1 out of 5 – Would Recommend: Karate Robo Zaborgar

The title's in Japanese, here's the eponymous robot!

The title card was in Japanese, so here’s the eponymous robot!

Welcome back to 1 out of 5 – Would Recommend, where the definition of bad is flexible. Today, we’re looking at 2011’s Karate Robo Zaborgar!

What’s The Plot?

Hot blooded secret policeman Yutaka Diamon, with the help of his robot partner/motorcycle/kind-of sibling Zaborgar, battles mad science terrorists Sigma to save the Earth! Then he falls in love with Sigma’s top lieutenant, Miss Borg, and things get weird.

Who Made This Thing and What is It?

Writer/Director Noboru Iguchi, who also made a movie called Robo-Geisha. The film is a loving send-up of 1970’s Japanese super hero shows made by remaking one and playing up the ridiculous aspects. It’s kind of like Batman ’66 for stuff like Ultraman and Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot.

Five Reasons to See It

  1. Zaborgar. He’s a karate expert robot with launching fists, razor sharp boomerang ears, and a machine gun in his mouth.

    Here there be dragons.

  2. Miss Ruggers. The bikini clad, football/rubgy themed lady robots with dragons concealed in their…upper torso. Except the blue one, she has a heinie dragon.
  3. The ridiculous villains such as Apache Drill and King Africa. Who are both Japanese. And hang-out with Baron Eyepatch.
  4. Two washed up police detectives use a fart-propelled wheelchair to knock a killer cell phone of out of 30 story high bikini robot’s hands, dying in a blaze of smelly glory.
  5. “We’ll do away with reality!”
    “I think we just did!”


This movie isn’t so much “bad” as “completely and utterly bizarre”, but it succeeds at what it set out to do. It is a loving tribute to the oddness of Tokusatsu action shows of yesteryear, to the point of showing clips from the original series corresponding to nearly every of the movie’s ridiculous plot points during the credits. It parodies the genre by playing its absurdity just as straight as the originals while bringing in a bigger budget and more realistic consequences, and it does it pretty well. If you grew up watching the aforementioned Ultraman, Johnny Sokko, or even Power Rangers, this movie is waiting for you on Netflix.

NEXT WEEK: Mystery Science Theater 3000 favorite, 1988’s Space Mutiny.

About Chris Walker

Chris Walker (@back2past) is affectionately referred to as Back to the Past's social media lackey. He's all over finding nuggets of pop culture news, wherever they may be hiding!

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