The horror/cult revelation of the still very young new decade is undoubtedly Astron-6. This outrageous five-headed coalition (Adam Brooks, Jeremy Gillespie, Connor Sweeney, Matthew Kennedy and Steven Kostanski) accomplished their modest breakthrough in 2011 with no less than two long feature films that appeal to the craziest of horror fans around the globe, namely the superb "Father's Day" and this demented little thing named "Manborg". I can only describe "Manborg" as a totally absurd and bizarrely creative throwback to the era of primitive video games, grotesque Science-Fiction blockbusters of the 80's and early 90's and the result of a bunch of weirdos brainstorming crazy ideas. The set pieces and decors of "Manborg" intentionally look terribly cheap and amateurish, the acting performances are deliberately and over-the-top inept and the special effects & make-up qualify as hilarious camp. The story is slightly less "all over the place" as the case in "Father's Day", but still very incoherent and chaotic. In a (distant?) future, the last remaining humans are at war against demons, zombies, vampires and a whole lot of other monstrous species from the underground. One soldier, who died at the battlefield, wakes up again in a laboratory, rebuilt as a cyborg and still in captivity of the horrendous demonic leader Draculon. Together with three other humanoid survivors (two crazed siblings and one deliciously bad-dubbed Asian martial arts hero) Manborg is forced to fight as a gladiator in a futuristic arena, but they are skilled and headstrong enough to revolt against their enemies. This is the ideal entertainment to watch at a Film Festival; together with a chock-full theater of equally avid and enthusiast freaks. The crowd literally goes wild upon being exposed to such a massive amount of gore, camp, deliberate incompetence, craziness and smut! The sound and light effects catapult you straight back to the days when you were playing "Space Invaders" on a prehistoric thick green-screen computer and the awful English dubbing of the #1 man character caused the entire audience to laugh out loud every single he opened his mouth. The screenplay is stuffed with tiny imaginative details, tongue-in-cheek references and lovely gimmicks. The design of the demons and garden variety of other creatures is quite phenomenal and they could actually qualify as genuinely horrific if used in a less light-headed scenario. Doctor Scorpius, for instance, is a much scarier looking villain than all the creeps in big budgeted blockbusters. This shouldn't come too much as a surprise, since most of the Astron-6 members have a background in special effects and/or animation. "Manborg" is marvelous and warmly recommended cult entertainment, if you have a bizarre sense of humor and a good sense of tastelessness, of course.
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