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Infra-Man (1975) – Episode 85 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Greetings to you, Earthlings. I am Princess Dragon Mom. I have taken over this planet. Now I own the Earth and you’ll be my slaves for all eternity.” Oh no! What will we ever do? Never fear fellow Earthlings! Infra-Man to the rescue! Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they try to describe the indescribable.  Of course, the topic for this episode is the Shaw Brothers 1975 classic, Infra-Man, the man beyond bionics!

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 85 – Infra-Man (1975)

What could be more fun than a band of ten-million-year-old mutant monsters and thirty henchmen bent on owning Earth and enslaving all Earthlings? What if their fearless leader’s curiously translated title is Princess Dragon Mom? And what if the Earthlings just happen to have, at the ready, a complete set of plans for a being to battle Princess Dragon Mom and her minions? A sort of Chinese Superman, if you will? With another curious translation – and there are plenty of them – this Chinese Superman, aka Zhong guo chao ren, became known in the U.S. as Infra-Man!

Under the category of more curious translations, in the original Chinese dub, the monsters of Infra-Man are named Demon Princess Elzebub, Witch Eye, Fire Dragon, Spider Monster, Plant Monster, Drill Arm, Long-Haired Monster, and Iron Armor Monsters.  However, they are renamed in the English dub as Princess Dragon Mom, She-Demon, Emperor of Doom, Giant Beetle Monster, Octopus Mutant, Driller Beast, Laser Horn Monster, and Iron Fist Robots.

Danny Lee plays Infra-Man and because this is the third of his films covered by the Grue Crew in 2018, Doc has proclaimed Lee their actor of the year. The Oily Maniac (1976) and The Mighty Peking Man (1977) are the other two of Lee’s Shaw Brothers releases they’ve covered. Chad saw this film at the time of its U.S. theatrical release. He loved it then and he loves, loves, loves it now! He also points out some pant-splitting moments in the film that Bill and Jeff missed; they’ll have to watch it again! Though he wasn’t ga-ga over Infra-Man the first time he viewed it, Bill has gained an appreciation of the film over the years. He jokingly wonders how Infra-Man decides when to use his powers and when not to use his powers. They all agree it’s a bit of a mystery that only adds to the film’s appeal. Only Jeff had not seen Infra-Man before preparing for this podcast and he is forever grateful to Chad, Doc, and Bill for introducing him to its wonders and thinks it is one of the funniest movies he’s seen in a long while. In fact, he’s so enamored of the film, he promises his next step is to introduce it to his grand-munchkins and to search out the pant-splitting.

The members of the Grue Crew all agree Infra-Man is not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination. However, watching it is more fun than a movie should be allowed to be. It’s time to make it a family viewing tradition! The Black Saint and Chad had often trumpeted their love of Infra-Man and Princess Dragon Mom in the past and the Decades of Horror 1970s Grue Crew decided now was the time. This one’s for you, Santos.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

 

 

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The Mighty Peking Man (1977) – Episode 81 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Action…Excitement…Spectacle beyond your wildest dreams!” Action? Check. Excitement? Check. Spectacle beyond your wildest dreams? Check! Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr (much to his chagrin, Bill Mulligan was unable to join us for this one) – as they discover a film that actually lives up to its tagline, and of course, it’s a Shaw Brothers film! Yes, they are talking about The Mighty Peking Man.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 81 – The Mighty Peking Man (1977)

Initially released August 1977 in Hong Kong. The MIghty Peking Man didn’t see a U.S. release until March 1980. Directed by Meng Hua Ho and written by Kuang Ni, this film is the Shaw Brothers effort to cash in on the hoopla surrounding the Dino De Laurentiis production, King Kong (1976).

An expedition, led by an amoral and unscrupulous businessman (Feng Ku) and an altruistic and heartbroken hero (Danny Lee) plucked from a bar, sets out to capture the legendary, titular beast depicted in The Mighty Peking Man. In their search for the giant ape, the expedition also encounters Samantha (Evelyne Kraft), a female version of the Tarzan legend, who has devloped a deep bound with the beast. Eventually, the Mighty Peking Man is captured and transported to civilization where he is shackled and put on public display in a stadium. Not surprisingly, the beast breaks free of its chains, creating panic and chaos. Even less surprisingly, the story works its way to an epic battle atop a skyscraper. Does this sound familiar?

Despite the story’s similarities with past big ape movies, The Mighty Peking Man has one key plot difference that Chad, Doc, and Jeff greatly appreciated. Samantha has been living in the jungle ever since she was a child when the Mighty Peking Man rescued her from a plane crash, solidifying an explanation for their long term bond.

Despite its low budget and relatively high cheese factor, this film has it all, including a boatload of fun! Chad has always loved the opening scene as the giant ape emerges from its lost world after an earthquake, wreaking havoc on the nearby village. Doc is particularly enamored with the sequence in which Samantha, adorned as usual in her 2-piece animal skin, climbs a light pole to escape a crowd. The Grue Crew is in agreement on the hilarity of some of the dialogue, admitting something might have been lost in translation.  

The Mighty Peking Man gets an emphatic recommendation from the Grue Crew! In fact, after covering The Oily Maniac (1976) on Episode 70 and now The Mighty Peking Man, the Grue Crew vows to cover Infra-Man (1975), another Shaw Brothers masterpiece starring Danny Lee, in the not too distant future.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

 

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The Oily Maniac (1976) – Episode 70 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Dig a big hole in the middle of the house?” It might sound crazy, but if you really want to become an oily maniac, that’s how the instructions begin. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Jeff Mohr, Chad Hunt, and Bill Mulligan – as they slide their way through the pros and cons of The Oily Maniac.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 70 – The Oily Maniac (1976)

The Oily Maniac, aka You gui zi, is a Shaw Brothers production directed by Meng Hua Ho and written by Lam Chua. Starring Danny Lee, Ping Chen, and Lily Li, the film tells the story of Shen Yuan, a crippled man who pledges to protect the daughter of a man in prison. The woman’s father implores Shen Yuan to copy the tattoo on his back and to use the spell it describes to protect his daughter. Soon Shen Yuan is forced to invoke the tattoo’s spell and is transformed into … the oily maniac, an avenging superhero or a monster, depending on your point of view.

Doc Rotten often proclaims his love of (or should we say obsession with?) Asian horror films, so it should be no surprise that he brought The Oily Maniac to the Decades of Horror 1970s Grue Crew’s attention. Chad points out the cheezy costume looking like it’s dipped in oil, the exposed beating heart, and its teeth. Jeff mentions a vague similarity to The Greasy Strangler (2016) and Doc points out that the director of The Greasy Strangler lists The Oily Maniac as inspiration. Doc also loved the monster’s scream and the way it tried to do kung fu, slinging oily maniac goo around and then turning into a swimming goo-puddle, traveling to the theme of Jaws.

Bill did not appreciate the “exploity” nature of the film in regards to female nudity and rape, and would’ve enjoyed the film more if it was less sleazy. The rest of the crew agrees that it was uncomfortably exploitive and that the gratuitous sex and rape scenes prevalent in 70s grindhouse films like The Oily Maniac are even harder to view today.

The Grue Crew recommends the cheesy monster scenes in The Oily Maniac but it is not for everyone.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

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Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) – Episode 33 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“You haven’t seen Kung fu until you’ve seen the 7 BROTHERS and 1 SISTER take DRACULA” – the US tagline for Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires promises a mishmash of horror, kung-fu and blacksploitation with the alternate title The 7 Brothers meet Dracula. However, this cult-class Hammer film is now known and loved under its original title and without the cuts and edits the US version suffered. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 33 – Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

Horror aficionado Bill Mulligan joins Decades of Horror to tackle another Hammer film from the Seventies, Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. This film, one of Hammer’s last, may be the studio’s most bizarre film as they team up with China’s Shaw Brothers to blend their Gothic horror with kung-fu action. Peter Cushing is back as Professor Van Helsing but Christopher Lee is no where to be seen as Dracula. Instead, we are treated to John Forbes-Robertson taking up the role in the only Hammer Dracula appearance that does not have Lee as the Lord of the Undead. David Chiang as Hsi Ching and his Kung-fu siblings join Van Helsing and his son to take on the 7 Golden Vampire providing the film with fangs, blood, boobies and big action battles galore. Good times!

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

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