Once upon a time, there was a video series called Bikini Crime Fighter—now scrubbed from the internet—that was basically just fledgling actresses in bathing suits running around a park while some wheezy kid with a camcorder chased them. The best part, really, was that he had no windscreen on the microphone, so all of the dialogue was, basically, “WHOOOOOOSH.” I’m not sure why that technically-challenged auteur took down his work, but I thought it was the stuff of inept, accidental genius, and I haven’t stumbled on anything quite as wrong-headed since. Until now.
This is not a hallucination caused by decades of cathode mind-rot, although it certainly feels that way. This was an actual show on an actual TV network (well, USA), targeting actual tweens in that hazy mid 90’s, pre-internet cultural wasteland when Friends was the biggest show on television and everybody was listening to the fucking Offspring. It was not a popular show and were it not for the now equally flat-lined DVD market that spawned a scruffy reissue set five years ago, it might’ve stayed dead forever. And that would’ve been a shame because Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills was clearly one of the nuttiest, kookiest, kinkiest kids’ shows of all time.
Inspired by similarly themed Japanese shows and riffing off of Power Rangers and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, TTAFFBH was about a Godlike blob from outer space who forcibly tattoos four rich kids and makes them fight rubber monsters to save the Earth from some asshole named Gorganus. That’s it. That exact plot, over and over, for 40 episodes. The “teens” were all pushing 30 and their outfits consisted of skin-tight spandex and chrome faces that made them look exactly like they were huffing paint shortly before wandering on set.
This bird was once a member of The Squigtones.
The only cast member of note was David L Lander, AKA Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley. He voiced the bad guy’s pet bird. It’s lame and incredible all at once. It looks like it could devolve into porn at any moment or escalate into a blood-spewing gorefest. It never does either, which is probably why it was canceled in a year. Still, if you like high weirdness on a low-budget, this is well worth a look. It will steal a good chunk of your sanity, but everything’s got a price.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
“Dirty Pictures”: Creepy Christian Kids Show Moment