Manborg (2011) – Review – “It’s Never Too Late To Be A Hero”

Yell! Magazine’s Manborg review:

Manborg had its DVD release this past April, and it might be the best thing to happen to B-movie cinema in recent years. It’s stupid as hell, but goddamn if it’s not captivating. The acting is atrocious, the plot and dialog are moronic, and the effects are piss poor, but when it’s all put together, it’s all brilliant.

Matthew Kennedy stars as Manborg, a cyborg brought back to life after dying as a human in the first war against Draculon (Adam Brooks) and hell. I won’t spoil it for you, but one of the best scenes in the film is when Manborg names himself in a case of self-awareness.


Now, when the back of the box states that Manborg is “struggling to learn the secrets of his origins,” you should take “struggling” at face value; don’t do what I did and assume he’d be on a quest. When Manborg awakes, he’s essentially a prisoner in hell (in a jail that reminds me of the original Star Trek series) and forced to participate in gladiator-type games. He’s not alone in his captivity either, as he’s joined by Mina (Meredith Sweeney), Justice (Conor Sweeney), and #1 Man (Ludwig Lee and voiced by Kyle Herbert). However, these three don’t automatically befriend Manborg; he must earn their trust.


The Baron (Jeremy Gillespie) is their jailer, and he has a crush on Mina. Gillespie plays the contradiction of being a love-struck minion of hell perfectly. It’s bizarre that such an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek film has comic relief, but that’s exactly the role The Baron fills. I guess it’s needed, though, between multiple scenes featuring the too-easily-agitated Justice, the infant-like naivete of Manborg, and the Ryu-like #1 Man – even if all this exaggeration is part of this film’s point.

Manborg Practical Effect

I’ll go out on a limb and say that the filmmakers (Steven Kostanski – writer/director/producer; Jeremy Gillespie – writer; Colin Geddis – producer; Peter Kuplowsky – producer) knew they were making a bad movie. As such, they made the best damn bad movie they could. This fact doesn’t show anywhere else as well as it does in the special effects. Yes, I said they were piss poor, but they are also masterful. Using a blend of claymation, computer graphics, practical effects, and makeup, the effects are a lesson on what can be accomplished with roughly $1,000. From the opening battle scene, you will be wanting more of the same.

Manborg premiered at Austin’s 2011 Fantastic Fest and at the Boston Underground Film Festival (2012) it won the Best Feature award.

The Verdict: [rating:4]

“It’s never too late to be a hero.” If you’re a fan of movies that are so bad they’re good, then Manborg is a must-see.

Rock Hard \m/

Manborg poster
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
16 April 2013
Steven Kostanski
Matthew Kennedy, Adam Brooks, Meredith Sweeney
Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Official URL:
Manborg Official

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