At Long Last, ‘Metal Man,’ Have You No Shame?
For anyone who keeps their fingers on the pulse of terrible cinema -- which, as we've already seen once today, I do -- the idea of the "mockbuster" is nothing new. The world of low-budget, slapped-together knockoffs of big Hollywood films has been given a new lease on life recently thanks to the largely ironic popularity of The Asylum (the studio that brought you "Transmorphers," "Death Racers" and "Pirates of Treasure Island"), but they're hardly the only ones craving a bit of that sweet, sweet mockbuster cash. Witness, for instance, "Metal Man":
Not to be confused with the Robot Master of the Metal Blade from "Mega Man 2" or one of Will Magnus's creations, "Metal Man" is a shameless ripoff of the "Iron Man" franchise starring a dude in a suit that makes him look like Alpha 5 from the Power Rangers. But wait: it gets worse.
Like most mockbusters, the plot (such as it is) is the same as the movie it's attempting to ape, if you pull back far enough that any meaningful details are obscured: Scientist creates suit of armor and battles evil industrialist who wants to make it a weapon. That's to be expected. What's surprising, though, is that not only is it a pretty amazingly bad movie made by a company that can't even get Amazon to spell their name right....
...it's also a completely dishonest one.
See, despite the fact that its name and release date (out this Tuesday on DVD wherever confused grandmas shop for bad birthday presents!) are clearly designed to capitalize on "Iron Man 2," "Metal Man" is not "Metal Man" at all.
It's actually "Iron Hero," a ripoff of the first Iron Man movie that was released directly to video in 2008, meaning that they slapped a new title on the box and tried to sell the same ripoff movie twice.
Guys. Come on. Even "Transmorphers" got a proper sequel to capitalize on "Transformers 2." Then again, I suppose that if you got burned by "Iron Hero" and didn't learn your lesson well enough to stay away from "Metal Man," you probably deserve what you got.