Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

InfraMan

Princess Dragon Mom

Today’s Trillion $ Movie, Inframan, is a 1975 film from Hong Kong that can stake out three claims to fame — some of the wildest mutant monsters on the planet, ferocious kung-fu action and the vixenish villainess, Princess Dragon Mom, a power-mad dominatrix who cracks a mean whip and looks like a cross between a Valkyrie and a K-pop star with bleached-blonde hair.

The film doesn’t waste any time. Hong Kong is practically leveled within the first three minutes, as Princess Dragon Mom awakens from a 1,000-year sleep, causing her volcanic lair, Mount Devil, to erupt and transform before our eyes into a skull-capped peak. She quickly summons her minions — the Octopus Mutant, the Laser Horn Monster, the Giant Beetle Monster, the Driller Beast, the Emperor of Doom, the Iron-Fist Robots, the She-Demon and her hordes of Skull Warriors. They stand ready to back up her nefarious plans for world dominion, which she plainly announces:

“Greetings to you, Earthlings! I am Princess Dragon Mom. I have taken over this planet. Now I own the Earth and you will be my slaves for all eternity.”

Just a few of Inframan’s foes.

Not so fast, Dragon Mom. At Science Patrol headquarters, Professor Chang scratches his loose-fitting toupee as he ponders how to protect the planet from a fate worse than death. His answer: Subject his willing assistant Rayma to a near-lethal dose of radiation. As a result of this bionic process, Rayma will become InfraMan, a flying superhero with X-ray vision, who can withstand “the suffering of hell” and fight back with Thunder Ball Fists.

Inframan was made by the Shaw Brothers, who cranked out fast-punching, hard-kicking kung-fu movies by the dozens. Here, they not only add a cool, sci-fi veneer, but also many wonderful layers of campy silliness. You won’t soon forget the sight of the mutant monsters dancing inside the cave they call home.  A Japanese superhero with his own TV show, Ultraman, inspired this Hong Kong knock-off, and both, in turn, served as forerunners for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Enjoy the fun, and do return next Friday for another Trillion $ Movie.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The full movie of INFRAMAN is no longer available on YouTube, except for paying customers. Since we can’t show you the full movie, we’ll present the trailer as well as one of the better scenes.).

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