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Manborg

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Manborg + Astron-6 Collection + Father's Day
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The armies of Hell have taken over the Earth, and all that stands in the way of the villainous Count Draculon and humanity's total extinction is a motley crew of misfits led by the mighty MANBORG: a warrior that's half-man, half machine, but all hero.

Once a young soldier killed during first war against Hell, Manborg reawakens in the future, rebuilt as a walking weapon and mankind's last hope. Struggling to learn the secret of his origins, Manborg unwittingly befriends a post-apocalyptic Australian punker, a knife wielding vixen, and a kung-fu master, before finally squaring off against Count Draculon in a desperate and bloody bid to take back the Earth!


Special Features: 2 Commentaries, Deleted & Alternate Scenes, Bloopers, Behind the Scenes, Stop Motion, Montage, VFX Montage, Short Film, Interviews, Premiere Q&A

Amazon.com

A deliberately junky tribute to the low-budget, genre-mashing exploitation hybrids that seemed to proliferate on video store shelves during the 1980s and early 1990s, Manborg captures the essence of its psychotronic forebears through a barrage of stop-motion animation, knowing references to trash cinema, and comic book ultraviolence. Produced, directed, and starring members of the Canadian film collective known as Astron-6 (Father's Day), Manborg starts on a delirious high note, with the armies of the world locked in combat with the forces of Hell, led by the monstrous Count Draculon (Adam Brooks). A soldier (Matthew Kennedy) left for dead in the wake of Draculon's assault is rescued by a scientist (Brooks again) and rebuilt into the titular hero, a half-man, half-machine who's understandably confused by his new body and its array of weaponry. Manborg, as he comes to name himself, is soon whisked away by Draculon's henchman, the Cenobite-like Baron (Jeremy Gillespie), and thrown into a gladiatorial arena to fight an array of monsters alongside punkish Aussie Justice (Conor Sweeney) and his decidedly American sister Mina (Meredith Sweeney), as well as the ponderously overdubbed martial arts expert #1 Man (Ludwig Lee). Though dystopian action/science fiction films like RoboCop and (more accurately) dismal knockoffs like The Vindicator and R.O.T.O.R. are clearly the foundations on which Astron-6 have built Manborg, their ultimate goal seems to be the full range of '80s-era genre films, from rubber-mask monsters and foreign postapocalyptic freakouts to video game-inspired kung fu (and vice versa). They're mostly successful in hitting their marks, which is even more impressive given that the whole affair was largely constructed through greenscreen work and frame-by-frame animation.

Occasionally, one wishes that the producers had devoted as much time to the script or casting than to production design: Kennedy makes for a wan hero, and Conor Sweeney quickly wears out his welcome as the twitchy Justice. Keeping the impressive Count Draculon off-screen for most of the picture is also an unfortunate choice, given that his second, the Baron, is robbed of any sense of menace by a silly one-sided romance with Mina that's never as amusing as the filmmakers believe it to be. But at 70 minutes in length, it's hard to find real fault with Manborg, which ultimately remains a loopy but effective tribute to the filmmakers' vision and the films that inspired it. The disc is surprisingly thick with supplemental features, many of which are devoted to the creation of the film's visual and special effects. Two commentaries are also featured, which will probably appeal to diehard Astron-6 fans, though the cast and crew track has its humorous moments. The best extra is unquestionably the faux trailer for Bio-Cop, a long but frequently funny blend of police-movie tropes and gross-out horror like Street Trash about a lawman who's less than enthused about his newfound ability to dissolve into a puddle of slime while in pursuit of bad guys. It hits all the right tonal notes as Manborg while striking a better balance between humor and action. --Paul Gaita


Product Details

  • Actors: Matthew Kennedy, Adam Brooks, Meredith Sweeney, Conor Sweeney, Ludwig Lee
  • Directors: Steven Kostanski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Dark Sky Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 30, 2013
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00B0LKVIY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,403 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By tychoryan on May 6, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
So, after seeing the awesomely crazy trailer for Manborg, I decided to blind-buy it for a "Bad Movie Night" with my friends. We typically watch these kinds of movies for an unintentional laugh, a la Mystery Science Theater 3000, and the low-budget look and goofy nature of the trailer seemed like it would fit in that category.

We were wrong. It was actually a genuinely awesome movie.

The thing is, despite the cheesy effects, it's truly amazing what Astron-6 pulled off with such a bare-bones budget, and it provides a loving tribute to 80's VHS B-Movie Sci-Fi and to 90's live action videogame cutscenes (yes, really). There is also some crazy scope provided, with detailed cityscapes and creative stop motion animation used to make such a tiny movie feel much bigger.

It also helps that the cast plays their parts with a mix of overt seriousness and silliness that keeps everything funny throughout. Once again, I mean GENUINELY funny, not unintentionally. The writing plays on the silliness of the story and gives us a character with intentionally goofy/melodramatic dubbing (A martial artist named "#1 Man", who is very much inspired by Liu Kang from the original Mortal Kombat arcade game) and an Australian gunman who is an all-out 80's pop star complete with random bouts of dancing (and who hilariously is shown giving the same thumbs-up multiple times during a training montage).

It's all rounded out with a fake movie trailer after the credits: Bio-Cop. This had everyone on the floor laughing, as it was a brief but genius idea about a cop who is forever locked in agonizing biological transformation after an accident involving chemicals.
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Format: DVD
The ZERO budget sci-fi spoof "Manborg" is going to be one of those movies, I suspect, that will really divide its audience. Rumored to have been made for a couple of grand (at most), this tiny indie aims at mocking the action/adventure epics that proliferated in the eighties with a distinct video game aesthetic. I always worry when I see these extreme indies proclaimed as the "best movie ever" by enthusiastic supporters. Despite their inherent charms, setting such a lofty bar BEFORE someone sees the film might just be skewing expectations rather high. This is an underground film that is meant to be discovered and appreciated by the right audience. It will never be a mainstream hit. And whether you love "Manborg" or hate it (and there will be many in both camps), it's probably a film that is better served by NOT overselling it. Personally, I'm super impressed that filmmaker Steven Kostanski put this project together on the cheap. He attempts and achieves a film that might easily be the intentional subject of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 parody. But, as such, the film is certainly not going to appeal to everyone.

The movie is set in the end days on planet Earth. An evil empire has arisen from the Underworld and humanity is in the very last stages of existence. When a young soldier is cut down in fiery battle, he is surprised to awaken as a creature that is part man and part machine. In a post-apocalyptic world, his fate is tied to several other human prisoners who are being used in Gladiator type games for the amusement of the masses. Among his allies are a kung fu master (complete with purposefully horrible dubbing), an Australian punk, and the punk's alluringly dangerous sister.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Corey Shaughnessy on July 20, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are generally two types of modern throwbacks to the grindhouse films of yore. I tend to favor the more fervent such as Jason Eisener's masterpiece, Hobo With A Shotgun. Hobo shows so much love, sincerity, and aspiration for its inspiration that it easily surpasses the foundation laid 40 years ago. The other type of shoutout, the silly, over-the-top, ironic comedy, usually misses the mark painfully. The folks that make up Astron-6 may walk the path of the absurdly goofy wink and nod, but they are proving themselves to be the best at it.

Manborg is the story of a soldier who has been killed in battle against an invading army of demons from Hell lead by Count Draculon. He awakens years later rebuilt and ready for revenge. Changed to be both Man and Borg, his name is Manborg. Count Draculon now reigns supreme over one of the last major cities on earth, and forces humans rounded up on the streets to battle in an arena for entertainment. Whether or not he was also the one to make them dress up as awful Street Fighter cosplayers is never brought up.

Manborg is captured and forced to battle demons alongside his newfound friends as they struggle against an increasingly unentertained Count.

Manborg will require some patience. The first thing that you notice is how much of a blurry mess the whole thing is. It looks like a flip phone camera recorded this off of another flip phone screen that was smeared in vaseline. The opening scenes are so chaotically edited and stitched together that it will hurt your brain. The film is almost completely green-screened behind real actors, and the amount of different layers projected on the screen and how they interact will make your eyes bleed. Foreground and background images move independently of each other.
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