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Karate-Robo Zaborgar

(Denjin Zabôgâ: Gekijô-ban)
Sponsored by: Ubisoft

Montreal Premiere

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Hosted by Writer/Director Noboru Iguchi

Official Selection, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2011

Screening Times

“Unhinged... fans of Iguchi and Nishimura's brand of madness will be delighted” — Ard Vijn, TWITCHFILM


Director: Noboru Iguchi
Screenplay: Noboru Iguchi
Cast: Itsuji Itao, Mami Yamasaki, Asami, Naoto Takenaka, Hiroyuki Watanabe
Producers: Yoshinori Chiba, Toshimichi Ohtsuki
Print Source: Sushi Typhoon/Nikkatsu



Yukata Daimon, Secret Police agent and son of an obsessed robotics scientist who was abducted and killed by the sinister Dr. Akunomiya and his organization Sigma, is a fierce and powerful karate fighter. He’s also driven by vengeance and an unshakeable sense of honour and righteousness. When his kicks, punches and chops aren’t enough, a quick word into his helmet’s microphone and his weird-looking motorcycle reveals its true nature — it’s Zaborgar, a karate-fighting robot with boomerang head-blades and a machine-gun mouth! A machine maybe, but Daimon’s relationship with Zaborgar is one of tender affection and intimacy. They’re inseparable — or are they? Will Akunomiya’s right-hand woman, the emotionally conflicted Miss Borg, come between them? And will Daimon always be a young, handsome, confident fighter — or does the future hold some devastating twists and turns?

If you’ve enjoyed Takashi Miike’s witty revisions of classic tokusatsu, or Japanese fantastic film and TV (think GREAT YOKAI WAR, or more saliently, YATTERMAN and the ZEBRAMAN films), and Ultraman franchise veteran Minoru Kawasaki’s kooky yet compassionate comedies (CALAMARI WRESTLER, anyone?), or you’re simply a longtime fan of Japanese sci-fi superheroics (Ultraman, Kamen Rider, Kikaider, Super Sentai — the list goes on, and on, and on…), you’re going to do backflips — and maybe even a few flying triple-kicks — over what’s to date the biggest-budgeted production from Noboru Iguchi, who previously delighted the Fantasia crowd with THE MACHINE GIRL and MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD. Here, he reworks the obscure 1974 TV series ELECTROID ZABORGER 7, displaying a wide-eyed love and in-depth grasp of the tricks and tropes of the genre, even at its cheesiest (the biggest fights always happen in a disused quarry, don’t they?), but also adds numerous twists and decidedly adult jolts and jokes that make KARATE-ROBO ZABORGAR — brought to you, of course, by the venerable Nikkatsu Corporation’s wild and wicked offshoot, Sushi Typhoon — a joy for both tokusatsu stalwarts and fans of clever, maniacal Japanese freakiness!

—Rupert Bottenberg

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