Our Friend, Power 5 (Review)

Our Friend, Power 5

aka 우리들의 친구 파워 5 aka Wurideul-ui Chingu Pawo 5
Our Friend Power 5 우리들의 친구 파워 5
Written by ???
Directed by Park Ho-Jin

Our Friend Power 5 우리들의 친구 파워 5

Teenage Hungover Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of the headlining franchises of my youth, and while I never got involved with the toys, the comics, cartoons, and video games were a constant presence. And years ago, I heard about a Korean bootleg Ninja Turtles movie, but thanks to the shifting sands of the internet it was years and years until I got a copy. Then I sat on it for a few years, but now it is time to actually finish jobs, and it’s time for Our Friend Power 5 to get its due on TarsTarkas.NET!

Our Friend Power 5 isn’t just a bootleg Ninja Turtles, it is in fact selling its own bootleg Ninja Turtle toys, complete with their own giant robot bootlegged from another toy line! It is part of literally hundreds of Korean children’s films pumped out with ridiculous costumes, terrible acting and overacting, and lots of rubber suits and animation of giant robots and spaceships mixed in. It forms a delirious genre of cinema that few people outside Korea have heard of, and fewer people have seen multiple entries. Fortunately for you (but unfortunately for us!), TarsTarkas.NET is one of those locations that is very familiar with this genre. Be it Alien Lightning Dragon, Hwarang-V Trio, Robotstar Jjanga, Super Batman & Mazinger V, or Korean Terminator, this ridiculous films are a constant presence. They will be so in the future as well, because you better believe I’m sitting on a whole slew more of them!!! That’s a threat, buddy!

But we must talk about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles here. First of all, there are FIVE of them! And one is a princess, in fact she’s the Princess of their race, and in turtle mode she has pink ventral shell. The ventral shells (the chests for those of you who aren’t biologists) are how you tell these characters apart, each one has a different color there – Pink, Black, Yellow, Brown, and Purple. Their masks are molded so they permanently have the Ninja Turtles grimace, and there are obvious eye holes (and other holes in the suits, either so the actors don’t sweat to death or so the suits are easier to maneuver and don’t fill with air and get weird shaped!) Their bandanas are all red and only the Princess seems to have any custom weapon, her wand. One of the turtles shoots what looks like metal wire out of his wrist to snag a villain out of a tree, but that’s the only complicated things the turtles do. Even with the many holes in the costume, it’s obvious the actors inside are barely able to see and most of the choreography involving them is weird and slow like they are underwater. Usually they default to the child actors for the action scenes to attack the villains. Outside of the princess, the other four don’t really have much of a personality, they are just there, and during the climax I’m not even 100% sure where two of them go.

When your wire salesman demonstration goes totally wrong!

The villains are a bunch of rat men, so yes, it looks like Splinter is hunting down his own family! Despite the villains being rats, their leader is named Shark and has taken a human face disguise (outside of an obviously terrible beard) The rats are all the same rubber mold, but they made their leader more grey and gave him blue eyes instead of red. They stomp around and carry laser guns but must have gotten their training at the Imperial Stormtrooper Academy as they can’t hit the broad side of a turtle barn.

This film is basically a commercial for their bootleg toys, as the entire climactic sequence involves the toy robot piloted by the Turtles (and some kids, it’s more dumb than complicated but let’s just continue) smashing the crap out of the villain’s fleet and his own robot. The Comentor Robot also drives the plot, it’s the plans the Princess is carrying that the villain wants to get his hands on. A space princess with some plans a villain wants, huh? The name Comentor Robot comes from a translation of the plot, I’m not sure if it is supposed to be like Cometor as that sounds more spacey, or if this robot spends its down time arguing that fluoride is mind control below Yahoo News articles. The robot itself is ganked from the Go-Bots Powersuits Power Warrior so it’s like two bootlegs combined into one! Synergy, baby!

Our Friend Power 5 우리들의 친구 파워 5

Suck it, Harry Potter!

Thankfully whoever ripped this tape left all the production logos on it, including the SKC company ad for their video tapes, floppy discs, and their brand new CD technology! CDs, it’s the FUTURE!!! As this is a rare film, we will give our patented incredibly thorough description of what is going on so you too can follow along at home, along with a side of snark. And like every single one of these Korean Children’s films, there are no subtitles, but at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!

Hyuk (???) – Our hero is just some rando kid who happens to be the son of the famous astronomer Dr. Yang. Thanks to his irresponsibility he is granted phenomenal powers that he uses to fight evil Ratmen from space while befriending refugee turtles.
Bow Tie (???) – The required by Korean Kiddie Movie Law comic relief, Bow Tie here is a huge wimp who hangs around with children while failing to ask out Tae Kwon repeatedly (and later Princess Turtle repeatedly)
Tae Kwon (???) – The tough daughter of Dr. Yang who has the power of knowing tae kwon do, something alien ratmen armed with laser guns are helpless against!
Dr. Yang (???) – Brilliant scientist who is far too busy building weird telescopes and letting his children run wild to go see a dermatologist about that weird growth on his head. Helps build a fleet of attack ships for the Earth and helps the Turtles create their robot.
Princess Turtle (???) – – The Princess of the turtle world who leads the survivors of her conquered race in a desperate attempt to escape the evil Shark and his army of Ratmen. Has the plans for the powerful Comentor Robot that Shark wants. The Princess is armed with a magic wand that she’s pretty irresponsible with, and is also a brilliant tactician as shown later in the film where she commands a space attack. She transforms into….
Pink Turtle (???) – The lead turtle with the power of pink. All other turtles obey her orders. Outside of the Princess, none of the other turtles seem to have names (and even if they did, there ain’t no subtitles!) we will refer to them by their underbelly colors, as that is the only difference between the characters. They all use the same Michealangelo-base mold, which is seen by the “M” on all their belts. None of them really have personalities.
Black Turtle (???) – The turtle I got the least clear shots off in screencaps! Our made up biography reveals he is obsessed with football, but was never able to go pro due to a knee injury in college. Only the destruction of his homeworld prevented him from getting a job selling women’s shoes.
Yellow Turtle (???) – The Yellow Turtle is yellow. Shocking, I know! Despite that, he isn’t a coward. Congrats! Our made up biography reveals Yellow Turtle is a brilliant florist but lost last year’s rose competition due to internal politics. Luckily every other turtle florist is now dead, so he is a shoo-in to win this year!
Brown Turtle (???) – Our made up biography of Brown Turtle is that he was initially another color but he never bathes, thus giving his belly the brown color by which he got his new name. His original color was lost over time, even he doesn’t know what color he is supposed to be.
Purple Turtle (???) – This turtle is usually flying the Turtle spaceship but outside of that doesn’t do much interesting. Our made up biography indicates he is very into stamp collecting, to the point where he has taken out multiple mortgages to afford those stamps where the plane is upside down.
Shark (???) – Leader of the evil Ratmen who commits genocides on Tuesdays and wants the Comentor Robot to further his genocidal ambitions. Judging by how the transformed Ratmen look in the film, Shark has taken human form and is just another Ratman.
Ratmen (???) – The Ratmen are the disposable flunky troops of Shark. The leader is more grey and has blue eyes, while all the rest are more brown with red eyes. None of them are Splinter, unless this is the Mirror Universe! Wait a minute, maybe it is….

Our Friend Power 5 우리들의 친구 파워 5

We get it, you vape!

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Robotstar Jjanga (Review)

Robotstar Jjanga

aka 로보트 스타 짱가 aka Roboteu seuta Jjang-ga
Robot Star Zangga jjanga
Written and directed by Kim Yeong-han

Robot Star Zangga jjanga

This is your brain being sucked out by Robotstar Zangga!

NOOOOooOOOoooOOooOOOOoooOOO!!!! It’s more awful Korean Children’s cinema! Why do I watch this? Okay, someone requested Robotstar Jjanga, and it’s also the first part of a film series that eventually featured a Korean Batman. But in this prequel, the actor who goes on to be Batman (or Betaman) is an awkward teen who wets the bed. The Dark Knight Returns was never so gritty….wait, I think Batman did wet his pants in some story….

As usual with Korean Children’s movies, the main event is a “funny” fat guy who acts like a giant baby man. He turns out to also be an intergalactic hero who lives on Earth in disguise (and unaware of who he is) until he’s called back to duty, at which point everyone becomes cartoons and character designs are stolen from The Transformers. Hey, this might be the only chance you will ever get to see toy accurate Reflector menace humans! The flying space carrier Fortress Maximus has been used by Transformers canon (a fact I learned thanks to the Transformers Wiki) so that’s not as unique as it seemed. As someone who had the Reflector toy as a lad, it was sort of fun watching him stomp around before he was defeated by a fat guy and an annoying robot. My toy would never suffer such indignity!

Robot Star Zangga jjanga

Who’s insulting the size of my Megapixels???

Said fat guy is named Dung-dung (I’ve found a few names for characters who went nameless back when I reviewed the sequel), and he enjoys chewing gum and stealing food. He lives with a scientist and his misfit family, which consists of bratty children and a grown daughter named Su-Ji. There is also a robot (a guy in suit robot!) named Robokong, who is tolerable only because Dung-dung is so intolerable. Giving and taking, that’s what Korean children’s cinema does. You give your time and it takes your life…

As usual for obscure gems like these, the synopsis portion of Robotstar Jjanga is much larger, to better accommodate people who don’t want to sift through terribly designed Korean blogs to find the streaming videos of these old school films dubbed from VHS tapes. I really, really hate Naver. Hate. Hate Naver. HATE! But not as much as I hate Dung-dung.

Robot Star Zangga jjanga

There’s not even stairs here for this guy to fall down on!

Robotstar Jjanga is written and directed by Kim Yeong-han, the very same maniac who brought us Super Batman & Mazinger V and Hwarang-V Trio! Clearly Kim Yeong-han is a cinematic monster who needs to answer to his crimes. But unfortunately anyone who goes up against him will be forced to turn into a cartoon character and battle giant robots. This is sadly becoming a trend among terrible directors, protected by guardian robots in the realm of animation. Time to bring back Judge Doom so we can get enough Dip to save cinema!
Robot Star Zangga jjanga

The worst part is she isn’t even close to being the worst Star Wars EU character!

Dung-dung (Kim Hyeong-gon) – A gum-chewing manchild who used to be an ace space ranger before he abandoned his duties to live out the seven deadly sins. Dung-dung is a fairly accurate name.
Robokong (???) – The family’s loyal robot, who can transform into a more action-oriented version, but only when he’s a cartoon. Will occasionally do the “Beedy beedy beedy” thing that Twiki from Buck Rogers does.
Princess Sara (???) – Sara is a princess of the Star Planet. What kind of name is that? At least she isn’t from the Moon Planet. Because that would be ridiculous! Like all space princesses, she gets kidnapped a lot. She reminds Dung-dung of who he truly is.
Su-Ji (???) – The eldest daughter of Scientist, which he must have fathered when he was 8 years old or something. She accompanies Dung-dung and Robokong on their adventure, but then doesn’t do much after that.
Rest of family (???, ???, ???, ???) – Scientist, Older Boy who becomes Batman, Younger Boy, Girl in Pigtails. All our fun friends. I hope they all die.
Rust Queen (???) – The Queen of Rust has blue hair for some reason (anime), and also there isn’t a lot of rust around her. Her name is totally inaccurate, this movie is a lie, SAVE YOURSELF! RUUUUUUNN!!!!!!
Gohura (???) – The evil Rust Queen’s henchman. I don’t know if this is a translation thing of if the aliens have rejected gender norms, but in any event Gohura leads the goons that have captured Princess Sara on Earth and is defeated by Dung-dung and the annoying kid squad, largely due to goon incompetence.

Robot Star Zangga jjanga Reflector
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Hwarang-V Trio (Review)

Hwarang-V Trio

aka 화랑브이삼총사 aka Hwarangbeu-i samchongsa
Hwarang V Trio
Written and directed by Kim Yeong-han
Hwarang V Trio
With Hwarang-V Trio, we return again to the world of Korean children’s film, a hive of scum and villainy that makes Mos Eisly look like a church choir. Previously, we got stuck on this detail with Super Batman & Mazinger V and Alien Lightning Dragon, and you can expect many more soonter than later. Because if I have to suffer, YOU have to suffer, dear readers! I’m also going to reveal my ignorance in anime robots, so forgive me if I don’t immediately identify popular robots I don’t know anything about if they’ve been ripped off for the cartoon robots in Hwarang-V Trio. Which is highly likely. The main robot is off his animation model so much they might not have even been using the same model.

Hwarang-V Trio features a whole host of enemies each with a ridiculous costume culled from the finest props left over from the dozens of other Korean kiddie films. Or maybe some of these costumes are even new, it’s not like we’d be able to tell the difference, and they’re surely used again in later films.

With that in mind, I’ve dubbed the villainous crew the Evil Circus, because their colorful costumes and presence of an evil Clown lend that thought to mind. I’ve tried to list all of the villains I could, but many just are standing around doing nothing in the background before their untimely death by cartoon robot, so don’t expect much!
Hwarang V Trio
Both the Evil Circus and the heroic band of random children suffer from the same affliction – their numbers randomly increase and shrink, often during the same scene. Characters never seen before join up for an important search of fight sequence and then are never spied again. It’s almost as if the filming was as haphazard as the watching. Despite all the confusion, there is a sort of basic plot of a space princess, annoying children, an evil space queen, and giant robots murdering people. This is why you never get involved in space royalty, the body count racks up so high in the sky that you can’t go twice as high as a butterfly. Because you’re dead!
Hwarang V Trio
Director and writer Kim Yeong-han was involves in several Korean kiddie films, including directing/writing duties on Robotstar Zanga and it’s sequel, Star Zanga Z Mazinga V Super Betaman – which we know as Super Batman & Mazinger V! Besides him, the cast list is impossible to connect names to faces without some outside help, so unless that help shows up in the comments, everything will remain a mystery…

As usual, there are no subtitles (and at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!) so everything that happens ranges from conjecture to confusion. But it’s not like things here will make much sense even with pop-up annotation.
Hwarang V Trio

Sky, Earth and Typhoon (???) – These three knuckleheads “inherit the spirit of Hwarang” – which means they get powers from the space Princess Lanka and her weird Helper Guy. They eventually get around to being heroes and then fight the villains with their Power Ranger costumes. They also may or may not have control over the three-part vehicle that shows up at the end of the film to kill everyone bad.
Ae-ri and Princess Lanka (???) – Ae-ri is the girl in the group who also gets super powers, except she doesn’t get to use them as much because she’s a girl. Princess Lanka is the reason everyone is fighting, the villains want her for reaons unknown, so she uses the heroic children that she puts in harm’s way to help defend her life of space princess privilige. Since Ae-ri is supposed to be Air, that makes the four kids the four elements, even though this film is about a trio. That is the caliber of writing quality you can expect from Hwarang-V Trio.
Dr. Baeng-deok (???) – A scientist guy who spends far too much time around a group of children. The only adult in the film who isn’t dressed up as a villain, Dr. Baeng-deok turns garbage into science equipment and helps fight the Evil Circus.
Helper Guy (???) – The Princess’s former bodyguard, who lost the job after he dies. But he does manage to give the Earth kids super powers before he croaks. I am not sure if he is supposed to be a robot or an alien.
Robot (???) – Princess Lanka’s space robot who comes to kick butt and kick more butt. May or may not be named Hwarang-V.
Gorilla Guy (???) – He’s a gorilla guy with skull shirt!
Gorilla Guy #2 (???) – He’s a gorilla guy with bat mask and vampire fangs and skull shirt! Obviously this means a higher rank…
Space Alien Lizard Guy (???) – Hangs out in the cave. Barely moves despite being cool.
Fly Guy (???) – A wicked cool fly costume is used on this goon, who barely does anything and disappears soon after.
Green Guy (???) – He’s a guy in robes with weird skin color!
Evil Clown (???) – An evil clown (is there any other kind?) with a lavender curly wig and black makeup on his eyes and mouth. Is repeatedly beaten up by children.
Evil Stongman (???) – An evil strongman (is there any other kind?) with the required jungle-themed outfit. Is repeatedly beaten up by children.
Wolf Guy (???) – He’s a wolf guy in a skull shirt!
Evil Lady (???) – This evil lady has bats on her outfit and appears to be just below the Evil Queen Serius in power.
Evil Queen’s Many Handmaidens (???) – Some of Queen Serius’s many handmaidens, who mostly stand around looking evil and then get shot.
Evil Queen Serius (???) – The plot description says Serius is the King of Evil. They either meant Queen of Evil or this is the most progressive children’s movie ever! Queen Serius dresses like she’s a Disney villain, and has a skull staff that is the most realistic skull you ever did see. She controls the Evil Circus, desires Princess Lanka for reasons unknown, and controls Two Cartoon Robots.
Two Cartoon Robots (???) – The aforementioned Two Cartoon Robots that Queen Serius controls. They fly and have no legs.

Hwarang V Trio
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Alien Lightning Dragon (Review)

Alien Lightning Dragon

aka 외계 번개용 aka Oegye beongye yong aka Alien Thunder Dragon 2

Written and directed by Bang Sun-deok

You can smell the toxic fumes decades later…

It’s Wacky Korean Kiddie Flick Time! Today’s installment is the fabulous alien rock star women kidnapping children to turn into frozen popsicle dinners. Alien Lightning Dragon is filled with the usual Korean kiddie film tropes: “funny” fat guys, animated tokusatsu action sequences, annoying children, copyright infringement, and ridiculous costumes.

At TarsTarkas.NET, we know what we’re getting into when we delve into a Korean kiddie flick. And we also know that these films are barely watched by anyone, and deservedly so. But they are fun to gawk at, even if they are one of the worst cinematic genres on the planet.

Oh, honey, that’s not how you put on eyeshadow…

Gangs of space goons lead by rejects from the Jem and the Holograms cartoon invade various schoolyards and day care centers, kidnapping children and creepy adults who are playing children. The kids are destined to become dinner, and no one seems to care except a rag tag group of heroes and relatives of kidnapped children. Luckily, they also find a good Jem reject and her Alien Lightning Dragon megazord/costume/robot/whatever that can fight these space cases and save the day.

If this is a direct rip off of an actual property, then I feel sorry for whatever property it originally is. But what we get looks so generic and bad that I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all original and written just to reuse sets and costumes that are churned out on a production line, as there are literally dozens and dozens of these kid flicks.

The town had insulted Spider and Renegade, so they had to pay. Berry lead the charge, as always, and by sunrise every home was a burnt out cinder. Maple Falls never recovered.

Alien Lightning Dragon is an in name only sequel to Alien Thunder Dragon, made one year after the original. It looks like the only thing that made it to the sequel was the dragon costume and the animation. Like many of these films, there were cheap toy tie-ins and other merchandise, though most of it (except for a Making Of book) looks like it is based on the original film. The first film features a cadre of evil space ladies, and this sequel also features evil space ladies, so they at least aped the formula.

Wait a second…. This film has a secret underground compound where children are kidnapped? Is this a North Korean allegory? Do the wild flashy costumes of the evil space women mirror Kim Jong-il’s love of flashy Hollywood? Is Alien Lightning Dragon something larger than it appears at first? Probably not, but you never know…

Forget the Jem jokes, it’s time for some Go-Bot jokes!

Here at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles, and it’s not like knowing what the heck is going on would have made this film any less stupid. So enjoy the made up names, they’re probably better than the real ones. Even reading a synopsis I found only answers some questions:

Aliens are kidnapping the children of earth to use as frozen food. Kyung-ah and Hyung-cho use the Spirit Robots to go rescue them. Kyung-ah’s team finds the children, Hun and Young-mi, who are toys for the alien princess. But the alien queen finds out and is furious. She ends up capturing Kyung-ah’s team as well. At this, Prof. Min, Princess Aran, Yong, and Dung-bo recharge Lightening Dragon’s energy and go to rescue the children. A fight between the Dragon and the queen’s men is inevitable. Just as Lightening Dragon is nearly conquered, Dung-bo and the children blow their harmonicas. The queen who wanted to conquer earth is touched by the music and she repents all her past evil deeds.

The synopsis seems to think some minor characters are the real stars, and the main characters are barely mentioned.

We’re gonna track down Jerrica Benton and take her out!

Goofy Hero Guy (Jeon Young-rok) – The hero who keeps trying to save the day and also does some random pratfalls. According to the synopsis, he is Dung-bo. Jeon Young-rok is a famous singer, and his daughters are also in singing groups.
Crazy Mad Scientist (???) – Crazy mad scientist who finds Good Jem and the Alien Lightning Dragon, then fixes them both up so they can fight the Evil Jems. According to the synopsis his name is Professor Min.
Bald Goofy Guy (Cho Chun) – A goofy child care center employee who is drafted into the battle against the invading aliens when they attack his center. According to the synopsis, his name is Yong. Cho Chun appeared in more of these Korean Kiddie flicks than is probably healthy.
Good Jem (???) – The heroic good controller of the Alien Lightning Dragon, and also spends her time unconscious in the woods. According to the synopsis, her name is Princess Aran
Alien Lightning Dragon (???) – Good Jem’s costume/device/dragon that she controls and uses to fight the forces of evil.
Rescue Girls (???) – Two girls who wander around with a robot in search of their missing younger children. Despite being random kids, are more competent that all the heroes except the Professor. Judging by the plot synopsis, the girls are named Kyung-ah and Hyung-cho and their missing siblings are Hun and Young-mi. Carry a robot with them.
Their Robot (???) – The robot that the Rescue Girls carry around with them, who gives them information and clues and orders. According to the synopsis, the robot is a Spirit Robot, but the synopsis refers to them in the plural even though there is only one.
Queen Jem (???) – Leader of the evil alien invaders, who is very hungry for frozen children.
Jem Jr. (???) – Believe it or not, Jem Jr. is a girl and is the daughter of Queen Jem, and gets two kids as pets. Being close to the children makes Jem Jr. realize humans shouldn’t be eaten.
Bad Guy Goons (???) – The evil troops of the invading space women! Dumb as a box of rocks. Have very long tongues.
Looks like these films have a bigger body count than I thought!

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Korean Terminator (Review)

Korean Terminator

aka 터미네이터와 형사 곰팽이

Directed by ???

Korean Terminator
Terminator Beyond Thunderdome!

It’s time once again for a Korean kiddie comedy that will make you beg for a bullet to the brain to ease the pain. Korean Terminator is just as awful as you think a kids Terminator film would be. Like most of these Korean children’s films, there is a ridiculous fat guy who is supposed to be comedic. We saw one in Super Batman & Mazinger V, and there is one here. Though I am not 100% sure, I believe these are the spawn of D-War director Shim Hyung-rae’s character from the Wuroimae films, which were popular enough many of these similar films ganked from them just as much as these Korean kiddie films ganked from Japan and America. There are also often characters with some random stylized anime characteristics, most notably a red nose or drawn on freckles or eyebrows, which I think is an artifact of many of these films having their subjects stolen from anime/manga properties. Though other films will be a mix of live-action and cartoons, Korean Terminator is 100% live-action, so the anime people don’t really seem to belong and make the film much more surreal than it should be.

Korean Terminator
Lady, you ask me about my salvation again, and I’ll Terminate you!

It looks like you can thank Jademan Comics Co. for this travesty, as that is the only thing in English in the “FBI” warning before the picture. Which is sort of funny because of the blatant copyright infringement going on in the actual movie. But do not steal this movie that steals so much from so many! If you are a time travel fan, you will be sad to know there is no time travel in this Terminator! There is only a guy who is turned into a Terminator by a crazy scientist who does stuff like that. Every once in a while there is an action sequence befitting a Korean children’s film, the rest of the time is mostly unfunny comedy. But we won’t get anywhere without knowing who we’re facing! I have no clue who any of the actors are or who even directed this. It was a minor miracle finding the Korean name of this film, which doesn’t seem to have an English translation beyond Korean Terminator (which is only the first part of the actual title!) There is also at least one other Korean Terminator ripoff film made around the same time, with a completely different cast.

Korean Terminator
The true story of Real Doll vaginas!

Terminator (???) – Terminator was just your average guy who like Paula Abdul until he’s murdered by goons, then he’s rebuilt into Terminator. The pre-Terminator guy doesn’t exist long enough to even get a character name! He spends most of the film wandering around until commanded to be good by Professor.
Professor (???) – Professor has a device the bad guys want. He also rebuilds people into cyborgs instead of taking them to the hospital. Never get a paper cut near Professor, or you will have robot arms before you can scream!
Photographer Girl (???) – A lady photographer who was going to talk to Professor right before he was kidnapped. Gets involved in the attempts to rescue him and stop the bad guys.
Yeong (???) – A goofy cop who spends most of his screen time making ugly faces and falling over himself. It’s hard to tell some times who is more annoying, Yeong or the Fat Evil Sibling!
The Evil Siblings (??? and ???) – The most annoying bad guys ever! The fat guy in the cowboy hat stutters and spends most of the film talking tough and then getting blown over by a gentle breeze. His sister is the whiniest woman in the world. Thankfully they both die.
Korean Terminator
I won’t be back! *SOB!*

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Super Batman & Mazinger V (Review)

Super Batman & Mazinger V

aka Super Betaman aka 스타짱가 II 마징가V 슈퍼베타맨

Written and Directed by Yeong-han Kim


What if Batman was some goofy Power Rangers kid show. And it sucked. Welcome to the world of Super Batman & Mazinger V! For those of you in the know, South Korea during the 80s and 90s produced a whole slew of copyright violating children’s programming that put the insane in the brain, much of which had tie-in low-quality toys. All of these films are horribly awful, and most of them are unknown in the West, rotting away on Korean VHS tapes. But occasionally some of them get brought out into the light of day, blinking in the sunlight, exposure to the bigger world a new and surreal experience for them. And TarsTarkas.NET tells them how much they suck!

Coming soon to the next Nolan film!

This time, Batman has gone all Power Rangers, and is either called Super Batman or Super Betaman (the film and related media cannot make up its mind!) He looks like he should be fighting Krankor and the Neptune Men, but instead fights a space witch and her crappy wolfman army. Besides making a horrific-looking Batman, they also steal wholesale from Mazinger V, an anime you’ve heard of if you’re into giant robot stuff, or will hear of once the new movie comes out in a few years (if you are reading this in the future and the movie already has come out, then read that sentence as past tense, but at least you get to fly hovercars!)

Hey, Teen Wolf Cosplay Guy, carsurfing was outlawed for a reason!

Other Korean kiddie programming includes Our Friend, Power 5 (Wurideul-ui chingu pawo 5) – A 1989 Ninja Turtles ripoff, Ddaeng-Chil and Double Light (땡칠이와 쌍라이트) – A 1990 alien invasion film where Yoda and apes show up, Eagle Man (who looks like another Batman clone), Dragonball: Goku Fights, Goku Wins (1990) – A Dragonball feature that follows the plot closer than any official Dragonball movie, and literally dozens more. Some of the films are all live action, some are all animation, and many are mixed in between, with models waved around and goofy alien costumes. The most frustrating part of the little information I’ve been able to find about these films is that they only have been released on decaying vhs tapes and will probably soon wither away into nothingness. The common denominator of many of this films seem to be to sell cheap toys, heck in this film a character carries around the toy of the giant robot! The legality of the toys I am sure is questionable at best.

Hi, we’re going to go all Star Wars Holiday Special on your ass!

As the film is in Korean with no subtitles (We don’t need no stinking subtitles!), character names are guesses or descriptions, and the plot is put together from what can be understood from the pictures. As it is a kid’s program, the plot isn’t that complicated, so no worries there. We’ve even found this handy plot synopsis: The witch Rinke rules over the plant Astro with an iron fist. She decides that she needs the super-powered robot, Zangga, to spread her rule to other planets. She learns that Zangga is lying dormant somewhere on Earth and sends her agents, Kats and Kobra, to find and collect him. However, she did not count on the intervention of Betaman and some Earth children who are also looking for Zangga.

That doesn’t help at all! Okay, it sort of has what is happening. Is Kobra the name of the Wolfman? I couldn’t ID any of the actors, but I added some names to the tags just in case. And I hope the mysterious II in the Korean title doesn’t mean there is another Super Batman film out there…because…::shudders::

Batman poses for photos, thousands die.

Batman (???) – Batman defends the rights of the ugly, and flies around and shoots lasers from his hands and wears a goofy yellow costume. Sometimes he turns into a cartoon and fights cartoon animals. Korea! (Sometimes Betaman depending on who is talking)
Fatty (???) – A manchild from space who lost his robot, so he carried around a toy robot. Uh, yeah.
Annoying Family – Weenie, Freckles, Girl, Woman, and Band-aid (???) – The annoying family that adopts Fatty for his mission on Earth. Some of these people must have been buried under an avalanche of ugly trees. The real tragedy of Super Batman & Mazinger V is that this family isn’t wiped out.
Evil Space Queen Rinke (???) – The Evil Space Queen who is looking for the lost robot and hopes to find it before Fatty does. She almost wins, but before Fatty dies of cardiac failure, he befriends the ugly family and they help him. If only the robot was lost in America, Fatty would be dead of a heart attack so powerful it destroys major cities! Rinke has a mysterious female companion who does nothing in the film except be by her side. And she has blue hair in cartoon form!
Evil Space Queen Henchmen – Wolfman, Dog Guy, Other Dog Guy, Mysterious Female Companion, Cartoon Ninja, Catman (???) – Evil Space Queen Rinke has a variety of henchmen that escaped from a play for preschool kids and are now menacing a family of ugly people. Luckily, Batman, defender of the ugly, is there to stop them with vaguely choreographed battles.
Looks like some lucky family got their family portraits back from JC Penney!

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