Tuesday 6 December 2016

The Guyver - UK BD/DVD combo review

Screaming Mad George and Steve Wang may be better known to horror fans for their special effects works in the genre, but in 1991 they teamed up with producer Brian Yuzna to co-direct this bizarre super-hero tale based on the popular Japanese comic of the same name. Which makes its UK BD debut this month from Arrow films in a BD/DVD combo pack.

Teenager Sean Barker (Jack Armstrong) stumbles across a bizarre alien device secluded in an alleyway, which subsequently merges with him and changes him into an armoured super-human/alien-hyrbid.

Unfortunately, he then finds himself being pursued by agents from the sinister Chronos Corporation, who have been doing bizarre genetic experiments on their staff, turning them into mutant super-soldiers, who want the device for their own nefarious ends.

And so the scene is set for a series of martial arts style fight scenes, as Sean, in his new guise as The Guyver, is reluctantly forced to battle these mutant monsters, lead by horror veteran Michael Berryman, and stop the evil Chronos corporation.

Star Wars’ Mark Hamill turns up as a hapless CIA agent who’s been investigating Chronos, and the film also features a whole slew of horror veterans in supporting roles, including the aforementioned Michael Berryman (Hills Have Eyes), along with David Gale and Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator) and Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead).

Originally released in the UK and Europe as “Mutronics The Movie” with the tag line “Some Mutants are More Equal than Others”, presumably to cash in on the success of the live action “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” film which came out in the same year, this wasn’t a huge success on it’s original release, but has since gone on to garner a large cult following.

Extras on the disc include

Interview with Producer Brian Yuzna (9mins)
Image gallery
Theatrical trailers.

The Blu-ray and DVD copies both contain the exact same extras on. The sleeve also features reversible artwork, featuring the original poster art on one side and newly commissioned artwork by on the other. The initial run will also come with a fully illustrated booklet featuring linear notes on the film. 

I remember watching this when it first came out under the title “Mutronics” and originally wasn’t too impressed. However, looking at it now it’s actually quite good fun when viewed as a popcorn film. You just have to remember not to take it too seriously. If you’re a fan of the film, or you are interested in checking it out, then you’ll definitely want to pick up this new release from Arrow.

As a side issue, the film spawned a sequel of sorts in 1994 entitled “Dark Hero”, which had David Hayter in the lead this time, but was more a straight-up action movie and missed out the campy humour of the original. Would be interesting to see this get a special edition release. How about it Arrow?

Buy the UK combo pack from Amazon.co.uk


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