The Movie and The Power of Shampoo

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie premiered in 1995. It failed to impress critics or change cinema, sure. But it did provide over 90 minutes of kickass action for any kid lucky enough to see it on the big screen.

The film acted as an alternate origin story set between seasons two and three, but it’s a mostly forgettable outing since the show disregards these events. It’s cheesy, the CGI is bad, and the fight scenes are well below par for the franchise. Still, this first major outing is near-perfect for fans of the show, and it still may be entertaining to others who don’t get hung up on trying to figure out words like “Ninjetti”

One of the strongest features present in the film is its soundtrack. The licensed songs selected included tracks from Red Hot Chili Peppers, They Might Be Giants, Devo, Van Halen, Buckethead, and Snap’s hit “The Power.”

That said? Most who remember the trailers know that the real standout tune was Shampoo’s epic, “Trouble.”

Released a year prior to the film, “Trouble” hit at the height of the Britpop movement. The hit song provided a rebellious and catchy summer anthem for fans. Shampoo had a ton of style, bubblegum pop crashed Riot Grrrl movement. Whether it’s the look of the two girls themselves or their outfits and attitudes, it’s easy to see how they influenced the band that would eventually overshadow them, The Spice Girls. Some may wonder why they’ve never heard of Shampoo, and that’s simply because the mega stars of girl power hit the scene at the right time with a lot more financial backing. At least Shampoo were huge in Japan for a while.

Jacqueline Blake and Caroline Askew formed the group Shampoo, a name taken from the popular excuse they used on boys they didn’t want to date, that they’d be busy doing their hair. Jacqui and Carrier were deep in the local music scene, running a zine and crafting their own hits after being inspired by acts like Beastie Boys, Sex Pistols, and Gary Numan. They adopted bold lipstick, bright colors, plastic jewelry, and power stances as a part of their transformations.

Unafraid to tell anyone off, the girls were aggressive and living the rock star lifestyle as they tried to act as a bridge between different music groups. They embraced being women and doing what they wanted. However, this also made them come across as rude and hard to work with to in a society where women have to be likable to keep a paycheck.

Their union with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie was somewhat of a symbiotic relationship, as the inclusion helped boost their popularity and the song gave the film and trailers a catchy tune that everyone wanted to hear more of. The soundtrack was released on June 8th, weeks before the film, to satiate the ears of eager fans. Promotional cassettes of the single were also given away to promote Shampoo’s album in Wet Seal stores, which acted as a loose cross-promotion.

The song is about the daring duo not being able to get home after a night out and all the different methods they try to make it back. In the film, we see it mostly played over a group of Angel Grove kids being wild and rambunctious in the absence of their parents — unaware all of their loving guardians are about to commit suicide. It acts as an indication of the trouble the children are causing while not realizing the true dangers happening around them. If not for their actions, however, a large number of the adults in the city would be dead, so score one for the troublemakers. There’s a fun parallel here, too, as the song mentions the girls trying to take a train. Then some kids almost die on one. A bit of gallows humor!

Frankly, the song isn’t played enough during the movie, but it does feature a second time in the credits after an extra scene has Goldar lead into it. A second music video for the song was made to go with the Power Rangers movie. It was simple, featuring scenes from the motion picture, the girls of Shampoo dancing in front of psychedelic color swirls, and characters like Ivan Ooze (played expertly by Paul Freeman) and Alpha 5 getting down with their bad selves as well. Yes, it could have used more Goldar and looks a bit cheap, but works so well with the feel of the series and ushers in the hype.

The original soundtrack for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie isn’t remembered as the greatest blockbuster tie-in album of the 1990s – apparently that’s Batman Forever, solid pick – but it is a memorable and charming entrant on any list for the decade. Among the notable names and electric tracks, “Trouble” remains the true gem, forever securing Shampoo as part of the Power Rangers legacy.