Deliciously cheesy anime-style action of ‘Guyver’ Part I & II

I want watch anime

Greetings folkses. Your mango overlord Julien here.

For the very first edition of Back in Time Thursday (or BITT) we are traveling back 20 years to take a look at the cult movies The Guyver (1991) and Guyver: Dark Hero (1994).

Guyver, based on the manga series of the same name by Yoshiki Takaya, features a young man named Sean Barker who accidentally bonds with the eponymous alien armour and battles shape shifting monsters called Zoanoids led by the evil Chronos corporation.

Come on Striker. Make a wish

The Guyver  – Loveable 90s cheesefest

A movie with Mark “Luke Skywalker” Hamill and Jimmie “Good Times” Walker? Dyno-mite. Sign me up.

The first film is not fresh out of the pack cheddar cheesy but 20 day-old brie cheesy. The acting is awful – Razzie nominations for the cardboard Jack Armstrong as Barker and Vivian Wu as love interest Mizuki – except for Hamill who is hammy but in an endearing way. And he (spoiler alert) turns into a cockroach-like creature. It is as awesome as it sounds.

And Walker as Zoanoid M.C. Striker is a walking 90s black stereotype who randomly breaks into rapping. When he is not trying too hard he does bring a couple laughs. But there are scenes with comedic music a la Bulk and Skull in Power Rangers that will make your blood crawl. Watcher beware.

The costuming is mostly sub par except for the Guyver suit which looks really sweet and the main Zoanoid Lisker is also well done. The action is cool and at times bloody and gore filled. Grab some popcorn and friends and you can laugh with and at the movie. Good times (no pun intended).

Don’t mind me. Just blowing off some steam

Guyver: Dark Hero – Darker, better sequel 

The follow up three years later is superior in every respect. The acting is better especially from David Hayter, aka the voice of Solid Snake in the Metal Gear video game series, who takes over as Barker and brings a new depth and suffering to the character. The performances are decent if not Oscar worthy and the childish comedy is thankfully gone.

There are fewer Zoanoids this time out but the effects look better. The action is better choreographed and more epic, especially the final showdown between the Guyver and (spoiler alert) Guyver Zoanoid.

The plot is deeper too though it follows some of the same beats from the first film. Watching it recently it was not as great as when I saw it in my younger years, but it is good for some mindless anime-type live action. Do check it out.

Man or machine?

So have you seen the Guyver movies? What do you think of them? Do you have an idea for the next BITT? Hit me a comment below and feel free to like or subscribe.

For my review of the underrated sci fi action movie Equilibrium you can click here. I’m outie like a navel. l8rs.