Plot: The gates of Hell have been opened and now mankind wages a losing battle against the demonic minions that have been unleashed. After he watches his own brother die on the battlefield, a man (Matthew Kennedy) charges head on into the leader of Hell’s vile forces, Count Draculon (Adam Brooks). He is dispatched with ease, but his story doesn’t end in death. Years down the road, he wakes up and discovers he is part man, part machine, known as Manborg. He quickly teams up with a martial arts expert named #1 Man (Ludwig Lee), but the two are captured and locked up. Now Manborg meets the beautiful, but deadly Mina (Meredith Sweeney) and her colorful, but dim brother Justice (Conor Sweeney). The four prisoners are thrown into an arena and emerge victorious, but they aren’t exactly a well oiled team machine. Can these four warriors find a way to work together and combine their powers to save mankind, or will Count Draculon add their souls to his collection?
Entertainment Value: This movie could easily be mistaken for one of those full motion video Sega CD games, it has that kind of look and feel. I mean that as a huge compliment, as I loved Manborg and had immense fun with this movie. The story is one we’ve seen before, as our hero is killed off then brought back more powerful than ever, hell bent on vengeance. But this well worn yarn has never been told like this, so it never feels like a retread. As I said above, this looks like a Sega CD game, which means it looks like a VHS bootleg with video game cut scene visuals. The effects look cheap and lo-fi, which is just what you’d want here. I’m sure some will just shit on the effects and cheap overall visual look, but its a huge part of the experience. You’ll also find bad dubbing, out of place dialogue and reactions, and a shit ton of awesome moments. Manborg is a movie that’s sure to offend and confuse some folks, but if you’re into lo-fi action movies and wild cinema in general, its well worth a spin.
Sadly, no nude scene from Mina, but hey, she still looks damn good clothed. The blood here is mostly practical, but has a cheap look that suits the material. It is still fun to watch the heads pop off and blood gush, so the low end gore is just part of the design of the movie. A lot of the other special effects are green screen driven and they look cheap, but again, that’s how it should be here. And the image has that almost VHS look, so the effects get some cover from that as well. As a cherry on top, there’s some stop motion work done and that’s always fun to see. You want crazy dialogue? Manborg has it in spades and most of it is hilarious. From Manborg’s bursts of overly loud dialogue to #1 Man’s wisdom to Justice’s comic relief cliches, the writing is fun and never fails to entertain. Manborg is pretty out there, but it does follow some basic genre rules, so it doesn’t throw all convention out the window. Even so, the premise, the CD ROM video game visual design, off the wall characters, and more propel this to a pretty high insanity score.
Overall Insanity: 8/10