Super Inframan (HK 1975)

Rating: **
Alternate Title: Infra-Man
Review Date: 10/25/15
Cast: Danny Lee

China's first super hero movie is an obvious rip-off of Japan's "Ultraman", both in style and substance. The evil Demon Princess Elzebub shows up with an army of monsters with the intent to take over the world. Whether they're extraterrestrial or have been hibernating underground since the Ice Age is unclear, as both theories are entertained. Mankind's only defense against Elzebub's forces is a bionically enhanced super soldier called Inframan (Danny Lee), who is equipped with jets, rockets, lasers, bombs, and a devastating solar ray. When the professor who created Inframan is captured by Elzebub, Inframan takes the battle back to the witch's fortress at Mount Demon and destroys everything in his path.

The film is an exhausting, kinetic free-for-all, featuring an almost non-stop barrage of crazy rubber monster combat. The more powerful monsters have unique abilities that encourage different combat strategies, while the lesser monsters are just an endless horde of skeleton warriors. While the action is frantic and plentiful, the story is extremely disjointed and has the familiar "make it up as you go" feeling that so many Hong Kong action films seem to have. The costumes are flamboyant and the set design is bold and colorful, which makes everything look very kid friendly. There's nothing in terms of character development and there aren't any stand-out performances, but the actress who plays Witch Eye is extremely attractive and shows off an enticing amount of skin. It's all very tacky and over-the-top, but it's also a lot of fun, so if you're looking for some classically silly sentai action with a Hong Kong twist, "Super Inframan" may be just what you need.