The Manborg cast sinks its teeth into 80s cheese like The Breakfast Club.
MANBORG (Steven Kostanski). 63 minutes. Opens Friday (November 2). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NN
Throwbacks to 80s genre movies have become a genre unto themselves. Manborg is just another example of the trend, purposefully and incoherently slapping together a cheesy plot, terrible performances and eyesore special effects while using the term "postmodern" as armour against criticism.
The conceit was amusing a decade ago, when Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright affectionately revived the schlocky genres they mimicked. Now cheap throwbacks are groan-worthy clichés.
Evidently made on spare change, Manborg takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where hell has literally taken over the earth, and a man turned cyborg (Matthew Kennedy) must battle demons led by Count Draculon. Director Steven Kostanski (a makeup artist by trade) does a fine job emulating the music, claymation and Commodore-era effects of those VHS movies that used to boast "computer graphics" instead of CG.
Manborg has a few decent gags scattered among its pandering references to everything from Terminator to Mortal Kombat. The few high points would work better as a fake trailer like the one that's tacked on at the end of Manborg. That short clip, Bio-Cop, has more going for it in five minutes than Manborg does in over an hour.