Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 8th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2012
Director: Noboru Iguchi
Writer: Noboru Iguchi
Cast: Itsuji Itao, Asami, Akira Emoto, Yasuhisa Furuhara, Yuya Miyashita, Naoto Takenaka, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Mami Yamasaki
BluRay released: September 11th, 2012
Approximate running time: 114 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Japanese, Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Zaborgar was written and directed by Noboru Iguchi, a filmmaker who’s demented mind has unleashed on film-goers films like, The Machine Girl, RoboGeisha and Mutant Girls Squad. The retro infused score for Zaborgar was composed by Shunsuke Kikuchi, who’s more notable scores include, Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell and Sonny Chiba’s Dragon Princess. He also composed the first three films for two notable Japanese film franchises from then 1970’s, the Female Scorpion and Sister Street Fighter series. Needless to say, fans of Toei action cinema from the 1970’s are sure to get a kick of Zaborgar’s score.
Though Zaborgar draws some of its inspiration from the superhero and monster films that dominated Japanese cinema and television in the 1960’s and 1970’s. This is not a by any means a straight forward tribute to those aforementioned films as much as it is a send up of those films.
The tone of film is immediately established in the film’s opening/ pre-credit sequence. In which the hero of this film secret police officer Yutaka Daimon and faithful sidekick a robot with the ability to transform into a motorcycle named Zaborgar as they show up in the nick of time to save a politician. It is during this opening moment that were are given a glimpse of the type of villains that will be populating this film. The film will feature a female cyborg (who later on in the film has tentacle sex with Yutaka), a evil wheelchair bound mastermind that uses his knee as a deadly weapon, a trio of femme fatale cyborg’s that dress up as though they are football team and a half human, half cyborg that is a byproduct of that aforementioned sexual encounter that Yutaka had with a cyborg.
This film’s wackiness does not end with its colorful cast of characters. It even extends to this film’s evil mastermind’s modus operandi of building an ultimate giant robot killing machine out of the DNA of Japan’s most prominent citizen’s. Of course no superhero story would be complete if there was not a moment for its hero to seek and get his redemption. And the way in which this film’s allows its hero to rise and fall is easily its most durable asset.
Sure the effects look crude, but then that how they are supposed to look. The acting is over the top and then some, which only further sells the story at hand. And most importantly at just under two hours, there is never dull moment as things move along quickly from shocking moment to the next.
Zaborgar comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This is another strong transfer from Well Go USA that is on par with their other Sushi Typhoon titles.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Japanese and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Japanese.The DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Japanese does a great job with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack, especially during more action oriented moments. Dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include trailers for, Karate-Robo Zaborgar, Helldriver, Yakuza Weapon and Deadball and a collection of Go, Zaborgar Go! short films (18 minutes 59 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles). These shorts are not much more than a few short vignettes that feature secret police officer and the title character. Don’t let the brevity of these shorts dissuade you from checking them out, because they are just as humorous and in a few instances funnier than anything that made into the feature film Zaborgar. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall Zaborgar gets a strong release from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.