Bangladeshi science fiction cinema is not something you hear too much about, for two main reasons. One: there isn’t much Bangladeshi science fiction cinema. Two: what little there is, is as hard to get a hold of as the rest of non-mainstream Banglar film. Which means you are resorting to badly encoded vcds showcasing leprous prints that are seconds away from disintegrating into dust. The print of Machine Man looks like it is projected through a jar of drugged out hobo pee, and the camera randomly loses focus and frames weird. There are even two different prints on vcd, a full screen version that you can tell what is going on, and a blurrier widescreen version that shows the whole picture, but at such low resolution it’s not worth it. The joys of vcds! Heck, even recent Bangladeshi films look like they were ran over by a heard of giant apes!
Machine Man is basically a Bangladeshi version of Robocop Terminator vs Evil Robocop T-1000. The hero cop is reborn as a cyborg Machine Man that destroys crime and has occasional flashbacks to his whole family being massacred. After thoroughly trouncing the villain to near death, the villain then becomes a Bionic Man of his own, more advanced and more powerful. When these two get together, let’s just say sparks will fly. In Banglar tradition, there is a ton of crazy violence and guys yelling at each other.
What Machine Man isn’t, is original. The Machine Man dresses as Terminator right after he’s made, complete with black leather jacked and sunglasses. But all of his experiences are straight from Robocop. The prototype cyborg malfunctioning, the cop being shot up by the villains, flashbacks of his family while walking through his abandoned house, and even a few of the action scenes are completely lifted from Robocop. The villainous Bionic Man, however, is the liquid metal T-1000 from Terminator 2, complete with holes getting blow in him that heal up just fine. The fun part is seeing pop culture hijacked and transformed into a new media, and how easily it melds into Bangladeshi action cinema.
You might wonder why even bother to make these characters robots. After all, their fighting powers are hardly out of place in normal Banglar action cinema. Heck, even compared with Banglar Hero, which also stars Manna, if you were to pull random scenes without knowing which film it was from, the only real telltales would be the sunglasses and the animated sparks that occasionally are put in. The action heroes are already superhuman. Now they’ve evolved, beyond superhuman. Heroes and villains, gone hyperdrive.
Once the bionic has been installed, things get nuts. The effects are up to par with your Halloween costume from 1983, including bent pieces of sheet metal representing a character’s robot pieces. Of course, this means everything is a whole lot of fun. Machine Man has a healthy dose of action, and keeps the pace moving a long rather nicely.
As Machine Man is a rather unknown film (I can’t even pin down a year of release!), I’ll be dropping a full recap after the break, so you too can live the magic of Machine Man in the comfort of text form interspersed with images. Thanks to spending lots of time on Google, I have determined who like four cast members are. The rest are just names that could be anyone. Perhaps someone will be good enough to stop by eventually and help ID people – Mousumi, Bristi, Kazi Hayat, Shiva Shanu, Nasrin, Miju Ahmed.
Techno opening credits! The good old days before everything became dubstep…
Machine Man opens as an older scientist with long grey hair is showing off his new Machine Man prototype to someone we know is a bad dude, as he every step he takes down the stairs is accompanied by a thunder clash. He’s Dani, the evil villain mastermind, and is wearing black with a red trenchcoat and cape (?!?) Dani grins excitedly with his Brother and loyal lieutenant bad dude.
Scientist pushes the remote and in comes Prototype Machine Man! Prototype Machine Man is a guy with heating duct tubes wrapped around his arms and another piece of sheet metal curved across his chest, making him look like a kid’s Tin Woodman costume. The entrance is epic because when Prototype Machine Man leaps in, every window explodes and every shelf falls over and everything breaks. Prototype Machine Man then kicks the crap out of some volunteer goons, who are tossed across the room and into table and the few objects that weren’t broken from before (breaking them!)
They then shoot machine guns at him, which are animated with slow gigantic bullets that look like animated fish. None of the bullets penetrate the armored exterior of Prototype Machine Man. Prototype Machine Man then grabs Dani’s Idiot Brother, who was examining him like an idiot, strangling him until Dani pulls out a gun and fires the big bullets at Prototype, killing him. Take that, Prototype! ED-209 at least killed someone!
“Doctor!” — yells Dani. Then he kicks him out. Doctor says he’ll show him, he’ll make a Machine Man that works! That’s the spirit, guy!
An Epic Party Guy is partying and dismissing all the women who talk to him. Sure, we all know Epic Party Guy is actually a hero cop, because he’s played by Manna, but let’s pretend for now he’s really just an Epic Party Guy looking to score illegal weapons. Dressed in a red outfit and red turban. He somehow manages to set up a weapons deal for the next day, possibly with someone who is color blind and can’t recognize terrible fashion choices. The gun deal is raided by cops and everyone gunned down. Except Epic Party Guy isn’t dead, because he has a bullet proof vest— I mean, a bullet proof piece of sheet metal on. He’s a cop, he’s Inspector Bobby, and he trusted his life to a piece of sheet metal. Inspector Bobby is yelled at by his boss for not telling them he was undercover. I’m sure if he had a case to be on, Inspector Bobby would be thrown off it.
Dani vows revenge as among the dead was his idiot brother. So he kidnaps and guns down people for information on who the undercover cop was.
Inspector Bobby’s large family is happy, including his girlfriend who he will now be marrying (I am pretty sure she is famed actress Mousumi.) They sing and dance at the beach. It’s easy to be happy when you are blissfully unaware you are about to be massacred. The bad guys arrive on the beach right after the song and gun everyone down. Dani and his Brother are joined by Evil Woman, who has metallic red pants. Metallic red pants!
Inspector Bobby arrives just in time to see everyone die, and then get gunned down himself to epic music. NOOOOOOO!!!!
No time to dwell, Dr. Jones, let’s immediately jump to another actress singing a happy song in the forest. She’s Scientist’s Daughter. In the course of her dancing and prancing she ends up at the beach and finds Inspector Bobby’s body lying amongst all the other bodies. She recognizes him from the papers. Like any normal person, she calls in the cops and the media to report this horrific crime.
I’m kidding! She drags Inspector Bobby’s body back to her dad’s house, where Scientist is working hard figuring out how to make his robots bulletproof. Scientist has a wife and a young son, they are important enough to know that they’re probably dead meat very soon. Scientist is very happy his Daughter brought him a fresh body to experiment on, and gets to work immediately.
Operation montage! Chopping off limbs to replace with robot limbs. A “scanner” shows effects that is a picture of the Terminator robot endoskeleton. After the operation, Scientist powers the limbs of his new creation so he can get up. He’s…..Machine Man! (Machine Manna?) The problem is Machine Man is super weak, he can’t even bend iron bars. This failure makes Scientist want to kill himself, but his daughter says she will teach Machine Man how to be a machine man.
Machine Man has a glitch in that he is a moron and doesn’t pick up what he’s being taught right away. A trip to the beach and some singing and dancing will cure that! Machine Man finds the camera of his slain nephew that has pictures of his entire family and the people who killed them. Gee, you think the police would have found such an obvious clue. Or any of the hundreds of people who were at the beach since. Suddenly, Daughter is kidnapped by some truck rapists (rapists who drive a truck), but Inspector Bobby has grabbed their truck and it can’t move! Fight! Fight! Fight!
After pounding these rapists, Machine Man takes their truck to go look for the people who killed his family. And also do random good deeds. Machine Man saves some kid from getting ran over by a bus…by holding bus with his palm! He then stops by his house, and has that scene from Robocop where he goes into room after room and has memory flashbacks in the empty house.
Some random goons try to kill a nice couple out for a stroll, but Machine Man shows up and begins smashing the crap out of them, all the while the soundtrack is playing the Machine Man theme — which is just someone screaming “Machine Man!!!” at the top of his lungs over and over again on a techno track. The couple is a secondary good cop character named Inspector Maru and his girlfriend, they will show up again later. As an encore, Machine Man then does the Robocop interrupting rape scene where he shoots a dude in the balls between the legs of a woman.
Scientist is happy the robot worked.
Daughter explains to Machine Man that he’s a Machine Man and was killed and must go for revenge. At this point, Machine Man is wearing a vest made of metal squares in the front. Machine Man yells at his old police chief, who then calls some of Dani’s goons to attack Machine Man. Machine Man suddenly is wearing sunglasses as they attack, mirroring the Terminator. He beats the tar out of them. Then Dani and Evil Woman show up, guns blazing. Dani shoots Machine Man, but we see the bullets do not go through the improved model. Machine Man bends the gun, then beats up both of them, horribly crippling Dani to the point where we think he’s dead.
But Dani opens his one remaining eye as Intermission begins!
Scientist holds a press conference to tell the world that he made a Machine Man bionic man, and he and his family are kidnapped right after the conference. Dani’s henchmen want Scientist to fix up Dani like he did to Inspector Bobby. They kill Scientist’s wife as motivation, then threatening his son.
The new Evil Machine Man goes all T-1000 if shot, making a hole that is then closed up! He’s called Bionic Man, because that’s just what he’s called. Bionic Man kills Scientist and Scientist’s son, because I guess he’ll never need repairs again?
Machine Man is getting yelled at by Daughter because he is dreaming about his dead wife. How horrible of him, thinking about the wife he was married to for years up until a few days ago, when she was brutally murdered. Daughter is so mad, the two argue on the streets until she’s surrounded by like 100 guys who want to rape her. Machine Man has a vision of his dead wife that tells him it’s okay to go off and be with some other girl even though I died like two days ago. So he beats up dozens of rapists one by one.
Bionic Man declares he is now a Raja and blows up a bunch of buildings and guns down lots of dudes in an orgy of destruction montage that is partially made up of footage that is real war footage. Which is bad taste. But Bionic Man is literally a monster at this point.
The two Machine Men fight! Bionic Man Dani gets shot but just reforms the bullet holes, and the two punch and punch and kick and punch and throw each other in one of those cool Banglar fights that last minutes, each time they hit each other sparks fly! Badly animated sparks!
Machine Man is no match for Bionic Man, who smashes him up then rips off an arm and tosses him off a roof. Machine Man is saved by Daughter.
Luckily, in between all the time she spent frolicking and singing in the woods, her dad taught her everything he knows about biomechanical engineering and bionics. Thus she works to fix all his wounds/malfunctions/circuitry.
That other good cop, Inspector Maru, and his girlfriend video tape the corrupt chief. They help Machine Man and then play the tape in front of the corrupt chief and the chief’s boss, Commissioner. Chief pulls a gun, but Machine Man grabs him, chops off his thumb, then drops a grenade down his shirt after he gets the location of Dani’s secret hideout. That way, Machine Man can walk away slowly from an explosion while the “Machine Man!” theme blares.
Inspector Maru’s girlfriend blatantly videotapes Bionic Man and his men in plain sight. She’s captured. Bionic Man’s brother is then beaten and blown up by Machine Man. Machine Man attacks Bionic Man’s compound. The battle is pretty even, and as it goes on, Daughter is trying to hack her dad’s passwords to find the files on Bionic Man. She eventually does so, discovering that Bionic Man is vulnerable to a certain type of explosive bullet. That luckily there are a lot of in the lab. So Daughter runs over to the war zone and gives Machine Man the bullets.
He uses them to blow Bionic Man to pieces, which then disintegrate.
As a postnote, Bionic Man is offered a spot back on the police force, but he refuses it, preferring to marry Daughter and presumably have lots of hot Machine Man sex.
Rated 6/10 (crazy bro, terminator scanning, Murphy, assistant, assistant, T-1000 hole)
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