Film Review: Super Robot Mach Baron (1975)

Also known as: Mazinger Z – El robot de las estrellas (Spain), Roboter der Sterne (Germany)
Release Date: 1975 (theatrical release)
Created by: Yashiro Nobohiro
Directed by: various
Written by: various
Cast: Sadako Amemiya, Pepe Hozumi, Hiroshi Ikaida

Nippon Gendai, Senkousha, 81 Minutes 

super-robot-mach-baronReview:

Yes, Super Robot Mach Baron is a japanese tokusatsu television show that ran from 1974 to 1975. However, this review is about a feature length film that was edited together using footage from the show.

I discovered this movie, and this version of this movie, in the most bizarre way possible. I was perusing Amazon Video for something to watch and I came across Super Riders a feature film remake of the Kamen Rider series. However, once starting it, it wasn’t a Kamen Rider title, it was something very similar to Super Robot Red Baron, a tokusatsu show that I own and love. In fact, this was a feature film version of the sequel series.

What’s even more bizarre, is that the audio to this Japanese film was in German. And then it had English subtitles. So I was watching a Hong Kong (or other Asian) edit of a Japanese show, in German with English text. And then, it was packaged as something else entirely.

As far as the film itself goes, it was alright. It was hard to follow, as they used multiple episodes of the series to make a less than ninety minute movie. The editing was choppy but that could be an issue with the source material itself. Plot-wise, it was just really incoherent and certainly didn’t follow a proper structure.

The special effects are pretty much on par with what was on Japanese television, at the time. Some of the robots were really cool but from what I saw, this just doesn’t come off as exciting as its predecessor Super Robot Red Baron.

With the big robot shows versus shows like Ultraman or Kamen Rider, the men in robot suits look more like giant toys than anything else. Where the other series I just mentioned employ more monsters than robots and at least have a real kaiju feel to them. And the action in those series is more fluid where the battles here felt clunky.

If you were to miss this film, you’d be fine. It certainly isn’t a “must watch”. It is a good time killer for 81 minutes though, if giant mechas fighting is your thing or you are just really into 1970s tokusatsu.

If anything, this gives me a good indicator of what the television series is like. Being an old school tokusatsu fan, I certainly want to watch the series but it is probably only worth it to purists and completists.

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