Power Rangers: How The Dumbest Fight Ever Came To Be

Even in a series with as many bizarre fights as Power Rangers, nothing could quite explain how this one came to be… Until now.

Zack, Jason, and Kimberly fight by forming themselves into a "human chain" in the Power Rangers episode, "High Five."
Photo: Hasbro

Power Rangers never gets enough credit for having some of the most bizarre action scenes ever put to the screen. From Rangers getting baked into giant pizzas to a prison fight over jello, Marvel and DC wish they had superhero action as wild as this. It isn’t just the footage adapted from the Japanese series Super Sentai that stands out but the American shot action as well. They were not about to be shown up by the Japanese multi-colored spandex fights.

The episode “High Five,” the second aired episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has the unmorphed Rangers fighting the evil Putty Patrol in a mountainous area. Jason (Austin St. John), Zack (Walter Jones), and Kimberly (Amy Jo Johnson) have to take on five Putties that have surrounded them. Now, what do you think would be the best option here?

1: Just morph and shoot them with your Blade Blaster.

2: Each one kicks a Putty and then all gang up on the other two.

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3: Get Billy (David Yost) and Trini (Thuy Trang) to help.

Too bad, the answer was actually Jason calling out to Zack and Kimberly to “form a human chain!” In a move that was immortalized for all time in the brains of Power Rangers fans, thanks to “High Five” being one of the earliest episodes to be released on VHS, Jason holds his arms up so Zack can jump on his shoulders.

Zack confirms he’s in place, Jason holding his legs tight, with, “LOCKED ON” as if he’s a Transformers combiner. But okay, maybe Zack needs to be up that high to, uh, strategize? Oh, no, he proceeds to lean backwards with his arms stretched out so Kimberly can grab his legs, pulling herself up, and stick her legs out. This allows Jason to spin the two around like a top. With Zack’s arms and Kimberly’s legs stuck out, Jason spins them into the Putties, knocking them all to the ground. The Putties had more than enough time to avoid this convoluted maneuver but they always wait for the Power Rangers to do their full morph sequence/roll call/pose off so they’re just polite like that. 

All these years later it’s still a baffling fight sequence. This is only the second episode! When did Jason, Zack, and Kimberly have the time to practice this? Were they able to do it BEFORE they became Rangers? What gave them the idea? While there isn’t a spinoff comic detailing the intricate details of its universe creation, we do know the real life story of how it came to be during filming. 

Adrian Carr, director of early MMPR episodes, including “High Five,” brought it up in a wide ranging interview with Den of Geek about his time on the show. We had to know what the hell went into making something this unconventional.

The fight scene was shot at Vasquez Rocks (North of Los Angeles), a dangerous location for filming with boulders and sharp rocks covering the landscape. Carr recalls that the actors brought the idea of the “human chain” to him, simply saying they’d been “practicing” something with the fight choreographer. Carr had no idea what they were talking about so the three demonstrated it. While Carr replicated his reaction for us, hands on head, mouth agape, incredulous, there’s no way it matched what it must have been like on the busy filming day to see this with no preparation.

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At the time Carr just sighed and agreed they could do it but only if they felt comfortable. At this point safety was not the highest priority for the production crew of the show, “the (actors) only had to trip and they’d go flying and there’s gravel and they had no protection on their legs. They could have cut their arms open!” Carr stressed to the actors they didn’t have to do this but, filled with the confidence of youth, excitedly did it anyway.

“They did it and they did it well,” Carr admits, still bemused by the whole thing over 30 years later.

Sadly, the “human chain” move was never seen again in Power Rangers after “High Five.” We’re waiting for its grand return in the 35th anniversary. 2028!  Don’t let us down, Hasbro!