THE GUYVER (1991)

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Sean is a young American kid dealing with the usual array of teen problems: does the girl of his dreams (Mizky) like him? Will he ever learn to kick ass in martial arts class? How will he control the ultimate alien bio-suit that has invaded his body? These questions and more sit firmly on the back boiler of this insane love letter to early ‘90s special effects and latex-covered animatronic hilarity.

Story-wise there’s not much to chew on. After Sean’s true love, Mizky discovers that her father has been murdered, the two unwittingly become a part of the evil Kronos Corporation’s search for the Guyver – a much-feared alien bio-armour capable of destroying the evil Zoanoids. During a fight with some thugs, Sean essentially trips over and absorbs the sought-after suit, becoming the ultra-cool looking titular hero and finally kicking ass in the process. From then on out it’s a cat and mouse chase involving plenty of insanely creative creature designs, cartoonish violence and questionable acting abilities aplenty.

Oh, and Mark Hamill plays a cop.

Originally titled Mutronix in the UK, this first entry in the shortlived Guyver film series is as appallingly terrible as it is blissfully enjoyable. Taking its comedy cues from the then successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action movies and its action from similarly popular Power Rangers TV show, The Guyver tries to please all demographics at once. At the time it failed in its mission, limping its way to VHS and a modest cult following. But while a much better and all-together more fulfilling sequel later emerged, this first outing still stands tall as a testament to ingenuity behind the camera and mind-blowing insanity in front of it.

All of the good stuff that pulsates through The Guyver is down to its ultra-talented joint directors, special effects gurus Screaming Mad George and Steve Wang. What they lack in directorial ability, they more than make up for in on-screen ingenuity thanks to some superb creature designs and envelope-pushing effects work. Admittedly, in retrospect that’s something that’s easily overlooked, but the sheer workmanship that went into every one of the incredible Zoanoid creatures, as well as the Guyver suit itself, deserves commendation. There’s plenty there for the fanboys too (even if the concept itself does kind of undersell its manga roots) with the inclusion of turns from Michael Berryman, Mark Hamill and the Reanimator two-for David Gale and Jeffrey Combs (as Doctor East – geddit?)

If there’s a consummate definition of ‘so bad its good’ then The Guyver is it.

Added features include a video interview with producer Brian Yuzna, US and German Trailers and a Photo Gallery.

THE GUYVER (1991) / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: SCREAMING MAD GEORGE, STEVE WANG / SCREENPLAY: JON PURDY / STARRING: GREG JOUNG PAIK, JIMMIE WALKER, PETER SPELLOS, MICHAEL BERRYMAN, MARK HAMMILY / RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 19TH

 


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