After watching a string of dismal movies in the Netflix Basement, I switched over to see if there were some hidden treasures I was missing over in the Amazon Prime Dungeon. Short answer: No. What I did find were some appalling pieces of trash that barely qualify as movies, let alone anything worthy of your time. This week, we delve into the unbelievably futuristic Manborg.
Manborg is an ugly, shambling mess of a movie. I’m really sick of these ultra-cheap and tacky, nostalgic homages to ’80s trash videos. There’s one thing to be the second or third guy on the block to try and rip-off Mad Max and Terminator with no budget. It’s another thing entirely to make a movie 30 years later that grave-robs forgotten movies that were rip-offs of Mad Max and Terminator. These movies wallow in their chintzy effects, Casio keyboard score and total lack of originality or reason to exist.
The filmmakers of Manborg apparently watched The Eliminators five too many times and decided, “Hey, we should rip off this Z-grade Terminator rip-off that nobody remembers.” Not so fast, suckers. I remember. And if you make a rip-off of a Z-grade rip-off, what does that make your trash heap of a movie? The original Eliminators is a quaint sci-fi action flick where a babe in a tank top, pre-Star Trek:TNG Denise Crosby, a karate guy, and a Mandroid team up to fight an army of baddies. This movie features a team of a babe in a tank top, a karate guy, and a terrible looking Manborg fighting an army of stop-motion Nazi zombies.
Manborg is supposed to be funny. It clearly thinks its bargain basement special effects, ugly stop motion monsters, and dark and dingy shots in front of a green screen aesthetic are hilarious. Other terrible jokes include the fact that the Asian karate guy’s voice is badly dubbed, the heroes violently kill the Nazis then wink at the camera, and the main bad guy has a crush on the blue-haired heroine and buys her flowers. This is ugly, unwatchable trash through and through.
The dystopia of dystopian sci-fi films comes to us with Manborg. Take that as you will.