Manborg is obviously inspired by The Eliminators, reviewed early this week. But where that film is ridiculous in spite of itself, humor is obviously the goal of Manborg.
Created by the Astron-6 collective (which includes Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie, who created The Void), this quickie is all about Count Draculon, the leader of an army of Satanic Nazi vampires that have been unleashed on our world (well, our world as of World War 2, which is when these monsters attack). This time is called the Hell Wars — when a soldier and his brother fall in battle.
The younger brother is transformed into the Manborg to fight the Count. In Mega-Death City, he meets Justice, a punk rock gunfighter, Mina, who looks like Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind and #1 Man, who is a karate fighter. Together, they battle the odds to reclaim their world.
Manborg feels you’re watching the cut scenes from a video game more than you’re watching a movie. It’s fun, but it feels like there was so much work put into something which inevitably ends up as a lark. Maybe I’m just a party pooper. Or maybe I like when movies are funny because they are just weird or foreign, versus the forced humor that comes when you make a parody or a genre already rife with unintended humor.
That said, this is a real CGI achievement — just watch the extras to see how much of the world was created for the film. Is it a good movie? Well, it’s more like an 11-minute Adult Swim show played out for an hour. There’s some goofy humor and some slap happy action. That said — going back to my eleven-year-old self, then my answer would be, “Yes, this movie is awesome.” But if Becca came in the room and caught me watching this, I’d have a lot of explaining to do.