THE GUYVER. Screaming Mad George and Steve Wang, dirs. Japan/USA: Hero Communications (prod.), 1991 (Japan); New Line Cinema / Imperial Entertainment (dist., USA), 1993. Copyright held by The Guyver Productions, Inc. Brian Yuza, prod. Jon Purdy, script, based on the graphic novel by Yoshiki Takaya. Mark Hamill, Vivian Wu, Jack Armstrong, Jimmy Walker, David Gale (as Balcus), featured players.
Sporadically comic science fantasy/horror film. A college student is "thrust into superherodom . . . when he finds 'the Guyver,' an alien device that transforms him into an invincibly armored fighting machine" (Dan Cziraky, "Guyver," Cinefantastique 22.4 [Feb. 1992]: 46). Cziraky notes similarities with THE ROCKETEER; we'll add allusions to a number of works including the Hulk for the hero's anger making him strong, and the Predator films for the organic monsters. Compare and contrast the hero's "space armor" with fighting suits in R. A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers and J. Haldeman's Forever War. Note biomechanical/insectoid imagery of hero after the Guyver initially attaches to his head, and while the hero is in his armor: cf. and contrast the Alien of ALIEN (etc.) and other works by H. R. Giger. The transformation makes the hero "large and in charge" (to quote a description of Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Action Hero) and like RoboCop—to quote one of the thugs who had beaten upon the untransformed hero. The hero is initially horrified when it seems he can't get the Guyver outfit off, but then the crucial mechanism for the device is taken into his body. Frequent superimposition of mechanical upon the organic, and combination of biological and mechano-electronic.