First night of Dark Bridges 2012 wraps up with Manborg from Steven Kostanski of Astron 6.  My first exposure to the greatness of Astron 6 (a group of demented filmmakers out of Winnipeg) was the mighty Father’s DayManborg continues in that tradition with many of the same film techniques: particulary the combination of green screen compositing and stop motion animation used in the "Hell" sequence in Father’s Day. Now imagine if someone interpreted The Eliminators or Cyborg with that mentality; you're getting close to Manborg if you can.

Manborg is basically a 100% over the top comedy/sci-fi/action movie that takes everything great about old action sci-fi and horror flicks of the 80’s, re-imagines them with a videogame mentality, and explodes it on screen in a bizarre aci- trip fueled insanely comedic style.  If a movie featuring a cybernetic army from hell lead by a vampiric monster named Count Draculon (the sort of name that says I’m futuristic and vampiric) taking over the world sounds appealing to you, trust me, it is.  People who did not grow up on Nintendo, Sega and Cannon Home video may not find this as great as I, but I suspect this will be appealing to anyone who likes bizarre, gory, action packed cult films with a heavy dose of ridiculous comedy.  Think Robot Chicken with live actors and your moving in the right direction.

I read up on this movie a bit and found out that apparently this only cost $1000 to make.  Wow, if they can make something this entertaining with that little cash, there may be hope yet for kick ass original content to get released without studio big bucks.  Shit, maybe even me and my friends can make something. I’m sure they already had most of the equipment left over from their other films, but still extremely impressive when you see this movie, trust me.  The filmmakers said their intention was to make something that was supposed to feel like a movie based off a video game based off a line of toys possibly based on comic books or trading cards and in the style of CD-ROM video game cutscenes and really shitty VHS movies from the 80’s.  I would say it succeeds 100% in this regard, memories of Sega CD Sewer Shark, Night Trap and Supreme Warrior come to mind.

This was definitely my favorite movie on the festival; it has all sorts of the type of shit I love seeing in movies.  You get tons of splattery gore with the cyborg-demon guys getting blasted apart, dismembered, disemboweled, etc.  Not only that but you have a guy who looks just like Liu Kang from Mortal Kombat (the game, not the movie) named #1 Man who's dubbed with the most hilariously, inappropriately, deep voice that had me cracking up every single time he spoke in the movie.  The main hero “Manborg” looks totally ridiculous with is great big curly afro and every single time he moves they have these exaggerated hydraulic and mechanical sounds. But even though it’s basically just a dude with some wires and circuit boards glued to his costume, he has all sorts of missile launchers and miniguns and shit that pop out of different parts of his body to blow shit the fuck up.  I also really dig on the weird combination of using stop motion animated creatures and robots with the digital compositing, but it seems fitting given that the movie is kind of a clash of the greatness of the oldschool presented in a modernized way.
Not much else to say other than SEE THIS MOVIE AS SOON AS YOU GET A CHANCE.  While you’re at it check out Father’s Day (it’s MUCH sicker, but has a lot of the same style, humour and the same cast) and anything else Astron 6 has one (I’m ordering their 3+ hr short film collection from Troma as soon as my paycheck gets deposited).  Fucking awesome movie!!!