Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Iron Superman/Roboter Der Sterne/Mazinger Z - El robot de las estrellas

Yes, it's Super Robot Mach Baron.

One thing charmingly weird thing about oddball robot/monster shows is that they can surface in the strangest ways. Take Mach Baron, the follow up to Red Baron. He had his tv series, toys, and assorted fame that comes with such a character. Though oddly enough, he also had a movie in Hong Kong named 'The Iron Superman' made from assorted episodes of the show with new actors filmed for scenes (like Power Rangers). This movie found it's way to German and Mexican audiences under different titles (Mazinger Z?) and I'm sure there's probably fans of these movies that have no clue of it's heritage (like Power Rangers). Aside from odd clips, I've never seen Mach Baron. Just been aware of him, appreciated his look, that sort of thing (I can't watch and know everything ya'll).

So as I'm adding fun stuff to my watch que, I run across 'The Iron Superman' and say to myself 'That's Mach Baron, I'll watch this'. And after starting the weird movie, decide to look into the bizarre production and that's when I learned about it. Like other oddball robot movies you'll find in discount bins, it's another cobbled together production obviously meant to entertain children without much regard to it's manic pacing. Being made from random episodes of a tv show, the movie has a bunch of episodic adventures for our heroes at a crazy pace. 

Aside from the weirdness of the movies production, the show's pretty weird too in an awesome way. Like other older tokusatsu productions, Mach Baron has some crazy bad guys straight out of a haunted house (which I love) and the generic foot soldiers... are football players for some reason. I love the villains. There isn't a clear reason as to what they're trying to do, other than cause destruction and kill everything (they're from Deathstar, not the Deathstar... just Deathstar) and the head honcho looks like a demonic wizard with crazy hair that changes colors at random intervals (I don't know what's going on either). What's awesome is the outright violence. For a children's show, there's a complete disregard for the intended audience. It's somewhat jarring at times (I've said 'damn' so many times) and also completely amazing. I know I call things a fever dream often, but this might just be the epitome of the term.

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