The Super Inframan – 中国超人; 中國超人; ZhōngGuóChāoRén, translated literally as “Chinese Superman” – is a 1975 Hong Kong science fiction monster film produced by Shaw Brothers. Inspired by the huge success of the Japanese tokusatsu shows Ultraman and Kamen Rider, this film features the same type of “henshin“, monster/robot action and costumed derring-do, coupled with Chinese kung fu action.
The film was directed by Hua Shan, from a screenplay by science fiction writer Ni Kuang. The Inframan/Science Headquarters/monster costumes were provided by Ekisu Productions, which had done costumes for many Toei Superhero shows of the same period. The film also starred Danny Lee (The Mighty Peking Man) as the superhero himself, and Bruceploitation star Bruce Le in a supporting role.
The following year, Joseph Brenner Associates brought this film to the US, and retitled it simplyInfra-Man, with the advertising campaign slogan “The Man Beyond Bionics!” attempting to capitalize upon the Six Million Dollar Man’s success.
In 2004, the film was released on DVD in Japan and Hong Kong.
In 2015, Demon Princess Elzebub plots to conquer the Earth. She destroys a few major cities in China to prove her power to a terror-stricken humanity. Returning to her lair in Inner-Earth, she awakens her army of Skeleton Ghosts and various Ice Monsters to wreak havoc on the surface.
But there is hope at the high-tech Science Headquarters, run by Professor Liu Ying De. He has at long last completed and is prepared to use the BDX Project: In the HQ’s secret laboratory, he transforms Lei Ma, a high-ranking officer, into the nuclear-powered bionic kung fu superhero, the Inframan!
‘The movie even looks good: It’s a classy, slick production by the Shaw Brothers, the Hong Kong kung fu kings. When they stop making movies like Infra-Man, a little light will go out of the world.’ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
‘So fast-paced as to be borderline incoherent and filled with eye-searing colors, garish costumes and martial arts battles that tip over into pure surrealism, Infra-Man is like the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on high-grade bath salts, and that’s a very, very good thing!’ The Loft Cinema
‘ …a non-stop hodgepodge of Saturday morning live action TV thrills, and despite its ineptitude, paper thin plot, men in rubber monster suits, and overall juvenile attitude, you won’t find a more brainlessly fun piece of cinema anywhere, especially in this age of stuffy CGI overkill. Sure the special effects are dated here, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a certain appeal to them, as lots of laser beams are shot, lots of things explode, and monsters and mortals battle in some well orchestrated karate sequences for which the Shaw Brothers are known for.’ George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In