Wednesday, September 25, 2019

you ain't seen me, right?

Invisible Invaders (1959).
Dir: Edward L. Cahn.
John Agar, Jean Byron, Philip Tonge, Robert Hutton, John Carradine, Hal Torey Paul Langton, Eden Hartford, Don Kennedy and Chuck Niles.

Dear Lord, I pray that I am insane, that all that happened is only in my mind. I pray that tomorrow the sun will shine again on living things, not on a world where only the dead walk the Earth.

Welcome to the awfully atomic-obsessed 1950s where we join eminent science type Dr. Karol Noymann* (Carradine, covered in talc and wearing a tramps suit) just as he's killed in a huge explosion whilst trying to weaponise his farts to use against 'the Red Menace'.


But the sudden death of this well respected and much-loved member of the science establishment shakes this close knit community to the core and prompts  his college Dr. Adam Penner (Tonge, father of Pete) to resign his position as chief weapons type bloke and call for changes to the governments atomic remit, hoping that the power will be used for good instead.

Obviously the military tell him to fuck off which he does, heading back home to ponder the fate of humanity whilst his scarily long-armed daughter Phyllis (TV stalwart Byron -  best known as Natalie Lane in The Patty Duke Show) gazes at him worriedly whilst making coffee.

Brexit in a nutshell.

Things soon take a change for the weird tho' when just after Noymann's funeral, an invisible alien takes over his dead body and - after digging its way out of the ground obviously -  visits Dr. Penner at home to inform him that humanity must surrender all its atomic weapons and prepare to be ruled by his fellow aliens, failure to comply will be met by an invading force that will possess the bodies of the dead, set fire to all the community centres and kick the bins over.

As if to demonstrate their unearthly powers the alien makes what look like a jacketed spud wrapped in tinfoil appear from nowhere before vanishing into the night.

Obviously unnerved by this strange turn of events Penner nervously tells his daughter what happened before asking the eminent mustache expert Dr. John Lamont (balsa wood like B movie star Hutton, best known - God help him - for Torture Garden) to relay the alien's message to the US government.

It wont come as too much of a surprise when I say that the government ignores the warning whilst the fake news media accuse Penner of spreading some kind of anti-alien project fear.

Undeterred by this reaction Penner persuades Phyllis and Lamont to accompany him to Noymann's grave that very night in the hope of catching one of the aliens wandering about and bizarrely enough this actually works - the alien then helpfully explains everything again before shuffling off into the night.

Cue much stock footage of car and plane crashes as the aliens re-animated a variety of dead folk in order to infiltrate a couple of hockey games in order to announce their invasion plans to the world.

Oh and to also announce that they've just blown up Russia and Denmark.

Which is a unique way of doing it if nothing else.

"I love you....could it be magic?"

With every major sporting event interrupted by the undead threatening violence,  the governments of the world have no choice but to listen and as these evil aliens possess more and more dead bodies and begin to blow up even more random stuff - depending on what disaster footage comes to hand - Drs Penner and Lamont alongside the ever more worried Phyllis are whisked away to a top secret bunker by the heroically handsome Major Jay 'Kay' (Agar from The Mole People) in order to find a way to stop the invasion.

Cue 30 minutes of sweaty lipped science based shenanigans alongside an ill-conceived love triangle 'tween Phyllis, the hunky Jay and cowardly Lamont as our heroes race against time - and acceptable skirt lengths - to find something to counter the alien attack with that doesn't involve a drunken - and naked - game of ping-pong.

The amount of fucks I give about this film.

Whilst in contact with Washington DC - in the form of Grouch Marx ex-missis Eden Hartford in a way too tight air force uniform and the stoic Lt. Gen. Stone (slick-haired Langton from Peyton Place) - Penner deduces that the aliens are highly radioactive and can be tracked using a Geiger counter but still has no idea how to capture one before it can jump out of the dead body it possesses.

Jay suggests that he could lie in wait till the corpse trundles by and furiously masturbate over it, causing the alien to become trapped by the quick drying semen but Phyllis - wanting to keep all that joy juice for herself - has another idea so to this end the fantastic foursome fashion a fast-setting paint gun from a fire extinguisher an old bicycle pump.

But who will test this devastating piece of technology?

Not Lamont that's for sure as he's too busy hiding behind a cupboard whilst lustfully gazing at Phyllis and Penner is way too old to be of any use to anyone which leaves  Major Jay the unenviable task so, suited up in his best bee keepers outfit he heads outside in order to capture one of the invaders.

As in one of the invisible aliens, not an episode of the Quinn Martin/Larry Cohen TV show.**

Hiding behind a convenient rock Jay waits patiently till an alien possessed cadaver stumbles by before jumping out with a "Gotcha!" and firing the sticky liquid all over the startled spaceman.

Unfortunately he's not quick enough and the alien gives him a swift kick to the nads before wandering off leaving Jay battered but ready to fight on.

"Fiona! I'm from Dudley!"

 Back at the bunker and with an ice pack clutched to his privates, Jay soon realises that rather than chasing the aliens about in the hope of bagging one, the easiest and quickest way to capture one of the creatures is to dig a big hole, fill it with the acrylic liquid and hope it just falls in.


With the film lurching quickly toward it's climax this plan goes off without a hitch and soon our merry band have the alien confined to a handy pressure chamber ready to break it free from the rock solid acrylic in the hope of finding a weakness.

Alas nothing seems to work which frustrates an already edgy Dr. Lamont to a point where he breaks down in tears and tries to convince everyone to surrender to the alien oppressors but Jay in a rage filled Korean flashback slaps the sniveling scientist causing him to fall clumsily onto the bases radio set,  inadvertently damaging it to a point where the alarms go off.

It's at this point that they notice that the alien is rolling around on the floor clutching its ears and screaming.

No really.

"You'll never get your hands on me lucky charms!"

And with this new - and frankly unbelievable - information the gang frantically start to build a deadly sound gun in order to stop the invaders.

But the underground bunker has been discovered and an army of the undead are determined to break in....

Will Penner, Lamont, Phyllis and Jay complete the weapon in time?

Will Lamont start crying again?

Will we be subjected to any more real-life crash footage that although exciting at the time makes you feel a wee bit guilty when thinking about it later?

And will Eden Hartford ever face the camera?

From the pipe smoking former editor at large cum b-movie maestro Edward L Cahn comes this lo-fi sci-fi shocker that mixes the directors love of pulp science fiction thrills and undead menace - scarily 'tween 1955 and 1959 Cahn made  nine of these scifi shlockers - with a smidgen of atomic age action in a sweaty cauldron of cliched dialogue and ham acting that is as brainless as it is (fairly) entertaining.

Plus at 67 minutes it definitely doesn't outstay its welcome.

Unlike your Auntie Jean over Christmas.

Just because - Eden Hartford.

With its tiny cast of ne'er where's and almost rans, special effects that you'd be hard pushed to call effects let alone special and stoic sub-Plan 9 voice-over - that explains in painful detail almost everything occurring onscreen even as we see it - Invisible Invaders is at once an oddly charming yet instantly forgettable mash-up of the aforementioned Ed Wood classic and Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still as performed by a Methylphenidate soaked junior school drama class for an audience of gin-soaked scarecrows during a particularly offbeat care in the community awareness session that slowly drips into your very being with all the calming effects of a Pentobarbital shot to the eyes.

Seriously by the end of it I not only felt strangely calm and at peace but couldn't stand up and ha shit myself.

Tho' that may just be my age.

God bless? - If there's any proof needed that he doesn't exist it's this movie.

Tho' as a plus point it's the only film I've ever seen where dialogue like this:

Phyllis: You killed a man in cold blood this morning, I keep seeing his face.

Jay: So do I, I fought all the way through Korea, probably killed a lot of men... but I never saw their faces. Dropping a bomb from a plane isn't quite so personal.

Penner: Can I make you some coffee?
is actually delivered convincingly.

Which probably says more about me than the movie.

And at the end of the day we can honestly say to all involved:***

Unlike Rian Johnson.

*Or as the end credits actually list him "Carl Noymann" no idea if it's a continuity mistake or twins.

**Because it wasn't broadcast till 1967.

***Not really seeing as they're all dead but you know what I mean.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

(pre) video tasties.

In those heady days before VHS - between 1961 and 1966 to be precise - those groovy Italians created the next best thing for rthose of us wanting to relive our favourite horror movies; the fantastic foto magazine Malìa.

Each issue retold a movies story in crisp B & W photo form over 60 pages and the series itself covered a remarkable array of horror films from across the globe taking in Italy, Mexico, Spain, dear old Blighty and the USA.


Monday, September 23, 2019

mental maggots.

Awoke this morning to the news that cult legend Sid Haig had died so in way of a tribute I thought I'd revisit this classic.

Because he's in it obviously not just for shits and giggles.

Galaxy of Terror (AKA Mindwarp: An Infinity of Terrors, Planet of Horrors. 1981)
Dir: Bruce D. Clark.
Cast: Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Taaffe O'Connell, Robert Englund, Ray Walston, Bernard Behrens, Zalman King, Grace Zabriskie and the late, great Sid Haig.

"I live and die by the crystals".

Across the vastness of deep space lies the desolate, storm-lashed (and somewhat soundstage like) planet Morganthus, where the sole survivor of an off screen (and therefore cheap) spaceship crash is fighting a losing battle against an unseen (and therefore very cheap) alien force.

As well as battling the worst home haircut this side of Dario Argento.

And I know which is scarier.

No surprises when I tell you that it's the haircut that wins.

Back at space headquarters (alright then, the portacabin round the back of the studios that Roger Corman uses to store his porn) the jolly crew of the good ship Quest are ordered to mount a rescue mission at the behest of the mysterious 'Planet Master', a strange old man in a second hand suit with a red lightbulb for a head who appears to spend his day playing a table-top version of Pong.

Welcome to the future, eighties style.

Leading the mission is the Planet Master's bezzie mate, the piss-stained and gin soaked soon to be retired Bobby Ilvar (Behrens, the voice of Obi Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars radio series) who, alongside his mismatched team that includes bewigged mentalist Captain Trantor (Twin Peaks hottie Zabriskie), the scarred lone survivor of a previous secret mission; the Tom Selleck alike Cabren (Albert from Power Rangers: Time Force) and the bottle rocket, wooden legged second-in-command Billy Baelon (soft core porn master and former Jesus, King), are charged with locating any survivors as well as looking for some vague and secret stuff whilst they're at it.

I tried not to think too much about the plot seeing as no-one involved seemed to be bothered.

"I can see your house from here Peter".

Also aboard is Cabren's ex squeeze, the harsh-faced psi-sensitive (whatever that means) Alluma (Happy Days' Joanie Cunningham, Moran, who's frankly seen better days - and much better gear before now), chief cook and bottle washer Melvin Kore (My Favourite Martian Walston), and the pube bearded, mightily manbreasted hardman Hilary Quuhod (genre stalwart Haig and the reason we are here), master of the deadly Perspex boomerangs.

There are a few other folk aboard too but frankly it'd be easier all round if you just imagine a couple of pieces of hardboard decked out in sub standard bri-nylon (and nipple revealing) Battlestar Galactica uniforms.

Oh, and Freddy Krueger in a ginger Abraham Lincoln beard.

Engaging warp drive (which is just off Stella Street) The Quest soon arrives at it's destination and the crew begin their search for any survivors.

And the ships supply of chocolate biscuits.

And quite possibly any evidence of an original idea.

Unfortunately they find nothing but a load of leftover sets from Battle Beyond The Stars strewn with litter and a few shop window dummies smeared with jam and hanging from the roof.

Baelon, angered by such a waste of yummy toast topping goodness decides to set fire to everything around him whilst the rest of the crew (including the jittery Johnny Deadsoon) split up and have a wee scout around.

But obviously not in a John Wayne Gacy way.

Tho' that would probably make the whole thing that wee bit more entertaining.

Bored with burning stuff and annoyed by Alluma's constant whining about 'dark energies' Baelon orders everyone back to The Quest for tea and toast, a decision that cheers everyone up except poor Deadsoon, who has to stay behind to find his hat that he's dropped.

Suffice to say that within seconds of the others leaving he's killed by what looks like a big rubber testicle that jumps on his back and squeezes his head till it pops.

"And when I'm anally violated I pull THIS face!"

Realizing one of their number is missing the crew head back across the studio rubbish tip (sorry, alien landscape) to look for him, giving the frighteningly pneumatic Dameia (O'Connell from Caged Fury) an excuse to tell everyone how much she hates maggots and how she'd be loathed to have one swim up her (ample) arse.

Reader take note, this may be important later.

Back on board The Quest everyone sits down for a quick Pot Noodle whilst Dameia and general dogsbody Powell Ranger (Englund with shit facial hair and some ginger pubes glued to his head) perform a fairly shoddy autopsy on their fallen comrade and the body of some bloke they found in a cupboard.

Their findings?

Both men were killed by terror.

A probable galaxy full of it.
A Galaxy (minus the terror) yesterday.

After pudding and a glass of milk our motley band decide to have a better look around the planet, starting with a huge pyramid-like structure they singularly failed to notice earlier (well it was a wee bit foggy) and Ilvar feeling a bit left out splits everyone (with the exception of Trantor who's frankly barking and chef who's busy cooking brine for supper) into two teams.

Their mission: discover stuff.

To make it more exciting Ilvar offers first group to reach the summit the chance of winning a teddy bear.

Buffeted by the harsh winds and spooked by the scary synth sounds Ilvar, Dameia and Cabren are first to clamber up the structure (the others have stopped for a picnic at the bottom), discovering a series of slightly sexual looking holes jutting from the pyramids sides, poor Ilvar, stuck between a moustachioed stud and a strip queen, decides to exert his manliness by abseiling down one of these mysterious openings for a quick poke around.

Unfortunately it's him that gets a poking from a gaggle of rubbery (why thank you!) blood sucking tentacles.

"Laugh now!"

Shrugging their shoulders in a fairly apathetic manner before moving on, Dameia and Cabren have soon met up with a still angry Baelon, a still whiny Alluma and always manboobed Quuhod at the pyramids summit where they find a set of giant plasticine doors that lead deep into the structures bowels.

Leaving Quuhod on guard at the entrance (frankly the stench of all that testosterone and sour man milk must be getting to them by now) the rest of the gang head down toward their destiny.

Which in Erin Moran's case is a lifetime of appearances at a number of supermarket openings, conventions and rehab centres.

Your mums cum face. Trust me, I know.

Back aboard the Quest, Ranger is having a severe case of the sweats and Kore skulks around the kitchen in a mysterious manner whilst Captain Trantor sits in the ships gun turret, dribbling down her jumper and playing space invaders whilst swearing like a pikey on heat.

No change there then.

Bored shitless to a point where he's cleaning his nails with the sacred boomerangs, Quuhod is surprised by a scary "BOO!" noise behind him, causing the poor sod to accidentally chop off his arm.

If that wasn't enough the severed arm takes on a life of its own and proceeds to stab it's previous owner to death with his own weapon.

Which is nice.

Hearing the commotion and upset that her breasts are too large to enable her to squeeze any further into the pyramid, Dameia rushes to Quuhod's aid only to stumble over his by now maggot riddle corpse lying in a pool of blood and piss.

Hang on, did someone say maggots?

"Put it in me!"

As Dameia tiptoes around her dead comrades corpse she (remarkably) fails to notice that one of the maggots has started growing to giant size behind her, only realizing that something's wrong when the beast flops down on top of her like a big inflatable penis and begins to tear her clothes off whilst thrusting and grunting the way that normal maggots don't.

What your girlfriend was up to on
that girls night out last week.

Vainly trying to escape by wriggling her slimy arse and rubbing her gloop covered breasts, Dameia is soon overpowered by the horny horror, breathing her last as the beast pumps her full of it's manky maggot muck.

At this point I have to say that as a twelve year old I was under the impression that this was quite possibly the greatest scene ever committed to celluloid but as I got older and more aware of political correctness and the evils of sexism I began to realize that this wasn't the case.

It's far too short for one thing.

And it's way too dark.

(stringy) shite in mah mooth!

This sex based slaying is only the beginning of the horror tho', as within minutes Trantor has accidentally set fire to her face, the cook has gone AWOL, bow-legged Baelon has been bummed by the bin men and poor old Alluma has been squeezed to death by some rampant, slime covered Hoover attachments leaving a by now shot to fuck Ranger and a fairly concerned Cabren the only survivors.

As the perky pair approach the pyramids inner sanctum, they begin to realize that their might be more to the mysterious planet Morganthus than meets the eye and leaves them wondering....

Where the fuck is the chef?

From the minds of writer/director Bruce Clark, little known designer James Cameron and the genius that is Lord Roger of Corman, Galaxy Of Terror maybe a cheap and nasty knock off with more aliases than a serial adulterer and be more likely to give you crabs than a sleepless night but it's still capable of entertaining you along the way.

Just like your mum in fact.

You can imagine the whole thing being greenlit on the strength of the poster alone and when Clark turned round to Corman and said "Then this huge maggot shags a naked bird to death" you just know it was a done deal.

But then any movie that features aliens, sex, gore and a former member of the Happy Days cast being squeezed to death by household appliances painted green should automatically be pushed thru' for immediate production, imagine how much better the world would be if this were the case.

As an added bonus it's great to sit back and enjoy self proclaimed "King of The World" James Cameron doing what he does best, that is operating a giant rape maggot as opposed to forcing badly plotted overlong remakes of Ferngully on us.

The scenes final moments when the huge quivering beast grunts and thrust one final time over O'Connell's prone form is at once incredibly arousing and mildly disturbing, you can imagine Cameron, teeth gritted and with a semi in his shorts sweating and cursing as he becomes one with the monster costume, imagining himself fucking every last dollar out of the worldwide cinema audience.

Or is that just me?

O'Connell: you would.

As you can probably tell, I secretly love Galaxy Of Terror in the same way as you always have a soft spot for that plump, middle aged housewife you got in touch with via those sleazy 'contact' magazines you purchased as a bet when you were fourteen.

You remember, the one from Edgebaston that made you a man then gave you tea,d biscuits and a cuddle whilst telling you about her disabled husband?

Galaxy Of Terror, scarier than your dad, sleazier than your little sister and a damn sight more fun drunk than both of them.

You need this.

And the cult movie genre needs more guys like Sid.


1939 - 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019

get more genki.

Blatant work plug here, been busy in my drawing/sketchy day job, producing some new art to promote the fourth volume of the of the Japanese Rock, Pop and Underground compilation series Get Your Genki.
You can find more info here.

Friday, September 20, 2019


Still feeling a wee bit under the weather so have confined myself to the sofa with the TV remote channel surfing in the hope that some quality movies will help cure my malaise.

The Super Inframan (中國超人. 1975).
Dir: Hua Shan.
Cast: Danny Lee, Wang Hsieh, Terry Lau, Yuan Man-tzu, Bruce Le, Kong Yeung,
Dana Shum, Lin Wen-wei, Lu Sheng and Fanny Leung.

Rayma, now you are filled with power and energy! For you, nothing will be an impossibility! Your senses are intensified, so you can even see and hear through walls!

It's the futuristic - for 1975 - year 2015 (which is now the past, spooky) and the  primary 2 class from the Mary Bell junior school are heading home after a hard days clipping 'up west' but as the excitedly look forward to snacks and pop their joyful bus-based songs are rudely interrupted when what looks like a huge, green plucked turkey drops from the sky onto the road in front of them shattering the concrete and causing the bus to screech to a halt and wee Jimmy to spill his Ribena.

As the fairly sexy supply teacher herds the kids to safety the crack-creating chicken attacks the bus sending it and its unfortunate driver off the edge of a cliff.

But that's not the only thing causing havoc on this wet Wednesday afternoon as all across Hong Kong - and maybe even the world - natural disasters are occurring: everything from earthquakes to previously dormant volcano exploding via your mum burning her souffle, the whole planet is in chaos.

Lucky for us, the bewigged and (pube) bearded boffin and part-time Dave Lee Travis alike Professor Brian Liu Ying De (A Better Tomorrow's Wang) and his world renowned - and silver jumpsuit clad - Super Science Headquarters team is on the case.

"Are you looking at my bra?"

 Scanning the local area for any clues as to what's happening the team are surprised when the nearby Devil's Mountain explodes revealing a huge carved dragon skull cum secret base entrance from which steps the sinisterly sexy sorceress resplendent in a huge silver dragon hat and matching bikini top, thigh boots and carrying a whip in her dragon headed right hand.

I don't know why but I think she may like dragons.

Demon Princess Elizebub (or Princess Dragon Mom as the dubbed version amusingly calls her and played to thigh slapping perfection by Terry Liu, best known for her performance as the tight uniformed and knee-high booted lesbian warden Mako in Bamboo House of Dolls) for this is she, shoutily informs the team that from this day forth she is the Earth’s new master and we must either surrender and live as her playthings or be destroyed.

Well I know which I'd choose.

Even thinking about it would probably kill you.

Anyway to prove her point she unleashes her leather-clad skeleton army and assorted mutant types including a huge Plasticine monstrosity with drills for hands,, a big red pompom with horns that can fire laser beams from its arse, a tentacled plant monster, the crab suit left over from Space Amoeba and a pair of metal men with spring loaded limbs to wreak havoc and cause general mayhem around the local area, pissing in phone boxes, tying the swings around the crossbar so no-one can use them and knocking on doors before running off - you get the idea.

Helping her to organise the attack - as well as keeping everyone fed and watered -  is her second-in-command, the sultry Ms Witch-Eye (Shum from Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon), a kinda sexy space secretary cum junior despot in a cycling helmet and eyeballs in the palm of her hands that fire hypnotizing laser bolts when needed.

Which is nice.

"Eye hen!"

Is there anyone who can defeat these monsters?

Luckily in his spare time the Professor has been beavering away on a top secret project - code-named: BDX it has the ability to transform a normal human into a bionic, red latexed super-hero.

This can be achieved, he explains, by wiring the subjects arms and legs with powerful transistors and computerized parts, injecting them with a super serum and to top it off inserting a tiny nuclear reactor in their heads.

Unfortunately tho' the procedure is very painful.

Oh and may result in death.

Enter - roughly and from behind after jumping them in a dark alley - Jeff Rayma (Lee from the classic City On Fire) who eagerly volunteers to strip down to his pants and get tied to a table by a much older man in order to become the much more than human, if slightly less manly looking Infra-Man, defender of the Earth and scourge of all girl private schools everywhere.

"Put it in me!"

Cue 90 odd minutes of enough kicks and punches to make you want to sell your soul for a PaRappa the Rapper live action movie as Infra-Man and his pals battle everything from giant plant monsters whose massive foam vines attempt to smash the science base to brainwashed traitors in their midst via a bizarre subplot involving the Professor youngest daughters wish to become Infra-Woman when she's older.

And all performed by a cast of which the majority are wearing way too tight Bacofoil jumpsuits.

Here come the Belgians!

But it's not all fist fights tho' as after a couple of defeats at Infra-Man's hands, a fairly angry Elizebub sends the aforementioned brainwashed minion to steal the secrets of Infra-Man's power so that she too can build an invincible warrior prompting the Professor to upgrade our hero (nothing too fancy mind, just adding Thunderball Fists that can be launched from his wrists, alongside a deadly solar attack device that kills instantly, a 'lethal flame kick' embedded in his Cuban heels and lastly a set of mini-rockets place just above his tummy in the off-chance that anyone uses a freeze ray on him at any point - like that'll happen) in preparation for the final battle.

But whilst all this science shit is going down Elizebub has kidnapped the Professor's beautiful daughter Liu Mei-mei (the button-nosed Yuan Man-tzu from The Clones of Bruce Lee) and is threatening to kill her (to death) is the Professor doesn't surrender himself and his secrets.

Laugh now.

 As so begins a race against time (and good taste) to save not only the Professor and his daughter but humanity itself from the slender clutches of the Demon Princess Elizebub.

Will the traitor be uncovered?

Will Infra-Man lose his power when the sun is blocked out even tho' he's allegedly got a nuclear reactor embedded in his skull?

Will Demon Princess Elizebub turn back into a chicken for the stunning final battle?

Will there be a sequel? *

There's only one way to find out cos I'm not telling.

Obviously 'inspired' (you think?) by Tsuburaya Productions utterly fantastic Ultra series - even going so far as re-using Toru Fuyuki's score from Ultra Seven - as well as the daikaiju and kyodai hīro genres - still - so popular in Japan, this Shaw Brothers epic has the distinction of being not only the very first Superhero movie made in Hong Kong but the first film promoted there using a hot air balloon.

Which I'm sure you'll agree is a useful fact to know.

Brexit in a nutshell.

Confidently directed by HK cinema stalwart Hua Shan (who would later go on to give us such classic Fayre as Kung Fu Zombie, Jade Claw, Ghost Killer and Dreams of Eroticism) from a script by the prolific science fiction author and script writer Ni Kuang (responsible for, among other things, writing One-Armed Swordsman, The Assassin and Crippled Avengers as well as the Bruce Lee starrer Fist of Fury) and produced by the legendary Runme Shaw, Infra-Man works best because it unashamedly embraces it's Japanese inspirations rather than just blatantly ripping them off, even going as far as hiring Ekisu Productions - famed for their work on many a Toei superhero series - to supply the sets and monster costumes as well as designing and building Infra-Man himself which all adds a certain legitimacy to the proceedings that something like Juan Piquer Simón's 1980 superhero misfire Supersonic Man lacks plus the acting is top notch and played with eye-rolling conviction by everybody onscreen.

As a bizarre side-note, Bruce Le - who plays the brainwashed Lu Hsiao-Lung - has a cameo in Juan Piquer Simón's classic Pieces as a Kung Fu teacher with a dodgy tummy.

Tho' this coincidence may not be related to his later arrest for tax evasion.

"Put it in me!"

Talking of actors, kudos to not only the frankly fantastic Terry Liu but also to Wang Hsieh who manages to give his portrayal of Professor Liu Ying De a quiet dignity and earnest believability whilst all the time clad in a silver labcoat two sizes too small and wearing a pound shop Elvis wig and comedy beard. 

And as the eponymous hero himself Danny Lee is all bowl-haired, boys own bravado, holding his own against an evermore outlandish array of monsters or when being forced to lie naked - save for a big nappy - on a pool table whilst being injected with food colouring.

It's a job I suppose.

The Howard's Way remake looks a bit shit.

Top quality super-heroics lovingly wrapped in a big bow of brightly coloured goodness, I mean what's not to love?



*Unfortunately not.