Friday, December 13, 2013


Stop motion magic.
Manborg is a 2011 spoof/homage to cheesy action/horror/sci-fi from the late 80s/early 90s. So, it takes the most ridiculous aspects of films like Cyborg, Robocop, Hellraiser, Terminator II, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Hardware, Mortal Kombat, etc. and turns them into a brilliantly entertaining film that should satisfy fans of Full Metal Yakuza, Hobo with a Shot Gun, Tokyo Gore Police, Isle of the Damned and most of Troma's output. It's unbelievably good, a result of mixing conventional latex effects, stop motion, and comically bad laptop effects.

Manborg was originally a soldier in the last great war against Hell's armies, led not by Satan, but by the dreaded Count Draculon, a bio-mechanical demon created on a shoe-string budget. But of course, that soldier was killed in combat and made into a super-warrior, only to wake up in a futuristic time full of future cassettes and future locks and total world domination by Hell.

A blonde Peter Sellers plays a future Dr. Strangelove.
Manborg is quickly captured and locked up with several archetypal prisoners --Liberty, the Australian punker whose power seems to be to shoot two revolvers at once while dancing, Mina, the kick-ass knife ninja chick who has the power of going into anime attack mode, and #1 Man, the superstrong and disciplined martial-arts master. They are held captive by the evil Baron and his henchmen Dr. Scorpius and Shadow Mega, a hot cyborg woman, and forced to fight in an arena against Hell's minions and giant robot monsters.
Liberty, his sister Mina, and #1 Man. The good guys.
All of the usual action cliches follow: Manborg suffers from amnesia and can't explain himself, so he is not trusted by the other prisoners. But then he quickly masters his robo-human powers and becomes their hero. They break out of prison and go into hiding. Heads get blown off. Lots of scary skeletal and zombie-esque bad guys in Nazi-style uniforms. Liberty and #1 Man try to make a box of instant macaroni, blah, blah, blah. 

A jailer-bot and Shadow Mega. Bad guys.
The movie works great as a parody, but also contains a lot of really witty and bizarre additional humor, and some really great horror effects. Totally recommended if you like anything cool. It kept me entirely entertained the whole way through and I laughed out loud at least a dozen times. It's great. Made me happy.


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