Mikadroid: Robokill Beneath Disco Club Layla (1991)

During World War II, the Japanese military had a secret lab in Tokyo where three soldiers would be transformed into Jinra-go, which were armored superhumans. By March 1945, only one soldier was ready when the atomic bomb was dropped and Japan surrendered.

45 years pass, as modern Tokyo is being rebuilt and an area is being made to a nightclub called Discoclub Layla, the bad wiring of the new development has reactivated the lab in the basement and now Mikedroid is loose.

Director Tomo’o Haraguchi also made Death Kappa, some of Ultraman Ginga and Kibakichi: Bakko-yokaiden, which is one of my favorites. It’s interesting in this movie that the action never really seems to be seen on screen. It’s either in shadow, a silhouette or in close-up almost manga-like panels, done as stills. Whether this was a budgetary or artistic choice is unclear.

There’s also two ancient supersoldiers who were part of the same program as the robot, who looks like a steam-driven samurai, which is quite the artistic choice. Actually, this movie is full of that kind of off the beaten path magic, such as a kill that has a girl leave behind a stick figure of blood that perfectly fits into a mural, the drab bunker that houses the robot and plenty of shadowy kills that never really show the monster until the end. For a budget direct-to-video movie, this has plenty to like.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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