I was pretty bummed out last March when North Korea stopped lobbing missiles into the Sea of Japan and agreed to discontinue its nuclear program. Don't get me wrong, I'm normally pro diplomatic solutions, but what I wouldn't have given to see Japan go to war. You just know they've got tanks that transform into giant robots piloted by blue-haired girls in sailor suits.
Basically, if something changes shape and fires lasers, I am 100% on board. If Oprah had lasers, her demographic would be 90% male. If the Wonder Twins had lasers, The All-New Super Friends Hour would still be on the air in new episodes. But no. All they had was a blue monkey and a vaguely incestuous relationship.
I wasn't the only one looking forward to it:
I can't really fault Bay for selling out to GM. This isn't even the first time the realities of the marketplace have fucked up a Transformers movie for me.
When the original came out in '86, I was already a hardcore fan. I had all the toys and I'd seen every episode of the cartoon. It was one of those typical Saturday morning adventures where the good guys always won and, while everyone was firing lasers, somehow nobody actually got hurt. What I didn't know was that Hasbro had a new product line coming out and needed to clear shelf space. The opening credits had barely rolled when...
What the fuck was THAT? Did they actually open a kids' movie with a bloodbath and kill off most of the main characters? Did I just see Megatron execute a crippled Ironhide with a point blank shot to the face? It was a lot to absorb as I sat in the theatre, clutching my (now-deceased) Prowl figure. It was like seeing the Purple Pieman rape Strawberry Shortcake.
So, yeah, I can think of worse things than Jazz the Porsche 935 Turbo becoming Jazz the Pontiac Solstice.
The Blog's Still Not Over
If you were a crime-fighting super-vehicle (sentient or otherwise), the Eighties was definitely your decade. Live-action ass kickers like K.I.T.T. and Airwolf inevitably went solo, but their animated cousins found strength in numbers. If you thought I overdid it with YouTube clips in the first part of the blog, this will push you over the edge.
Just in case you missed it, the bad guy's name is Saw Boss. Why? Because he's the boss and he's got a fucking saw. I also love it that resources are so tight the little girl and the wizard have to share a single gun that flies back and forth between their cars. The only other thing you need to know is that this is easily the most kick ass Saturday morning theme of all time. Not so much for the end credits. That sucks harder than the gravitational field of a black hole.
Is it me, or does this one seem like the propaganda of a fascist government seeking to acclimate you to the notion of a faceless secret police force? Take a look at the group portrait 22 seconds in. If these guys were banging on your door at midnight, would you open it?
Holy Christ, I loved this show. I bought the DVD a few years back and was surprised to discover three things: 1) R2D2 rip-off 7-Zark-7 clearly wasn't part of the original Japanese show, and was apparently wedged in between scenes to explain that plot and assure kids the bad guys they'd just seen killed were only "knocked unconscious by Mark's sonic boomerang"; 2) Zoltar was a hermaphrodite; 3) I was a fucking idiot for loving this. Here's all the proof you need, direct from the back of the DVD:
The Space Mummy: 7-Zark-7 discovers a new planet, much like Earth, hiding behind Venus and it is named Zarkadia after himself. Lately, mysterious plane crashes have been occurring there and G-Force is sent to investigate. But when Mark reaches the crash site, he's attacked by a colossal space mummy powered by Plutonium X. A new synthetic mineral, Anti-Pluton, is the only defense against it. Mark meets a young boy, Buddy, a mission pilot's son, whose uncle is the inventor of Anti-Pluton, and he agrees to help. But Zoltar himself, disguised as the boy's father, returns to wreak havoc and launch an all out assault on Zarkadia with help from the invincible space mummy.
And what's with all the upskirt shots of the girl?
Could this show be any cooler? No. No it could not. You've got a "super force of space explorers" that includes a princess after episode 6. They drive colour-coded robot lions. These lions then COMBINE to transform into a giant fucking mecha that solves every problem with a blazing sword. And, yes, that's the voice of Optimus Prime narrating the opening. You see? See how I brought everything back to where I started? That's a writer's trick. No charge for the peek behind the curtain.
Springer's final thought goes to the crazies:
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