolyte responds in the affirmative Alpha asks if everyone there knows how to sing "Jingle Bells." Of course they do! So it's time for another fucking song!

And more fucking stock footage to go with it!

After the song Alpha says a Sleigh ride looks like fun but it also looks very cold. He says it's a good thing that they are all inside where it's toasty warm, but they need some other ritualistic activity to fill their time until the police arrive to rescue the abducted children and whisk them off to a secure psychiatric facility for deprogramming. They decide to bake and decorate some cookies, and Alpha tells them he knows a song about a king who once went out on a cold night. Cue "Good King Wenceslas."

Many cults engage in communal meal preparation.

The song ends and the cutesy fucking robot runs a napkin across the bottom of his stupid saucer-head and says "Yummy! Those were delicious!" He asks if everybody got enough to eat and the kids enthusiastically shout "Yeah!"

When the Chosen One asks a question one does not answer with diffidence, but boldly and confidently like a true believer.

Alpha asks the token black kid what he's thinking about and the kid says "I'm thinking about presents." Alpha assures him that Santa and his helpers are all very busy getting those presents together right now, and as you might expect this leads into another song, "Up on the Housetop." As they sing the children sit in a circle and the Chosen One hands out his gifts for them. He cautions them, however that they must not open the presents until Christmas morning.

"Lest I shun thee!"

One of the kids asks Alpha if Santa Claus will really come to her house and he tells her Santa visits all the good little children...unless they're Jewish or Muslim or poor, of course, because Santa fucking hates those kids.

The command center alert thing goes off and Alpha panics, but Zordon tells him it's just a video feed from the North Pole. The big sphere thing shows a bunch of people in Power Ranger costumes (who are most assuredly not the actual Power Ranger actors) helping Santa put presents in his bag, and Santa delivers a little message to the effect that his sleigh is almost loaded up and he'll soon be on his way.

Santa's "mustache" hangs below his upper lip.

Sweet Jesus, I was in bad shape by this point. Unable to move or cry out, crippled with ague and with the perspiration pouring out of me as if from a broken levee, with spasms in my colon and a fever burning like a kiln behind my brow, I could only helplessly gaze at the screen, hoping against hope for the sweet oblivion of sudden unconsciousness. I was just barely able to peer down at my watch, and imagine the abject terror I felt when I realized this special is only half over. I shed a silent tear and braced myself for the unimaginable maelstrom of pain to come.

Alpha and the children now sing "Jolly Old St. Nicholas," and it hurts, hurts so bad.

"Pain is our Lord Alpha's greatest gift. It makes us stronger in our adorations."

After the song the kids ask Alpha what he's wishing for this Christmas. He says he'll be thinking of his good friends the Power Rangers and wishing he could be with them, because he's a codependent cipher with no identity of his own. I see now that he uses his cult of mindless children with their blind and senseless adoration as a bulwark against the emptiness of his hollow metal soul.

Alpha should probably be institutionalized.

This brief conversation about Christmas wishes is just an excuse to sing another fucking song, of course, and so we get "I'll Be Home For Chrsitmas," which like every other song in this reeking, shit-filled stocking is sapped of every ounce of meaning and emotion by the fact that it's being shouted through a train tunnel by a faceless chorus of malevolent, tone-deaf, pre-teen cult-minions.

During the song there's a cheesy montage of the various Power Rangers (the actual actors this time) mostly out of uniform, using footage taken from other episodes. We see them chatting and laughing and smiling and playing basketball, and I'm sure this is the kind of happy-go-lucky, freewheeling shit that made so many people watch this show in the first place. Surely it wasn't the bitchin' kung fu fights, right? Anyway they all look like a bunch of smug assholes and I'm so glad I never watched this show.

This one is cute, but the rest of them
can eat shit.

Zondar or Zordok or whatever the fuck he's called tells Alpha that the magic portal is ready and the children must now return to their homes. Having had the secret plague capsules surgically inserted beneath their skin, they are now ready to spread the Chosen One's holy pestilence throughout the land.

One of the acolytes tells Alpha that they all have a present for him, one that doesn't need batteries, never wears out and can be taken wherever he likes. He asks what it is and they say "It's love!"

"Love is the Chosen one,
the Chosen One is love."

Now they sing "Silent Night" and, well, I kind of lost control of my bowels at this point and had to sit in it until the damn thing ended and I finally regained enough strength to get up and drag myself to the bathroom. Fuck this special hard.

As the song ends the sphere shows Mother Mary holding the Baby Jesus.

Who knew Mary, the ancient Middle Eastern Jew, was so darn European-looking?

Now the children walk into the transportation portal, marching in lock-step slowly as if in a trance. Alpha gives them their final instructions as they go back out into the world to unleash the virus that shall wipe the unbelievers from the face of the Earth.

"Merry Christmas, Amy! Happy New Year, Stephen! Unleash the cleansing fires of my final scourge, Monica!"

The stupid alarm goes off again and Zardoz or Zantek or whatever the fuck his name is says it's an incoming teleportation. It turns out to be the Power Rangers!

I'm perfect willing to admit I don't know how many Power Rangers there are...

...but I'm sure it's more than three.

They explain how this special was filmed between series one and two, and how these were the only three actors available to...I mean they explain that three of the others are with their families and the rest are still at the "World Peace Project." How very convenient.

The three who bothered to show up break the fourth wall now and tell the audience to have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, with hopes we all can live in a world of peace and harmony and shit like that there. It's a speech that's moving in precisely the same way that my bowels were moving back during "Silent Night."

"I'm far too handsome for this shit. I only do it for the pussy."

Before the three rangers can teleport out and get the fuck away from Alpha and his bottomless, clinging, pathological need, Zyrtek or Zambia or whatever the fuck he's calling himself these days says there's one last Christmas surprise, and Alpha makes it snow right inside the HQ command center.

"Surely his works are miracles!"

Then they sing a soul-crushing rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," because no amount of abuse and brutality is enough to satisfy these fucking monsters.

One more cheesy montage of footage from previous episodes and we're out, thank the Lord Alpha!

It was really touch and go there for awhile and I wasn't sure if I'd survive it all. This was quite possibly the worst thing of any kind I've ever seen, which is quite a statement considering that I watch literally hundreds of shitty movies and tv shows every single year. It was stunningly dreadful, truly awe-inspiring in its impressive awfulness. I can't even categorize it against the other entries in this series because it's so far beyond any reasonable measurements as to have created its own category of Christmas crap. I honestly cannot imagine what actual fans of the series thought of this atrocity but I salute them for their strength and resilience in the face of its unspeakable evil.

For now, though I must take my leave. Lord Alpha is calling me home for the sacred ceremony of holy retribution...the plague children have been scattered like seeds of doom across this accursed planet, and the hour of the holy contagion is soon at hand!

Alpha fthagn! ia! ia! Aye-Yai-Yai!

The End.

Merry Christmas, folkses.

Next Installment: December 15th.

As always, Cheers and thanks for reading!

Written by Bradley Lyndon in December 2019.

Questions? Comments? Expressions of disgust? Why not skip the middleman and complain to me directly?

comments powered by Disqus

Go ahead, steal anything you want from this page,
that's between you and the vengeful wrath of your personal god...