Princess Dragon Mom
Today’s Trillion Dollar 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.