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The Guyver
Mutronics

USA 1991
produced by
Brian Yuzna, Yutaka Wada (executive), Aki Komine (executive) for New Line
directed by Screaming Mad George, Steve Wang
starring Mark Hamill, Vivian Wu, Jack Armstrong, David Gale, Jimmie 'JJ' Walker, Michael Berryman, Peter Spellos, Spice Williams-Crosby, Willard E. Pugh, Jeffrey Combs, David Wells, Linnea Quigley, Greg Joung Paik, Johnnie Saiko, Deborah Anne Gorman, Danny Gibson, 'Evil' Ted Smith, Doug Simpson, Brian Simpson, Dennis Madalone, Michael Deak, Jay Kelley
written by Jon Purdy, based on the manga by Yoshiki Takaya, music by Matthew Morse, creature effects by Steve Wang, Screaming Mad George

Guyver

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD!

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Back a little bit before our time, aliens have created humankind as the ultimate weapon, and the ability to turn into a monster is somehow embedded deep in each one of us, only it can't be accessed with a little bit of modifying. These days, the whole alien heritage is controlled by the Chronos Corporation, which apart from this is also more than interested in the Guyver suit, a super-suit that would dwarf all the monsters - thing is, nobody knows how the suit's activated. Dr. Segawa (Greg Joung Paik) works at Chronos, but when he learns about the Guyver suit, he feels that's a weapon too dangerous to be left in the hands of the company, and thus one night steals it to hand it over to FBI agent Reed (Mark Hamill). But he's stopped by Chronos' quartet of thugs (Michael Berryman, Jimmie 'JJ' Walker, Peter Spellos, Spice Williams-Crosby), who turn into monsters to tear him to pieces - but somehow fail to find the suit on him. The suit is actually found by Sean (Jack Armstrong), a very mediocre martial arts student and by some coincidence the boyfriend of Segawa's daughter Mizky (Vivian Wu). When he faces a gang of street thugs, Sean accidently activates the Guyver suit, and he unexpectedly beats everyone to a pulp but is shocked what he has become. In the meantime, Balcus (David Gale), head of Chronos, has learned about Segawa's daughter and has his quartet of thugs kidnap her. But she has Reed and Sean by her side, and while Reed tries to get her to safety, with moderate success, Sean turns once again into the Guyver and beats up the foursome, who of course turn into monsters as well. Then though he erroneously thinks he has killed Mizky, and that's all the distraction the monsters need to literally tear him apart. Mizky later comes to at Chronos headquarters, and Balcus first tries to charm then force her into giving away the secret of the Guyver suit, which she actually doesn't even know, but from the severed parts, Sean grows back into the Guyver and starts to give the Chronos monsters another good beating - but this time they're more, they're on their home turf, and they're backed by Balcus, who, as the head of the corporation, can turn into a particularly nasty piece of work ...

Genre fave Jeffrey Combs, in an intentional twist of irony, plays an employee of his Re-Animator antagonist David Gale (and Combs is even called Dr. East to hammer the point home), then contemporary scream queen Linnea Quigley, in another ironic twist, plays a scream queen whose scene in a movie within the movie is destroyed by a "real" monster.

 

In a way, this is your typical 1990s B-movie of the sci fi/monster variety: A somewhat ridiculous and pretty much predictable plot, plenty of action and a good deal of violence, your almost prerogatory macho attitude, grotesque practical creature effects, all combined in a film that's moving fast enough to butter over at least some of the plot inconsistencies. That said, The Guyver on one hand boasts a cooler than usual cast, including many actors who have since become legends, on the other though it's also pretty funny, ever now and again breaking up the hard-hitting action for some slapstick, some piece of (self-)parody, or just some really funny lines. Thing is, none of these detract from the film's overall tension let alone drag it towards the moronic. Now all of this makes this film maybe no masterpiece, but a pretty fun watch nonetheless.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
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the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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