Saturday, September 13, 2014

WTF Japan?!?: Karate-Robo Zaborgar

A weird and wild labor love courtesy of Japan.  I have put off watching this movie for a long time, but I have no idea why.  I just do that sometimes.  Today's film is Karate-Robo Zaborgar, a 2011 film from one of my favorite Japanese Directors- Noboru Iguchi.  His films are just so damn weird!  He's great!  This one is apparently his 'love letter' to a TV Show from the 1970s called Denizen Zaborgar (which is highlighted during the Credits).  Just based on the Pictures available, they updated the basic Story and designs for a more modern audience.  I can't speak to the quality of the show or how different it is...since I was neither alive nor a Japanese citizen when it was on.  If it is like the film, it may be worth checking out in the future though.  The film tells the tale of Daimon and his titular Robot who fight to stop the evil SIGMA from- you guessed it- taking over the world.  Note to evil organizations: start with a State or work UP to conquering the world.  The film takes on a bigger scope than you might expect, so I have to be a bit vague with my summary to avoid those damn SPOILERS.  So much of this film works or fails based on shock value/surprise, so far be it from me to take that away from you.  To find out just how cool a combination robot/motorcycle can be, read on...
Daimon and Zabrogar are 'Secret Police Officers' (which they announce to the villain, so...yeah) who constantly try to stop the evil plans of SIGMA
The film walks a tight line of doing the goofy fighting straight and playing it over-the-top.

Speaking of which, we get a silly flashback showing why Daimon really hates SIGMA.  It is both dramatic and goofy- an Iguchi tradition.
While we get hints of back-story, we get some silly fights between our hero and the SIGMA agents/monsters.

Samurai Robot with giant hog lips- check.  Diarrhea Bug- um...check...and ew.
I won't SPOIL too much, since some big stuff happens once the film reaches the hour mark.  I will show you some of the craziness here...
...and I will leave you with the most impertinent man ever to be rescued.  The End.
It is weird and goofy fun!  On the surface, the film just has silly effects, goofy costumes and over-the-top Characters.  When you get deeper, it has...a real Plot?  Get out!  I kid, I kid.  The film aims to be bigger than I thought it would, giving us some real (goofy) drama, a big plot change halfway through and some interesting events occur.  Like you'd expect, it is a tricky blend of goofy and dramatic that you will either love or hate.  I liked it.  It all leads to a big, silly and ridiculous Finale involving a...well, I won't SPOIL it.  It is crazy!  In the End, the movie is certainly going to not be for everyone.  The tone is hard to quite 'put your finger on' at any time and the action is over-the-top.  If you like this kind of stuff already, I highly-recommend it.  If you are not sure how you feel about this, give it a watch and decide for yourself.  For me, it was a fun mix of new and old.  Speaking of old...
Next up, another mystery review (to you and me!).  Will it be more Giallo or something completely different?  Stay tuned...

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