One of the filmmakers who jumped on this trend was cult-horror producer Brian Yuzna Re-Animator , Society , The Return of the Living Dead 3 , who saw at opportunity to blend this darker take on the superhero genre with the sorts of bloody monster-movie thrills that he specialized in. That is, at least until the massive success of Tim Burton's Batman , which started to change the game. This revelation led to a small but distinctive wave of early-'90s comic book movies for older audiences, like The Crow and Darkman , which took that dark style even further, into R-rated territory. Cover art has gotten damp and is slightly crinkled now. It is the location of an ancient alien spaceship once used by the creators of the Guyver armor. Hayter is a major step up, bringing emotional complexity, charisma, and genuine pathos to the role. The Bottom Line: This film is only for big Guyver fans and anyone interested in seeing what David Hayter was up to before writing Marvel Comics movies.
The original film was played off as a goofy comedy parody, leaving many Guyver fans rather disappointed. The fight choreography for the final battle is also very intense. The acting is also uneven, with a couple wooden performances standing out. Instead, it has ambitions that go beyond plenty of theatrical films in the genre, and really does justice to the concepts and style of the long-running comic and the shorter but just as narratively ambitious anime in exactly the way the 1991 film failed to do. As the two main villains, David Gale and Michael Berryman are both as entertaining as always, chewing the scenery through maniacal grins.
His character is handled in a really odd way: sometimes he is portrayed as a sadistic heavy which he does really well , and sometimes as a comedic bumbling henchman stooge which makes him seem very miscast. This is a true guilty-pleasure movie: one that definitely isn't objectively good, but is awesome all the same, in its own cheesy way. This is especially true of the Guyver himself, Michael Berryman's villainous Lisker, and the seriously awesome third-act big bad, all of whom could give the creatures from most other genre flicks of the early-'90s a serious run for their money. As our out-of-his-depth college kid turned superhero, Jack Armstrong Student Bodies is good, though occasionally wooden. Far from being the stuff of mega-budget blockbusters, comic book movies were seen as more niche items for the cult film market.
Because of this I rated it significantly better than the first film, but still on the lower side of the scale. All item are originals, no copies or bootlegs. It also boasts a strong musical score, with a great, very memorable main theme. From the very first scene, in which the Guyver brutally deals with a gang of drug smugglers, it is immediately clear that this is a very different movie. I re-edited this video with better quality footage.
Of course, this isn't to say that Dark Hero is without flaws. All the pieces looked like they were falling into place for an awesome R-rated monster battle. Some of the dialogue is extremely cheesy and some of the acting performances are really bad. The two main Zoanoid villains look awesome — even better than the best creatures from the 1991 film, which were already quite impressive. It seemed like a whole new series. I think it's safe to say that The Guyver was among the very best anime or manga series of the late-1980s, thanks especially to that deep and fascinating mythos behind Chronos, their shape-changing Zoanoids, and the Guyver unit.
The most prominent strength of the film, as with its predecessor, is the excellent practical effects work. The Guyver may not exactly work, but it is a very fun and entertaining movie in its own bizarre way; it certainly is unique in its subgenre, for good and for bad. Vivian Wu, on the other hand, is extremely wooden as his girlfriend the one character from the comics who wasn't whitewashed for this adaptation , and her weak performance does nothing to improve a character who is already written as little more than an unfortunate damsel-in-distress stereotype. Wang used the opportunity to repair the previous film's mistakes, and create the really good, darker and more serious Guyver movie that should have been made in the first place. In the early-1990s superhero movies and comic book adaptations were nowhere close to being the money-making powerhouses they are today. The gore is pretty good, with Zoanoids getting decapitated, having their arms broken, eyes gouged out, stabbed in the gut, melted and all sorts of other horrible things done to them.
However, the performances are probably better than in the first film overall, aside from that movie's bigger names like Mark Hamill and David Gale; certainly on the better end of the '90s-low-budget spectrum. I had no idea that he had an acting career, so it was a surprise to see him as the star of this B-Movie. Hoping to find answers as to why he has received this ability, Barker arrives at an archeological site in Utah, where scientists have uncovered an old alien spacecraft that might solve the mystery. An incredible battle ensues between the two most powerful forces in the galaxy, the result of which may ultimately decide the fate of mankind. Now that Arrow Video has given a blu-ray upgrade to the 1991 The Guyver, hopefully in the near future they will likewise give new life to this far-superior follow-up. Dvd case looks good with just a little sticker residue on the front. Even with significantly fewer resources than any of those films, Guyver: Dark Hero is absolutely good enough to make the short list of that decade's most memorable entries in the genre.
One of these strengths is its very good central performance from prolific voice actor David Hayter. Chino Moreno from the Raid Redemption soundtrack. But even if the first film isn't as good as its successor, it remains a very entertaining slice of early-'90s B-movie history, and it is great to at least have one of the Guyver films on a North-America-friendly blu-ray at last. That film remains a nostalgic guilty-pleasure of mine: a not-very-good but very entertaining movie that combines excellent creature effects, terribly ill-advised comedy, and the most extremely kitschy form of '90s-ness into a package that is as fun as it is really bizarre. The story began in the mid-1980s as a manga comic series in Japan, and was adapted shortly thereafter into a two-season, twelve-episode anime. In the first Guyver, Jack Armstrong had been decent but unspectacular as Sean.
Sean's existential crisis of whether the armor has fundamentally changed who he is - and if so, what it has changed him into - is the emotional backbone of the film. While it is unusually well-made for a straight-to-video film, and while it is almost of high enough production quality that it could have just as easily been released in theaters instead, there are aspects of the production that occasionally show off its straight-to-video limitations. Eventually the dig's security chief, Crane Bruno Giannetta , is revealed as a Chronos plant and takes the other team members hostage, surrounding them with Zoanoid soldiers. It never gels into a remotely cohesive tone. As in the previous installment, both government agents and the minions of the Chronos Corporation continue their secret dalliances with the Zoanoids' biomechanical technology, with both sides planning to abscond with any alien artifacts recovered from the site. Just as impressive as the creatures themselves are the film's handful of sets, which likewise value quality over quantity. His voice work for the Metal Gear Solid games and the 1990s animated Spider-Man series in which he voiced Captain America has made him a fan favorite in that world, but this film makes a strong case that he should get more chances to act in front of the camera.
He clearly knows that he is in a cheesy movie, but rather than phoning it in, he amps up his acting with just enough camp to steal his scenes while still coming off as the strongest actor of the bunch. The 1990s were famously not a great decade for superhero movies, with only a small handful like Batman Returns, The Crow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Darkman being particularly memorable. In general the film is able to make up for its budgetary shortcomings with its ambitious ideas, and by using its strengths very effectively. However, as a lifelong fan of the anime and manga series on which the film was based, I am also well aware of just what a wasted opportunity The Guyver was. Half Man - Half Alien - All Hero. Check it out — it is definitely recommended.