Cult Movies

Cult Movie Essentials: The Super Inframan (1975)

This is a Hong Kong Science fiction Tokusatsu film produced by Shaw Brothers Studio in 1975. Based upon the huge success of the Japanese tokusatsu shows Ultraman and Kamen Rider in Hong Kong, this film features the same type of “henshin”, monster/robot action and costumed derring-do, coupled with Chinese kung fu action.

This film also has some historical importance:

  • The first superhero movie in China
  • The first movie promotion in Hong Kong using a hot air balloon
  • The first Shaw Brothers production using a storyboard

The film was directed by Hua Shan, written by science fiction writer Ni Kuang, produced by Runme Shaw and the cinematography was by Tadashi Nishimoto (as Lan Shan Ho). There was also assistance from Japan, also; Music from Ultra Seven (1967) and Mirrorman (1971) (both composed by Toru Fuyuki) is used in this film. And the Inframan/Science Headquarters/monster costumes were provided by Ekisu Productions, which had done costumes for many Toei Superhero shows of the same period. The film also starred Danny Lee as the superhero himself, and Bruceploitation star Bruce Le in a supporting role (He still got to display some of his martial art skills in many scenes of the film).

The film is set in 2015 where Demon Princess Elzebub plots to conquer the Earth. She destroys a few major cities in China to prove her power to a terror-stricken humanity. Returning to her lair in Inner-Earth, she awakens her army of Skeleton Ghosts and various ferocious mutant humanoids to wreak havoc on the surface.

But there is hope at the high-tech Science Headquarters, run by Professor Liu Ying De. He has at long last completed and is prepared to use the BDX Project: In the HQ’s secret laboratory, he transforms Lei Ma, a high-ranking SH officer, into the bionic kung fu superhero, Inframan. Able to perform impossible feats, as well as being equipped with death-dealing weapons, the solar-powered red & silver armored Inframan is mankind’s only hope against Elzebub and her army of devils.

Once Inframan destroys the princess’s various monsters, she decides to steal the professor’s blueprints of Inframan in hope of discovering his weakness. Meanwhile, the professor introduces a new weapon to add to Inframan arsenal. Thunderball Fists are gloves capable of destroying any substance known to man as well as covering up Inframan’s weakness. The princess decides to coerce the professor. Capturing the professor’s daughter, the princess blackmails the professor into creating an Inframan for her. The professor agrees to go to Mount Devil for a meeting. When the professor refuses to make another Inframan, he and his daughter are frozen. Inframan and the science patrol decide to rescue both which leads to the climatic battle between Inframan and Princess Elzebub.

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