Friday, April 17, 2009


SUPER POWER GAINED FROM WATCHING THIS MOVIE: The Ability To Watch A Live Action Anime Movie And Not Go Into Seizures


Luke PaycheckSeeker, the towering acting talent of Jimmie “J.J.” Walker, Guy who kinda looks like Drop Johnson, Michael “Effing” Berryman, a unfortunately fully-clothed Linnea Quigley cameo, a buggy Dr. Carl Hill, a serious lack of tentacle copulation, and War of the Guys in Rubber Suits, Battle Sports Mascot Royale, Mighty Dorky Power Dweebs aka ... ah well... you get the gist.

More details here.


An awkwardly worded text scroll prologue sets us up the proceedings in a nutshell: eons ago, aliens arrived on Earth and genetically altered humans to use them as weapons to be ruled by some cosmic doofus called the Zoalord, who has now risen to power as Fulton Balcus (David Gale), CEO of mega-corporation Chronos. Apparently all humans can transform into gooey and monstrous creatures with fantastic powers, drooling chins, and zippers down our spine. However, a piece of alien technology that enables a powerful weapon called The Guyver, the ultimate human/alien soldier, is missing. Balcus and his hammy minions Lisker (Michael Berryman), Striker (Jimmie Walker) and Ramsey (Peter Spellos) rough-up and murder scientist Segawa (Grag Paik) who knows where this device might be found. But the villains fail and retreat to their slimey lair and leave CIA agent Max Reed (Mark Hamill), who was supposed to meet Segawa and trade info, hanging. Max locates Segawa’s daughter Mizky (Vivian Wu) and informs her of the news leaving mulleted kung-fu wannabe and Mizky-wooer Sean Barker (Jack Armstrong) hanging. While Mizky and Max go on a quest to seek the killers, Sean literally stumbles upon the Guyver and transforms into an Ultraman-ish cyborg hero, kicks multi-ethnic street gang ass, and jumps around a lot. The Zoalord scuzzballs catch up with Sean and pretty much lay him to waste, but they have sorely underestimated the power of the Guyver and have not seen the last of him, a tragic fact that Richard Dean Anderson can surely attest.


The Guyver is an adaptation of a Japanese comic book or manga that was released in a time when Japanese fantasy and animation or anime was just crossing over into widespread popularity in the late 80s/early 90s. Unfortunately, the movie, a silly but entertaining monster fest, didn’t jibe with audiences and never found a stride despite a couple of sequels that were released later. The story meanders and is filled with ridiculous dialogue and awkward direction, but the real standout are the impressive creature effects by Screaming Mad George and Steve Wang. The stuntmen move fluidly in these elaborate costumes that are highly detailed and feature some nice details to satisfy the effects geek in you. Plus there are pretty cool transformation scenes with the bad guy and Hamill as a giant crab/cockroach/thingy that are definite highlights. But there’s not much more than that. Leads Armstrong is as vanilla as they come and Wu is just a giant-gremlin chased screechy damsel in distress. But Gale is bombastically wonderful as the vile Balcus, Berryman chomps on scenery like his Hills Have Eyes alter ego, and Hamill is his usual post-Star Wars crabby self - and that's a good thing. So, Tremendites and Tremendoids, if you pick this flick up some Saturday night, set phasers to “brain cell kill”, forget your Zoalord ancestry, and just have a good time.

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