onsdag 13 november 2013

The Guyver... rubber monster mayhem

Monster: "I killed you once, and I'll kill you again."
The Guyver: "You can't kill me. I've been rejected by death."

So, I watched a 90's sci-fi action flick titled The Guyver. Based on a Japanese anime, the film is about a young man who discovers a device that merges with his own body, turning him into a cyborg superhero, "The Guyver". The device is of alien origin, as is the entire human race.  Yes, that's right... in the movie we learn that humanity was created by a race of alien beings (has Ridley Scott seen this film?)

The Guyver fights Chronos, an evil corporation (run by Dr. Hill from Re-Animator!)  that's experimenting with alien DNA/technology, mutating humans into giant monsters which The Guyver has to fight. It's like a strange episode of Power Rangers.

And, uh, Mark Hamill turns into a giant cockroach.

Very campy and very rubbery, The Guyver is a schizophrenic movie; the filmmakers seemingly can't decide if they are making a film for kids or adults. It's cartoonish and horrifying at the same time. The film has some entertainment value, the special effects are good and we get a Re-Animator reunion with David Gale & Jeffrey Combs (the film is produced by Brian Yuzna,) but oh man... it's such a mess in terms of story and tone. There is a rapping alien in this film! Ugh.

And then there is the sequel, Guyver 2: Dark Hero, which is actually a huge improvement over the first Guyver; this one is much more violent and takes itself much more seriously than the first film. And David "Solid Snake" Hayter plays The Guyver in this one! It's not flawless though.. the acting is so-so and the film is is too long (127 minutes!) The budget for Guyver 2 was very low, much smaller than the first film's, and it actually feels less like a movie and more like the first two episodes of a Canadian sci-fi TV series that someone has edited together. Man, I would have watched the shit out of a Guyver series! And what a shame they never got to make a third film. I found Guyver 2: Dark Hero with it's anime superhero quite appealing...

1 kommentar:

  1. You say you would've watched the hell out of a Guyver series...but remember what happened to RoboCop.

    Both franchises have, I think, comparable obsessions with gratuitous ultra-violence, especially in the form of severed body-parts. But both are superhero properties, leading every suit in the North American entertainment industry to think, “Well, obviously, this should be cheap crap for the little kids...all we gotta do is cut the tits out and cut down the amount of blood...or make the blood a different color, like...black! That's it! That'll keep the soccer moms off our backs and we'll make millions in toy money.”

    At least Japan is honest with itself. At least their entertainment industry recognizes that an ultra-violent, sci-fi superhero series, made of equal parts Teen Angst and Cronenbergian Body Horror can, and probably will, appeal to kids from one to ninety-two. Now that's what I'd call “all-ages” and I'd buy that for a dollar.

    All of which is my characteristically long way of saying you should check out either of the two Guyver OVA series, if you can find them in your region. The one from '89...hasn't aged very well, but the one from 2005 is still pretty as a picture of a disembodied heart. Both are fair adaptations of the comics' first few volumes...though I recommend the 2005 series to everyone because it's the yardstick I'm going to measure any future Guyver product against.