Even the most dedicated of '90s kids probably don't remember Big Bad Beetleborgs, a two-season long show that mashed up Power Rangers with slapstick sitcom elements. You might have some vague memories of this series, but chances are you don't recall just how unnerving it was. There are some disturbing kids shows out there, but Beetleborgs is among the darkest.
Produced at the height of Power Rangers’s popularity, Beetleborgs was a cash grab; Saban – who was also behind the Mighty Morphin' crew – made a blatant Power Rangers ripoff before anyone else could. The plot, for those who don't recall, is bizarre, too: three kids – Drew, Jo, and Roland – stumble into a haunted house, save a ghost, become superheros, and fight off a never-ending army of bad guys.
Beetleborgs is basically Power Rangers but with kids as the titular superheroes. Doesn’t sound too messed up, right? Well throw in a house full of movie monsters, some shockingly intense body horror, and the kids basically being murderers, and you’ve only just started in on the dark aspects of Big Bad Beetleborgs.
When the three kids save a ghost from a haunted house, he offers them one wish. They, being children, wish to become their favorite comic book superheroes, the Big Bad Beetleborgs. These kiddos didn't realize, however, that by wishing to be superheros, they also willed their favorite franchise's supervillains into existence!
Fighting these mega-criminals results in some pretty hefty collateral damage, including the lives of innocent bystanders. Better make sure no one figures out your secret identities, kids, because those rap sheets are going to be lengthy!
The show's protagonists spend their off-duty time hanging out in a haunted mansion with the likes of the wish-granting ghost Flabber and a few other supernatural buddies: Mums the mummy, Frankenbeans the Frankenstein's monster ripoff, Count Fangula the vampire, and Wolfgang the werewolf. The show portrays them as a sort of bumbling comic relief: the kids come back from a mission, try to unwind, and then their gosh-darned monster friends try to eat them.
It might have seemed funny when you watched it in elementary school, but in retrospect, children hanging out with a bunch of cryptid maneaters is pretty messed up.
If a show needs to swap out cast members for whatever reason, usually the writers find a way for them to exit gracefully. Not in Beetleborgs. When the actress who played Jo needed to leave, she did in truly memorable fashion.
The monsters accidentally cast a spell on Jo that changes her face to everyone except her teammates. For the rest of her life, Jo has to live with the fact everyone else sees her as a completely different person. Just a casual identity crisis on a children's show!
In “Curse of the Mums’ Tomb” Mums casually reveals he was mummified alive. Think about that for a moment: our wacky mummy character was wrapped up and shoved in a coffin while still breathing! This only happened because he was caught kissing Cleopatra in public. He’s paid for that mistake for the last thousand years.