Steven Kostanski’s ‘Manborg’

A little bit of back story before I get into this review. In the UK we have a shop that sells things for £1, it is called Poundland and it sells lots of random shit. Among the food items, cutlery, screwdrivers and assorted weirdos that peruse the packed shelves you have a glorious DVD section. Within Poundland they seem to have compiled the most random collection of films possible, one such film was the one I am reviewing today. I give you Manborg.

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I’m impressed that the prototype from Robocop 2 is still getting stop motion work.

The plot of Manborg goes a little something like this. A cowardly young man in a war against satanic forces watches his brother get murdered by the villainous Draculan (Adam Brooks). He retaliates against Draculan but sadly loses his life despite the valiant efforts to kill the monster. The young man is reborn several years later as Manborg (Matthew Kennedy), a part man, part machine hero created by Doctor Scorpian (Adam Brooks). Manborg must join with the rebel forces to fight a demonic army. It’s going to take everything they have to fight back and save the world.

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In the process Manborg may even learn how to love, not physically but in a feelings way.

Holy fuck the plot sounds incredibly generic but when you actually watch the film it sometimes becomes incomprehensible. All the scenes are filmed in front of a green screen with a retro 80’s style soft filter which can make a lot of whats happening appear murky. Special effects in the film are all stop motion and this helps build on the retro feeling the director is trying to cultivate.

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Draculon rocking the scab covered, apocalypse demon look.

This film is actually well made for what I can only assume was a miniscule budget. The green screen was probably necessary to film everything since an actual post apocalyptic set would cost a ton of money, the special effects are also more practical rather than CGI and a couple of the actors doubled up on roles. I would recommend this to most people with a love of Sci Fi or campy comedy, it doesn’t take anything too seriously nor does it pretend to be some massive epic, it is kept humble and is a lot of fun because of this.

I would give this a Tom Atkins out of Jane Lynch. Great fun, the DVD is full of extras and the whole thing is worth several times more than I was able to buy it. Seek out Manborg if you live near a Poundland.

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