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10/12/14

MANBORG - REVIEW


There are movies.

And then there is Manborg.

When nazi vampires from Hell take over the Earth, a soldier is killed by Count Draculon (Adam Brooks) after witnessing his brother's death. Somehow, the soldier is soon reborn as a half-man, half-cyborg entity known only as Manborg. His goal? To learn to master his powers (before he accidentally kills someone he shouldn't), get revenge for what Draculon did to him and take down those Hellish forces before all hope is lost.

Basically, RoboCop meets Hellraiser meets Toxic Avenger meets... I guess the 80's in general.

Along the way, Manborg meets some resistance fighters including martial arts expert #1 Man (voice-dubbed by Kyle Hebert), Australian Billy Idol-esque gunfighter Justice (Conor Sweeney) and his sister Mina (Meredith Sweeney) whose fighting style is very much steeped in anime. Together, they escape the dastardly (and in-love) Baron (Jeremy Gillespie) and, in an odd Star Wars-esque turn of events, start training with the help of Manborg's maker Dr Scorpius (Brooks again) who appears to them as an Obi Wan-style hologram and a Little Guy who is nowhere near as useful as Yoda but worthy of mention nonetheless.

The whole film is a trashy, no-budget retro treat packed full of stop-motion monsters, ambitious but effective practical gore effects and cheesy CGI/green screening not to mention obvious dubbing. It's an endearing, loving send-off of a whole bunch of cult horror and sci-fi movies from back in the day with a tongue-in-cheek approach. It's a valiant effort by director Steven Kostanski to bring back some good old-fashioned dated corniness and put his own spin on it while making a film look cheap yet kinda cool thanks to some nifty hand-made effects. Some great scenes include some very silly montages, The Baron's bizarre crush on Mina, Manborg's elaborate "birth" and the latter's random one-word responses.

If you enjoyed stuff like Hobo With A Shotgun or anything by Troma then you should have a ball with Manborg: it's goofy, trashy as hell but it's a fun, short-and-sweet ride with some good laughs splattered throughout.

Plus the trailer for fake movie Bio-Cop at the end of Manborg is genius.

You can catch more Manborg-style madness in the gang's latest film The Editor, a homage/spoof of classic Giallo flicks.

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