I've had at least three jobs where I had to watch and review terrible, terrible movies, so my Netflix recommendations have always been a little messed up. However, whatever algorithm they have that I've screwed up by watching Beastmaster III picked up on my established love of dirt bike cinema and told me about a movie about "Daimon, who rides a motorcycle that knows karate," which is about where I stopped reading, because that sentence made my eyeballs explode, and now they had my interest.
You should be feeling a twitching sensation in your corneas right about now.
So six weeks later, after extensive rest and medical treatment, I sat down to watch 2011's Karate-Robo Zaborgar, a Japanese film from the director of Machine Girl and Final Pussy, an award-winning porno about a government experiment that gives a young lady the ability to project machine guns from her breasts whenever she gets aroused. Between that and the Netflix description, Zaborgar had a pretty high standard to live up to, but seriously, you guys? It is the best movie I've seen all year, and maybe the most balls-out-crazy movie I've seen in my entire life. Here's why.
#6. The Source Material
Karate-Robo Zaborgar is actually a remake/reboot/parody of a tokusatsu show from 1974 (which, for those of you who aren't familiar with it, is the same genre of dudes-and-robots-doing-karate-at-monsters show that eventually gave us Power Rangers) called Denjin Zaborgar. The basic plot is that there's a loose-cannon cop named Yutaka Daimon who rides around on a motorcycle kicking the living crap out of Sigma, an organization of criminal cyborgs. His secret weapon: his motorcycle, which is actually a transforming robot that knows karate, has a machine gun in its mouth, and shoots remote control helicopters and cars with drills on the front out of its head and feet, respectively.
Thanks for clarifying.
If that wasn't enough, it actually gets even weirder as it goes on. In the second half of the series, Sigma gets replaced by a new set of villains called the Dinosaur Army, and ... well, take it away, Wikipedia:
"The Dinosaur Army is led by an ancient monster, Triple Neck Demon (Majin Mitsu Kubi). It's a three-headed dinosaur or dragon. One head of this ancient beast spits fire, one poison gas, and one a bolt of energy. Triple Neck Demon's chief aides are the human worshipers Devil Hat (Akuma Hatto) and Queen Meza (JyouOu Meza). Devil Hat makes the dinosaur-shaped robots for the Dinosaur Army and uses his hat like a weapon (he throws it)."
There's actually a highlight reel from the original series that plays under the movie's credits showing shots and characters lifted directly and recreated for the film, but just so we're clear on this, that's the level of bonkers that we're starting with. The movie was meant to be even weirder than that, and brother, did it get there.
#5. The Plot
The movie version of Zaborgar gives Daimon a pretty personal motivation for taking on the forces of Sigma. See, after his mother died giving birth to him, he and his twin brother were raised by his scientist father. Sadly, the twin brother died, possibly because, in the absence of a mother, Daimon Senior raised them on "man-breast milk."
Daimon turned out OK, though.
Anyway, Science Dad is also an expert on Daimonium, a substance that "can turn any living thing into a robot," which naturally attracted the attention of one of Japan's many cyborg terrorist organizations that were hanging around in the '70s. He was killed, but not before he built a surrogate brother for Daimon to replace his lost twin, a karate robot motorcycle that he controlled by shouting into a microphone. As one does.
#4. The Villains
Sadly, Dinosaur Army and Devil Hat don't appear in the movie. Instead, it's focused on these guys:
Dr. Akunomiya, the leader of Sigma, who lives in a castle on a floating asteroid shaped like a butt that hovers over Tokyo. He's kidnapping people and using Daimonium to turn each of them into a single bone of his giant robot so that he can get revenge against, you know, everything, and has the ability to shoot unlimited knives out of his knee by jiggling his leg.
Akunomiya's cyborg henchmen, who appear to be half-robot versions of gangsters and pirates. Like actual pirates, with bandannas and everything.
BULLDOG CAR ROBOT, which is probably pretty self-explanatory.
The Miss Ruggers, three sexy lady robots in bikinis and football helmets. Two of them shoot dinosaurs out of their boobs, the other one has one larger dinosaur that comes out of her butt, and they attack people with exploding footballs.
Miss Borg, a woman who was jilted by her lover and became a revenge-crazed cyborg, who first appears as a disembodied head flying around on rockets, kissing her enemies and then using her lip strength to fling them through walls.
Black Hawk, a motorcycle that knows karate and turns into a g-g-g-girl robot!
Miss Borg isn't a villain for long, though. In true action movie form, a combination of Daimon's dedication to the path of kindness and righteousness (he allows her to stab him in the face rather than fight her) and some accidental makeouts (Zaborgar bumps into her in the fight and knocks her right into Daimon's mouth) win her over. And then ... hoo boy. And then ...