Fantastic Fest 2011 Reviews: Manborg


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Steven Kostanski
Genre: Comedy
Grade: B-
Screens again Sept. 27, 11:45 p.m.

The best possible way to wash the taste of “The Human Centipede II” out of your mouth is the schlocky, zero-budget “Manborg,” a wry bit of carefully calculated mediocrity. The film lifts liberally from every sci-fi and war film ever made, wearing its “Terminator” and “Star Wars” influences proudly on its sleeve. Matthew Kennedy stars as the titular human-cyborg fusion, a soldier killed on the front lines of the battle with an army from hell. Resurrected by a mad scientist and transported to a future where steampunk demons rule the world, Manborg must learn to control his new powers in time for a climactic confrontation with the nefarious Count Draculon.
Yeah, it’s all about as silly as it sounds (if not sillier), with its intentionally bottom-of-the-barrel special effects and acting. Even so, “Manborg” takes unlimited joy in its cheesy 80’s effects and creative B-movie gore, and at a runtime of just under an hour, the movie zips by so quickly that the joke doesn’t even have time to get old. It’s almost hard to grade “Manborg” on a scale that assesses the quality of the film, as its inherent awfulness is what makes the film so entertaining. Ultimately, there are far worse ways to blow an hour than watching “Manborg.”