Monday, April 29, 2013

Karate-Robo Zaborgar (Noboru Iguchi, 2011)

I was discussing Karate-Robo Zaborgar a bit with @koboldstyle and @TheAngryDM on Twitter recently, and realized that I had never reviewed it. Some people say that there's a woman to blame, but I know it's my own damn fault.

This is another in the long line of rubber monster movies by my favorite Tokyo-Weird director, Noboru Iguchi (Dead Sushi, Mutant Girls Squad, Robogeisha, Zombie Ass, et al). For my money, this is his best, and most accessible effort.

The story is similar to older Japanese stories about a boy and his robot. Here, Daimon, is our boy. He is committed to battling evil with his robot sidekick Zaborgar. Daimon has some daddy issues though. It seems his father loves his dead brother more, and when Daimon finds out the truth he goes off the rails and his crime fighting days are over... for now, at least.

Cut to the present (or Daimon's future). At middle-age, Daimon is still sporting his crime-fighting gear, despite being an office temp. His attitude keeps him from holding down a job. Eventually, old troubles begin to brew, and the middle-aged Daimon and Zaborgar are called into action.

I don't want to give much of the story away, as it is pretty interesting, particularly for Iguchi. As for it being accessible, as I remember it, this is less tacky than his other films. It is not filled with panties and fart jokes. Anything of the sort that does appear is not as gratuitous as one might expect from Iguchi-sensei (there is one weird tentacle scene). It does harken back to old robot/monster films and shows of old, and was certainly inspired by the stuff that inspired Iguchi to make films.

It is currently streaming on Netflix, and possibly other online services. Well worth watching. I admit that at times it is hard to follow, but is a highly fun film, particularly for lovers of old Japanese sci-fi like Space Giants.

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