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directed by Jack Ersgard
USA 1993

 

Scientists Zimmer (Robert Symonds, SUPERSTITION) and Drago (Curt Lowens, WEREWOLF IN A GIRLS' DORMITORY) have perfected the Mandroid, a remotely controllable robot (operated by the user donning electronically-linked helmet and gloves) with the assistant of Zimmer's daughter Zanna (Jane Caldwell, PREHYSTERIA) and lab assistant Benjamin (Michael Della Femina, BLOODLUST: SUBSPECIES III). Zimmer wants to sell it to the U.S. government to work with deadly and hazardous materials in the lab, but Drago wants to modify it for military use. When M.I.T. scientist Wade Franklin (Brian Cousins, LONGTIME COMPANION) and CIA agent Joe Smith (Patrik Ersgård, RANCID) arrive for a demonstration of Mandroid, Drago attempts to steal the formula that will allow Mandroid to be controlled by thought alone and is horribly disfigured while Ben's injuries have the bewildering side effect of gradually rendering him invisible (see the sequel INVISIBLE: THE CHRONICLES OF BENJAMIN KNIGHT). Recovered, metal-masked Drago makes off with Mandroid and its control unit with the help of a mute derelict (Ion Haiduc, BLOODSTONE: SUBSPECIES II) leaving Zimmer, Zanna, Wade, and Joe to try to recover the Mandroid before Drago can put it to evil use.

Aside for the SUBSPECIES series, MANDROID is one of the few Full Moon productions shot in Romania that is also set in that country - well, in somewhere in Eastern Europe at least (Romania has substituted for New England, the midwest, New York, and the Irish countryside in other Full Moon product). The project was actually initiated in 1986 as "Mindmaster" with former Marvel Comics artist Jack Kirby, and the noirish lighting, wiping transitions, and arch performances do have a sub-Tim Burton's BATMAN quality on the cheap. Because the film was shot back-to-back with its sequel INVISIBLE: THE CHRONICLES OF BENJAMIN KNIGHT with the surviving principals reprising their roles, scenes used to set up the sequel come across here like mere contrivances to take certain characters out of the action temporarily. The characters are likable and the performances okay, and the action is reasonably tense, but everything seems to have been dumbed-down solely for the purpose of keeping the film under seventy-five minutes for no particular reason. The film earns its R-rating from some gore that would rate a PG-13 these days and a flash of nudity in the film's not-so-surprising coda.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 18 August 1993 (USA)

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DVD Review: 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

88 Films

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:17:00 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.84 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: 88 Films

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• VideoZone (4:3; 8:30)
• Trailer (4:3; 1:49)
• Trailers for PUPPET MASTER X: AXIS RISING, PUPPET MASTER, DR. ALIEN, PUPPET MASTER II, TOURIST TRAP, ZOMBIES VS. STRIPPERS, REEL EVIL, PUPPET MASTER III, CASTLE FREAK, and SLAVE GIRLS FROM
• BEYOND INFINITY

DVD Release Date: February 11th, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 8

 

Comments

Like other Charles Band titles in 88 Films' "Grindhouse" series thus far, MANDROID has not been remastered for its digital releases; however, the nineties LD/videotape master holds up reasonably well during brightly lit scenes and studio-controlled moody interiors (night exteriors, however, look a bit grayish in the shadows). The Dolby Digital 2.0 rendering of the Ultra Stereo mix is fairly active during the "Mandroid" and shootout scenes, as well as some of the more busy passages of the score. Extras consist of a vintage "Videozone" making-of featurette and the film's trailer, along with trailers for ten more Full Moon releases.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

88 Films

Region 0 - PAL

 




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