Written by: George Pacheco on April 2nd, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: USA, August 18th, 1993
Director: Jack Ersgard
Writer: Earl Kenton, Jackson Barr
Cast: Brian Cousins, Jane Caldwell, Michael Della Femina
DVD Release Date: February 11th, 2013
Approximate Running Time: 81 minutes
Aspect Ratio: PAL 1.33:1 Fullscreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: 88 Films
Region Encoding: PAL All Regions
Retail Price: £8.99
Britain’s 88 Films continues to mine—for better or worse—the vault of Charles Band’s Full Moon Features, with the latest in their “Grindhouse” series being director Jack Ersgard’s dire early nineties sci-fi venture, Mandroid.
Ersgard’s film borrows a bit from typical science fiction plot conventions, namely that of a highly volatile discovery—in this case, a virtually controlled cyborg—which ends up falling into the wrong hands, thanks to the less-than-scrupulous business partner of the kindly Dr. Karl Zimmer. It is business as usual after this, with Mandroid capturing Full Moon’s typically low budget aesthetic in a manner which fails to scale the heights of the company’s other powerhouses, such as the Puppet Master or Subspecies franchises.
There are, admittedly, some similarities between Mandroid and the Subspecies series, in that both were filmed on location in Romania—which served as a tax shelter for Band and many of his films—and feature satisfactory special effects, given the amount of money which probably went into production. Mandroid, however, is a significantly talky affair, which proves detrimental in the long run, given the lack of real characterization given to the script and the rather wooden performances from the film’s wooden leads
While Mandroid isn’t completely without enjoyable merit—there’s a retro “Creature Feature” vibe to this sci-fi schlock which comes across as slightly endearing—the affair as a whole fails to resonate with its audience with much more than popcorn flick simplicity.
88 Films presents Mandroid in its original, direct-to-video fullscreen aspect ratio, with sharp colors and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Blacks are sharp, with colors nicely saturated.
Extras include the film’s original trailer, reversible cover art and the original Videozone featurette which was included from Full Moon on the original, 1993 video release. A Full Moon trailer reel rounds out a predictably solid presentation overall from the reputable 88 Films.