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Things We Like: Super Infra-Man, Biking in Kyoto and Wanton Destruction

18 September 2010 Things We Like 4,665 views One CommentPrint This Post Print This Post Email This Post Email This Post

Scarecrow Video’s Pick of the Week: “Infra-Man” (1975), directed by Shan Hua

Inspired by Japanese television superheroes like Ultra-Man, this outrageous Hong Kong film from the great Shaw Brothers Studio takes the crazy monsters vs. guy in jumpsuit genre to a whole new level. The action is nonstop, the monsters are talkative and the costumes are jaw-dropping.

Princess Dragon Mom (yep, that is her character’s name) declares war on the human race from her subterranean lair. Her minions include all sorts of ridiculously brilliant monsters. And, yes, like I said — all the monsters talk! Sample dialogue: “Grunt-grunt, Let me kill Infra-Man, Princess Dragon Mom. Roar!” And Danny Lee (who you may remember from hundreds of other Hong Kong flicks) plays a good-guy secret agent human who is converted into Infra-Man by a clever scientist. He can magically change back and forth from human form to Inframan form and even turns gigantic during one tussle. There is no reason to dissect the plot, as I seriously believe “Infra-Man” is a must-see film, especially if you dig crazy monster suits and shop at stores like Archie McPhee.

This is one of the few foreign films that I’d recommend watching in the dubbed American version. Whoever prepared this film for a stateside release deserves an Academy Award (in my book, anyway), as they really seemed to get it — and, in some ways, improved the film. For example: The original soundtrack is standard adventure music, but the American cut uses a delightfully dated analog synthesizer score … and the bad lady is not called Princess Dragon Mom in the original version. I suggest a “Infra-Man” viewing party post-haste! – Spenser Hoyt

Monkey Goggles Klassics: “Riding Dirty in Kyoto” by B. James

From September 16, 2009: “One lovely spring day, I strapped on my ineffectual barrier and went for a bike ride in hope of viewing the cherry blossoms on the Imperial Palace grounds, about a mile from my tiny studio apartment. No sooner had a gotten a few blocks from my home did a police officer command me to stop and submit to a battery of questions.” Read the rest here!

“Lose Your Love” by Blancmange

For some moments in life, there are no words. There are only songs, and gestures, and a house of furniture waiting to be utterly destroyed in a curiously dispassionate tantrum. It is for those reasons that this particular Blancmange video moved into my top five the first time I saw it in 1986, and it’s stayed there ever since. If MTV had existed for no other reason than to show this video, it would have been worth it. – Geoff Carter

PHOTO BY THISPARTICULARGREG

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One Comment »

  1. RE: “Infra-Man.” A Hong Kong knock-off of a classic Japanese rubber-suit epic offends my delicate sensibilities (but I’d still like to see it!)

    I like to play the Blancmange video, with the sound off, down at the local Rent-A-Center. Seems oddly appropriate…

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