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Film / Gunhed

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GUNHED is a 1989 Tokusatsu film about a group of human scavengers who go to an island to find a rare and valuable element, known as Texmexium, and get picked off one by one by a renegade supercomputer housed in a complex on the island. The computer is called Kyron-5. Soon, only the group's mechanic, Brooklyn, is left alive. Brooklyn soon finds company in the form of a Texas Air Ranger named Sergeant Nim, and two children. One of the scavengers who was killed earlier is transformed into a Biodroid and is sent after Sergeant Nim and the Texmexium that she stole. With me so far? Anyway, Brooklyn soon finds a GUNHED (Gun Unit Heavy Elmination Device) combat robot and works to restore it. In order to save Sergeant Nim, Brooklyn must overcome his fear of flying and pilot the newly restored GUNHED and defeat Kyron-5 and the various defenses it controls.

If you mistook this for a Gundam entry, you'll be forgiven, as the two names do sound similar, and were produced by the same company. Toho, of Godzilla fame, also helped in the production of and distribution of this film.

Gunhed provides examples of the following:

  • A-Team Firing: Brooklyn couldn't aim if his life depended on him. He never even hits the Biodroid after emptying his revolver at it.
  • After the End: While there's no indication that the rest of the world is like this (beyond the scavengers and the Mary Ann, which can be handwaved by the fact that they're glorified dumpster divers), 8-JO certainly is.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Kyron-5 is a supercomputer which became sentient and decided that human beings are no longer necessary to exist, therefore starting a robot rebellion against humans.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Texmexium, which allows such a large computer like Kyron-5 to function, however it works. One can assume that it's like idealistic depictions of graphene or carbon nanotubes, which could similarly revolutionize processing speeds.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Walls in front of Gunhed tend to blow up.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Babe resists Biodroid's malicious actions after she is absorbed into the Biodroid. See Deus ex Machina below for the end result.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Aerobot, being a scorpion shaped mecha, attacks with a stinging tail weapon.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Barabbas, within the first twenty minutes.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    Gunhed: Come inside, something fabulous is coming this way.
  • Computer Voice: Gunhed's onboard computer.
  • Cool Plane: The protagonists' transport Mary Ann, a futuristic plane with four turbines that vaguely resemble a B-17 Flying Fortress.
  • Cyberpunk: The setting of the movie, the island 8-JO, has a grungey, industrial look, not to mention being controlled bya supercomputer with an army of mechas and cyborgs.
  • Cyborg: The Biodroid, which is a vaguely human shaped being with googles and cables fused to its head. It somehow merges with Babe into one being, and the latter became trapped in cyberspace.
  • Deserted Island: 8-JO, far off the Asian coast, is supposed to be devoid of human life.
  • Deus ex Machina: Babe finally winning her Battle in the Center of the Mind, blowing up a grenade (in her mind), which causes her physical body to disappear. While there are scenes leading up to it, it's happening at that time is just lazy writing.
  • The Dragon: Aerobot and the Biodroid to Kyron-5.
  • Dungeon Crawling: The journey to the Kyron Dome is presented as this, especially with the big white letters on the bottom of the screen saying "LEVEL [whatever level they're on]". The main difference is that Brooklyn and Nim start at the bottom and go up instead of down.
  • Dwindling Party: by the 30-minute mark, Brooklyn is the only remaining member of the scavenging group, not including Babe (see above).
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: 8-JO is an island ran by the Kyron-5 supercomputer, which years earlier tried to declare war on humanity, and was stopped at great cost. The island is full of scrap as well as cyborgs and mechas controlled by Kyron-5.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Gunhed's head is a . . . gun. Despite how stupid it sounds, it is awesome.
  • Expy: Kyron-5 is a rather blatant stand-in for Skynet.
  • Eye Scream: Gunhed advised Brooklyn to do so to Aerobot, so he shoots him point blank in its three eyes, destroying one of them.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Gunhed's design definitely goes for this. His wheels are analogous to a horse and the prologue depicts the Gunhed Battalion as a mounted cavalry. Gunhed's head, while shaped like a gun, could be seen as a lance.
  • Macguffin: Texmexium, a wondrous element that powers then world's supercomputers that is closely guarded.
  • Real Robot Genre: The film leans towards this. Gunhed and Aerobot are grimy and practically designed: Gunhed is a mix between a mounted knight and a tank, while Aerobot is low to the ground, like a scorpion.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Brooklyn flicks the cylinder of his revolver in and out. Bansho chastises him for it, saying it's "bad luck".
    • Seven later does it and Brooklyn chastises him for it.
    • This chastising becomes a Running Gag when Gunhed warns Brooklyn about it.
  • Robo Cam: There are several shots from the biodroid's perspective.
  • Scary Scorpions: Aerobot, a scorpion shaped mecha which guards the Kyron-5 supercomputer.
  • Shown Their Work: While they're never shown in action, the belts of ammunition that Brooklyn feeds into Gunhed have a tracer round every few rounds. This is commonplace with machine guns and Gatling guns.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Kyron-5's seeing-eye camera.
Nim: You fix it, you drive it.