From the far reaches of the dollar bin comes four more bargain basement Korean anime productions from the 80s and 90s, dubbed in lackluster English by Joseph Lai of Hong Kong. Featuring minimal animation and plenty of recycled footage from other Lai pickups, as well more than a few nods (or swipes, if you’re nasty) from popular Japanese anime of the era (and occasionally an inexplicable cameo from a b-list Marvel Comics villain or two). Despite their budgetary limitations, sometimes nonsensical stories, unmenacing alien invaders with names like “Andrew,” annoying whiny robots and dumb space kids, these films have a certain rotten charm and are sure to hold your attention in a certain “what the hell could possibly happen next?”
kind of way (and, when the hell happens next, in a “hm, that was pretty neat” kind of way).
Film descriptions taken from the original dollar store DVD packages.
PROTECTORS OF THE UNIVERSE (aka Super Teukgeup Mazinger 7)
dir. Gyu-hong Lee, 1983
73 minutes, South Korea
Dubbed in English.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 1 – 7:30 PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 8 – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 27 – 5:00 PM
In the far reach of space, a new star evokes. At that very moment, a horrible roaring sweeps across the universe. This sudden roaring, like a helpless howling, breaks the peace of the universe.
Antarichi, a planet of peace and perfection, is overtaken by a greedy bionic human Alfred. Opposing the belief of his creator Casiofia, he attempts to conquer the Universe. His first step is to destroy the city Orion.
Kanann, King of city Orion, is shocked by the sudden attempt of the new born star. He finds no way to combat so he sends out SuperSpeeder to seek help from earth.
A fierce and bloody battle begins. With the reunion of Super Speeder and Mazinger 7 and a group of brave warriors, Alfred if finally defeated. The bionic human is exploded and the colony destroyed. City Orion is rebuilt and Universe is back to peace, Thanks to the Protectors of the Universe.
SPACE THUNDER KIDS
dir. Elton Reins, 1991
82 minutes, South Korea/Hong Kong
Dubbed in English.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 1 – 10 PM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 11 – 10 PM
SUNDAY, AUGUST 20 – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 26 – 7:30 PM
The Dark Empire is determined to conquer the Universe and get rid of anyone who acts against it. The Space Thunder Kids, made up of three valiant youths, are responsible for patrolling the space and obstructing the invasion of the Dark Army.
Doctor Sparta, a scientist, is pursued by the Dark Army after the devastation of his planet. He flees to the Earth and meets Doctor Rhodes, who develops advanced weapons for the Guardian Army.
The Dark Army bombards the Earth aggressively and kidnaps Dr. Sparta and Rhodes. The space Thunder Kids come ot the rescue with the fighter robots, and together with the aid of the Gaurdian Army they successfully save the two scientists and shatter the Dark Empire.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 8 – 7:30 PM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 17 – 10 PM
MONDAY, AUGUST 21 – 7:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30 – 10 PM
Siporta, the space conqueror, has captured the only being in the universe that can stop him: the Canon Robot. Now invulnerable, he decides to conquer Earth. Meanwhile, space-traveler Arcady arrives on Earth to help the people stop Siporta. The only way to operate the Canon Robot, he explains, is through emotional wavelength.
While teaching the people of Earth to use the emotional wavelength to operate the robot, Siporta realizes that he cannot control the Canon Robot. He decides to melt it down and use the parts to create his own combat robot.
Now the people of Earth are in a race against time to save the Canon Robot from destruction so they can use it to defeat the otherwise invulnerable Siporta. And even if they free the robot, are they prepared to operate it? The clock is ticking…
Alien giant robots came to the tensionfilled North- and South Korean border. The communist and the capitalist Korea both try to convice them to fight on their side against the other.
SPACE TRANSFORMER aka Micro teukgongdae Daiyateuron 5
dir. Su-young Jeong, 1985
57 minutes, South Korean
dubbed in English
TUESDAY, AUGUST 8 – 10 PM
MONDAY, AUGUST 14 – 10 PM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 26 – 5 PM
The plot focuses around a Cyborg woman named Ivy, who defends the entire universe from enemies with her built-in evil-sensing computers. The enemy infects her with a virus. Now the only one to save her is Diatron 5, the mecha shrunk down to microscopic size that goes in to fight the bacteria. Two kids, a battle station called the “Star Wars” and Diatron’s inventor join her in the battle against evil. Evil being an androgynous woman named Mary, her brother with blue skin who looks suspiciously like Spock and their fleet of robots and forest green demon-like aliens.