THE SUPER INFRA-MAN
(Jung Gwok Chiu Yan)
Infra Man has a wilfully colourful bizarreness that verges on outright surrealism. None of it has been intended to be taken seriously. It comes filled with leaping acrobatics and chop suey martial arts, rocket boots, a whip-cracking alien princess in a pointed brass brassiere, lots of explosions and badly animated ray beams, and characters who conduct impossible flights through the air after being hit. There is an extraordinary menagerie of alien monsters triangular orange rubber things; one with a hideously unconvincing blonde wig atop of which are horns that fire ray beams; one mutant that is like a bipedial fish with spade-shaped hands; attacks by giant tentacles and skeleton servants. Although the most inventive creation is two robots with giant mace fists and heads that pop off on springs. There is an hilarious scene where Infra Man becomes giant size, reduces the giant bug to normal and then squishes it in under his foot. The film, although little seen, was celebrated for its hallucinogenic pacing in the 1970s and has taken on somewhat of a cult aspect these days This film may, in fact, be better than sex, Sticky Carpet Digest called it.
Infra Man was one of the more bizarre oddities made during the 1970s by Shaw Brothers, the most prolific Hong Kong production company, known for a prodigious output of martial arts and swordplay films during this period. Director Hua-Shan was a former cinematographer who directed several films for Shaw Brothers during the late 1970s/early 80s. His other genre works include:- the wu xia/horrors Bloody Parrot (1981) and Portrait in Crystal (1983); and the wu xia Little Dragon Maiden (1983).
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