The Guyver

July 8, 2015 at 1:26 am (7 Heads, Guyver, The) (, , , , , , , , )

The Guyver – 1991 – United States

“At the beginning of time, aliens came to Earth to create the ultimate organic weapon. They created Mankind. By planting a special gene into Man, they created the ZOANOIDS—humans who can change at will into super monster soldiers.

“Eons later, the Zoanoid leader, called the ZOALORD, has awakened and formed the Chronos Corporation to further develop the Zoanoid technology for world domination.

“Among the alien remains was found the ‘Unit’—a bio-boosted alien armor. Worn by the aliens, it serves as an ordinary shield. If the wearer is human, it increases his natural powers a hundredfold—he becomes the ‘GUYVER’.”

So begins The Guyver’s opening narration. In the seedy alleys of Los Angeles, a teenager finds an alien gizmo in the trash. It is a suit of living armor that fuses with his body, transforming him into a badass martial artist. The Chronos Corporation, lead by a three-eyed man with psychic powers, wants the armor. They send thugs that morph into monsters to retrieve it. Martial arts battles ensue. Mark Hamill plays a heroic rogue FBI agent. The distinctive Michael Berryman plays a mutant thug (yet again).

The Guyver is based on a Japanese comic of the same name. Although the film was produced in the United States, it resembles a Japanese sentai television series—the same genre of program that was adapted into Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993) in the United States. The Guyver consists of exhaustingly long fights between men in rubber suits, interspersed with zany comedy. One villain is a rapper named MC Striker. He turns into a bat monster, raps corny threats, and loves his hat. The Guyver’s wacky sound effects also add to the cartoonish ambiance. Although the film is rated PG-13, it may be best suited for ten year olds.

Adults will at least appreciate The Guyver’s extreme effects. Famous effects artist Screaming Mad George co-directed and created some of the effects, and the results are impressive. There are over a dozen highly detailed monster suits, the best of which is a mantis-like dragon that is the size of a van. The monsters also have graphic transformation scenes where their muscles bulge, their clothes shred, and they sprout bestial appendages. If adults can tolerate The Guyver’s overlong fights and jabbering dialogue, they will witness a martial arts mutant mash-up reminiscent of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), but turned to eleven.

Rating: 7/10 Shrunken Heads. “No Zoanoids were injured in the making of this film.”

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