Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Hentai Kamen (2013)

Today’s selection: Hentai Kamen: Forbidden Super Hero (2013, dir. Yuichi Fukuda)

Subgenre: Henshin Hero

Available from: Still on theatrical circuit in North America

I’ve talked about it before on this ‘blog, but Hentai Kamen, the film adaptation of Keishu Ando’s Shonen Jump manga title (I have to keep stressing that point), is tearing up the foreign film festival circuit, and is damn near guaranteed for a legit English-language home video release in the near future. This is good, since it’s really, really funny, even by the standards of a superhero that wears panties on his face and humps evil into submission (let’s face it, most of the Kekko Kamen movies are garbage). As one can guess from Fukuda’s The Hero Yoshihiko TV franchise, he’s excellent at doing direct call-outs as parodies; HK  is chocked full of meticulous recreations of bits from Sam Raimi’s Spider-man trilogy, only with panties and sadomasochism gags. In fact, the main character’s face has been remodeled with Spider-man-ish eye reflectors (possibly making it easier for the main actor, Gatchaman‘s Ryohei Suzuki, who definitely fits the role physically).

The special effects are far from convincing, but it’s really not a movie concerned with such things; it’s more of a deliberately bizarre good time, unafraid of doing something completely unexpected for a laugh or alienating its audience with its weird premise. And that may just be why it won NYAFF’s audience choice award.

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