Karate-Robo Zaborgar (2011) – By Duane L. Martin

In 1974, there was a Japanese television show called Denjin Zabôgâ that ran for 52 episodes. This film is based on that television show.

Daimon’s father was a Nobel Prize winning robotics expert, who after his wife died during childbirth, was left to raise twin sons alone. When one of his sons dies at a young age, he builds a super advanced righting robot that can also transform itself into a motorcycle, and infuses it with his dead son’s DNA. Unfortunately, his obsession with building this robot ruined his relationship with his other son, Daimon, who left home and studied martial arts for ten years on his own after his father ignored his accomplishment of winning his black belt in a karate competition. Daimon’s father is eventually kidnapped by the evil Dr. Akunomiya, a cyborg who used to work with Daimon’s father as a government scientist before he was horribly disfigured and forced into living life as a cyborg. Now he’s created an evil force called Sigma and surrounded himself with cyborg henchmen. Their goal is to destroy the world. After they kidnap Daimon’s father and attempt to turn him into a cyborg as well and ultimately end up killing him when he tries to escape, Daimon vows revenge, and with the help of the robot Zaborgar, becomes a special police force all of his own funded by the government and charged with stopping Sigma and their plans. After a short lived love affair however with Miss Borg of Sigma, she and Zaborgar end up destroyed together in a fiery explosion, and she ejects a pod containing the product of their love, a baby boy who is fully human, and a cyborg girl. Unbeknownst to Daimon, the pod is transported up to the Sigma ship, and the pair are raised by Dr. Akunomiya.

The film then jumps ahead 25 years. Daimon is a shadow of his former self, and Dr. Akunomiya is about to infuse the DNA of his daughter, Akiko, who is half cyborg and half human, into the giant mecha robot he’s been building for the last 25 years, to fully flesh it out so he can use it to destroy the world. She escapes however, and goes to find her father. Suddenly, Daimon must find it in himself to become the man he used to be, and to become the father he’s never been, not only to his daughter Akiko, but to his son Akitsuki, who is still being controlled by Dr. Akunomiya. With a rebuilt Zaborgar and his newfound family, Daimon has to find a way to stop the evil plans of Dr. Akunomiya before its too late.

It’s strange that this month, I seem to have had a run on films that were so involved, that the synopsis I wrote for them was woefully inadequate to accurately describe what was actually in the film. If I sat here and mentioned everything in this film, I’d literally have to write half a book to describe it all. These are the very basics of it though.

Now, for the review…

For the love of god, order yourself a copy of this movie, right now. Don’t ask questions, just do it. Sushi Typhoon does it again, with a film that is just over the top cheesy and fun, but this film takes it to a whole new level of quality. While some of their previous films have been dodgy at best in some of the CGI work and what not, this film has really stepped it up. They took an old, obscure television show that not many people probably even know about, and turned it into an awesomely fun film that truly captures the spirit and fun of the original, not only making it a whole lot slicker, but also incorporating the greatest elements of the television show into a story that is absolutely entertaining throughout.

What I absolutely loved about this film is that it’s just fun, and it’s not just fun in parts. The whole thing is fun from start to finish. Here’s some examples…

The Sigma flying fortress looks like a fortress on top of a giant nutsack. The squad of evil Sigma girls are all crazy hot and dressed in football outfits with metal shorts, and their chest plates open up which allow them to shoot out missiles, or pop out a couple of dinosaur heads to attack their enemies at close range. This was a reference to the Dinosaur Army that became the new enemy after Sigma was defeated in episode 39 of the original TV show. There are numerous gadgets, weapons, robots and other fun stuff to keep you entertained, and each of the evil doctor’s henchmen has a special cyborg power. For example, one has these curly-Q lazers that come out of his eyes really slowly, and his eyes look like ping pong balls with holes drilled in them. Another has a drill hand. Miss Borg has the rocket shooting boobies, but she also can eject a crapload of tentacles out of them, which she uses for sexual purposes, but not in the way you’d expect. She also has this little alien head that pops out of her mouth, also used for sexual purposes. Oddly enough, Daimon didn’t seem to be too bothered by any of that.

Then there’s the giant bulldog truck with hands that can fling cars around like toys and that can grind people up when it gets them into its mouth. It even has a long tongue that can reach out to grab people. There’s an ant robot, a samurai robot, a female motorcycle transforming robot called Blackhawh and of course, Zaborgar himself, who has all kinds of nifty gadgets, like he can pull off the blades on the side of his head and throw them like slicing boomerangs. He can also shoot his hands off, using them as weapons with a chain attached, he has a mouth gun, a little robotic helicopter that comes out of the top of his head, a little robotic car that comes out of his feet, one half from each foot, and assembles itself, and then in his rebuilt form later in the film, he even has a chest cannon and rockets on his legs so he can fly.

There is literally no end to the fun you’ll find in this movie. Don’t even get me started on all the cheesy stuff. There’s a never ending list, but I will say that one of the cheesiest parts was when Daimon was facing his son for the first time, and after a failed kick that fell way short, suddenly he pulls out a bottle of insulin and tells his son that he’s diabetic and needs to inject himself with insulin. Then they go off on this little high school science film explanation about insulin. It was completely random and absolutely hilarious.

I could go on and on about how awesome this movie is, but I could really never do it justice. You just have to see it for yourself. Do yourself a huge favor and pick up a copy of this one ASAP. You’ll be glad you did. The one thing that makes me sad though is that they included cips of the original television show in the credits, but the original show isn’t available. I was only able to find it on a region 2 DVD release, and it was like $1,300. Forget that! I can only hope that someone will pick up the rights to it and release it somday soon (…hint hint Well Go USA.) Robot shows like this one and Ultraman and that one with the giant gold robot named Goldar were popular back in the 70’s, and I think it’s totally time for a resurgance of these shows. Kids nowadays are really missing out. I mean seriously, how can some lame crap like Spongebob Squarepants compare to something like Zaborgar or Ultraman. The answer? Spongebob isn’t even in the same universe with the awesomeness of these shows.

Included as special features, are trailers of other Sushi Typhoon films, and a collection of really silly Zaborgar shorts that are very cheesy and incredibly fun. I love that Sushi Typhoon does stuff like this. They did it for the Yakuza Weapon release as well. This particular series of thirteen shorts, all chained together, runs about eighteen and a half minutes and has Zaborgar performing a series of mundane tasks and shows him in a variety of silly situations. In one he has to get a ramen delivery guy to his destination after he gets a punctured tire on his bike. On another he’s on a quiz show with two of the girl Sigma henchmen and can’t answer any of the questions because he always has to pose and threaten before he does anything. There’s a whole lot of fun to be had here, and these shorts are just the icing on the cake to an already super fun film. I really can’t recommend it enough.

If you’d like to find out more about this release, you can check out its page on the Well Go USA website, which at the time of this writing hasn’t been posted yet, but will be posted very soon I’m sure, and if you’d like to grab a copy for yourself, you can get yourself a copy of the blu-ray or DVD releases from Amazon, or from any of the other usual outlets.