Manborg REVIEW

Manborg DVD review: RoboCrock.

Resistance is… probably not futile, by the look of it.


Release Date: 4 February 2013
2011 | 15 | 71 minutes | £12.99
Distributor: Rockstone Films
Director: Steven Kostanski
Cast: Matthew Kennedy, Adam Brooks, Meredith Sweet, Conor Sweeney, Ludwig Lee

When is a bad movie not a bad movie? When it’s a winking parody. At least in theory…

Matthew Kennedy plays a soldier fighting in the war against the armies of Hell. He’s killed, but rebuilt as Manborg: a sort of gaffer-taped-together RoboCop designed to combat the forces of darkness, led by the evil Count Draculon.

Yep, it’s as cheap and naff as it sounds, but knowingly so. Manborg has a similar tone to Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and looks like Community’s Kickpuncher. There’s some great (shit) dialogue (“It’s never too late… to be a hero!”), and there are some neat visual gags, but there’s no escaping the sense that this is a fun idea for a short stretched out to feature length. The joke has worn thin long before the end.

By contrast, Bio-Cop, the fake trailer that follows the main feature, is superb. Quick, accurate and hilarious, it does everything Manborg does in a more condensed form, rendering the preceding movie more-or-less redundant.

There’s no faulting the love and ingenuity that’s gone into Manborg. The effects – particularly the crude stopmotion animation – are charming, and it’s satisfyingly gory. But it’s never quite as much fun as you expect it to be.

Extras:

Commentary by director Steven Kostanski and two colleagues, a behind-the-scenes piece (19 minutes), brief interviews with eight cast, alternate/deleted scenes (six minutes), eight-minute short “Fantasy Beyond”, five minutes of “shenanigrams”, an effects montage, and a music video.

Will Salmon twitter.com/evilrobotbill

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