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Katee Sackhoff stars in the gritty Power Rangers reboot we never knew we wanted

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Feb 24, 2015, 3:51 PM EST

Though the franchise is known for its kiddie weirdness and gee-golly panache, there’s a dark sci-fi action film buried deep within the Power Rangers. That R-rated masterpiece has now been found.

Adi Shankar (Dredd) has produced a new fan film starring Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) and James Van Der Beek (Varsity Blues), which is basically an ultra-dark take of the Power Rangers franchise. Dubbed Power/Rangers, the gritty reimagining was helmed by Joseph Kahn (Torque, Detention) and basically tosses the classic concept into a world that looks like a sci-fi version of The Dark Knight. Believe it or not, it totally works.

I’ll get this out of the way now: It’s awesome. Like, seriously. Watch it. Now. The production values are through the roof, and the cast really sells the gritty realism of it all. (Van Der Beek could be the next great action star. Seriously.) Kahn has also put together one heck of a cool plot to tie the 14-minute short together, featuring some nice flashbacks, betrayal and action.

Check out the NSFW cut of the film below:

Here’s what Kahn told HitFix about the passion project, which basically grew out of boredom and curiosity:

"I think the trick that I really wanted to do with this was to make that dark and gritty version that everybody keeps talking about, but really do it. Really see if I could totally accomplish it with essentially a really incredible incredibly silly property…

So when I did the dark and gritty version of this, I mean, we go full out. There's blood, there's brains, there's gunshots, there's sex, there's violence. I mean, basically we made the version that Hollywood could never ever make. If I had to watch the 'dark and gritty' reboot, then this is the way I would want it. This is the version I would personally want to see, but I also know this is the version that could never, ever be made in Hollywood. They would be crazy, it would be financially irresponsible, but this is what I personally would like to see out of a Power Rangers film.”

So, what'd you think? Would you like to see a feature-length version?

(Via Vimeo, HitFix)