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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo1YkF4UqEM

The Guyver

New Line Cinema, 1991

Directed by Screaming Mad George and Steve Wang (Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight)

Based on the manga by Yoshiki Takaya (Hades Project Zeorymer)

Running Time: 92 minutes

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and strong language.

Cast

Jack Armstrong as Sean Barker/Guyver

Mark Hamill (like no one here knows who he is...) as CIA Agent Max Reed

Vivian Wu (Wenxiu in The Last Emperor, Mitsu in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III) as Mizky Segawa

David Gale (1936-1991) (Dr. Hill in Re-Animator) as Fulton Balcus

Michael Berryman (Skull Cowboy in The Crow, Pluto in The Hills Have Eyes) as Lisker

Jimmie Walker (J. J. Evans in Good Times) as Striker

Peter Spellos (Monev the Gale in Trigun, Gilliam II in Outlaw Star) as Ramsey

Spice Williams-Crosby (Patrice in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vixis in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) as Weber

Willard E. Pugh (Mayor Kuzak in RoboCop 2, Harpo in The Color Purple) as Col. Castle

Jeffrey Combs (Dr. West in Re-Animator) as Dr. East

David Wells as Dr. Gordon

Greg Paik as Dr. Tetsu Segawa

Linnea Quigley (famous B-movie scream queen) as the Scream Queen

Plot

Martial arts slacker Sean Barker stumbles upon an alien prototype device and bonds with it, becoming the armored warrior called the "Guyver". But now he is wanted by the Chronos Corporation, which sends its band of Zoanoids to capture him and recover the Guyver unit.

Lowdown

As a means to ride on the popularity of the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, a production team led by Brian Yuzna (Re-Animator, Crying Freeman) created the live-action adaptation of Yoshiki Takaya's manga Bio-Booster Armor Guyver. It had a who's-who cast of actors that every Fangoria subscriber would know. The Guyver suit was meticulously detailed, as well as most of the Zoanoids. It had the potential to be a good sci-fi film that could go toe-to-toe with Kamen Rider and Japan's tokusatsu staples.

And then came the script.

In an attempt to make The Guyver family-friendly, the screenplay writers resorted to slapstick comedy - especially during the fight scenes. Combined with the unbearable acting of the main cast (except Mark Hamill, who was probably here just for a paycheck) and a horrid soundtrack, the film is almost unwatchable unless you put it on Mute to appreciate some of the special effects.

It's a shame the first-ever live-action Guyver turned out like this. The 1994 sequel Guyver: Dark Hero is a better product, but not without its own faults. Why the Japanese have not come up with their tokusatsu version is anyone's guess.

Rating: D

References

The Internet Movie Database

Wikipedia

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Flash from the past, I used to have all the Guyver kits.

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Guyver: Dark Hero
New Line Cinema, 1994
Directed by Steve Wang (Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight)
Based on the manga by Yoshiki Takaya (Hades Project Zeorymer)
Running Time: 123 minutes
Rated R for graphic sci-fi violence and profanity.

Cast
David Hayter (Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid series) as Sean Barker/Guyver
Kathy Christopherson as Cori Edwards
Bruno Patrick as Arlen Crane
Christopher Michael as Commander Atkins
Stuart Weiss as Marcus Edwards
Alisa Merline as Brandi
Kristen Calkins as Lois
Koichi Sakamoto (Power Rangers action director) as Sakai

Plot
Years after fusing with the Guyver and destroying the Kronos Corporation in Los Angeles, Sean Barker travels to Utah to investigate an archaeological dig that bears clues to the origins of the Guyver and the Zoanoids. Upon his arrival, he once again must confront the Kronos Corporation, which has been financing the dig for their own agenda.

Lowdown
It's a new-and-improved live-action Guyver, with a darker plot, no comedy, lots of blood and gore, and story elements directly taken from the manga. David Hayter does a more convincing portrayal of the troubled youth Sean Barker than that pencil-neck geek Jack Armstrong from the first film. The action and fight choreography are very close to that of Kamen Rider ZO.

Unfortunately, like the first film, Guyver: Dark Hero has its own faults; the main downside being its meager US$500,000 budget. Because of this budget, the camerawork is shoddy, with several frames coming off as blurry. Most of the props look cheap and unfinished. And the acting is simply unbearable.

Despite the overall cheap quality, Guyver: Dark Hero is a guilty pleasure film for those who are into sci-fi B-movies. Otherwise, watch the anime versions instead.

Rating: C+

References
The Internet Movie Database
Wikipedia

Edited by areaseven

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Guyver 2 The Dark Hero was pretty much where the name sake for my dubbing group came from.

but was also nice to know the connection of David hayter being Sean and also the notorious Snake from MGS. Love those kind of connections.

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Jeffrey Combs (Dr. West in Re-Animator) as Dr. East

Really, THAT role is the one you pick? At this point I'd put his voice-acting resume ahead of his on-screen stuff, but for on-screen I'd vote he's best known as Weyoun from ST:DS9.

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Have this version on DVD.

http://youtu.be/6M2x73JfzjE

I found it interesting on some of the things the DVD release changed from the old VHS dub. It's consistent but odd to hear.

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That's because the original dub was done by US Renditions, while the DVD was put out by Manga Corp, and made some wacky changes just because they could.

But, ahhhh, Guyver. The movie is what brought me into anime. I'd seen it on the shelf and nearly rented it before, but put it back. (hey, I had to ration my movie rentals when I was 14). I got it one Friday night and as cheesy and moronic as it was in spots, I was hooked. I mean, HOOKED. I watched it back-to-back-to-back three times that night.

I was never a comic reader, but I understood who Iron Man was. The idea that something like Iron Man could have his armour INSIDE his skin and on in a moment's notice? Awesome! The fact that it looked awesome and alien and creepy was a huge bonus.

Then, upon returning the video the teller girl said they had more of them, but they were cartoons. And so I went home that night with the 2nd and 3rd volumes of the anime, and the rest is history.

Then I saw Dark Hero and be damned if that it's a far, far superior film to the first one. Apparently, the producer of the first film wanted to make Guyver into the next Power Rangers, so he recut the film without the director's approval, cut out all the violence, and amped up the Kiddie Factor for all DVD releases. The prick. But Dark Hero is wonderfully violent, amazingly graphic, and enjoyably destructive.

When you smash a Zoanoid's head against a tree and brains ooze out? Yep, much more graphic :D And the fight at the end against the Guyver Zoanoid was amazingly choreographed, especially for a kid who'd been educated by 80s action films with big, heavy, slow punches. Just amazing.

In fact, I spent a few weeks last month rewatching Dark Hero on Youtube and it's held up better than a lot of shows from that time period that I used to like. Still fun, if stupid and sloppy fun.

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That's because the original dub was done by US Renditions, while the DVD was put out by Manga Corp, and made some wacky changes just because they could.

Apparently, the producer of the first film wanted to make Guyver into the next Power Rangers, so he recut the film without the director's approval, cut out all the violence, and amped up the Kiddie Factor for all DVD releases.

From what I understand, Manga Video had licensed the Guyver OVA in the UK at the same time L.A. Hero/U.S. Renditions did in the U.S. When U.S. Renditions folded and nearly all of their titles were transferred to Manga's U.S. branch, Manga opted to use their English dub on the re-release instead of the L.A. Hero dub (probably because it was cheaper).

Also, the kiddified Guyver movie came out in 1991 - two years before Power Rangers existed. So the closest competitor it had was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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Yes, but it was really only kiddified on the DVD release. The original movie was pretty violent (ish) for kids.

Actually, no. I've been hearing complaints about the first film being kiddified since the VHS/LaserDisc days.

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Hunh. Learn something new every day, it seems. Either way, it's clear to me that Dark Hero is a much better film overall.

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Actually, no. I've been hearing complaints about the first film being kiddified since the VHS/LaserDisc days.

My buddies & I rented the VHS from Blockbuster in the mid 90's. Yeah, it was supremely kiddified.

Mark Hamill's pornstache was all adult, though. I was bummed that he didn't have a bigger role.

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Why does it seem like no matter what format guyver never gets an ending.

Edited by Big s

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Because the original Manga comic hasn't ended yet. It's still going on, and on, and on, and on. Sloooowly going on, but still going.

Personally, I disregard most of the manga as too power-trippy for my liking. I honestly prefer the somewhat lower power levels of the movie than the animes or manga.

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I understand that the manga may not be done, but to make ova's, movies and tv shows that just feel unfinished is a bit frustrating. Maybe if for example another series starts up it has an end at whatever story arc they finish at while still leaving it possible to have a second season or movie or even ova sequals if it becomes popular.

The usual stories all basically start from the same spot then just end when it starts getting interesting without any real closure.

I guess that to some, mostly in Japan they can just read the comic. But even though I would for a U.S. Example would read the spawn comics and had watched the series and felt disappointed that it didn't really have an end either. With guyver I feel the same dissapointment over and over every time it gets done redone and rebooted.

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I understand that the manga may not be done, but to make ova's, movies and tv shows that just feel unfinished is a bit frustrating. Maybe if for example another series starts up it has an end at whatever story arc they finish at while still leaving it possible to have a second season or movie or even ova sequals if it becomes popular.

The usual stories all basically start from the same spot then just end when it starts getting interesting without any real closure.

I guess that to some, mostly in Japan they can just read the comic. But even though I would for a U.S. Example would read the spawn comics and had watched the series and felt disappointed that it didn't really have an end either. With guyver I feel the same dissapointment over and over every time it gets done redone and rebooted.

Incomplete endings in anime is nothing new or even uncommon really. So for Guyver to do this all the way around isn't THAT big of a deal. It's simply that the story got way to complex and the period of time this takes place in is long long gone now.

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