Guyver (released in Europe as Mutronics) is an American science fiction, tokusatsu film released on March 18th 1991, it's loosely based on the manga and anime series of the same name. The film tells of a young man, Sean Barker who discovers an alien artifact called The Unit which manifests Barker into an alien-hybrid super soldier called The Guyver. Barker learns that a major corporation called Kronos is after The Guyver Unit and soon discovers that the people behind Kronos are not human after all. The film was met with a mixed to negative reaction from critics and fans. A sequel was followed in 1994 called Guyver: Dark Hero, which was received more favorably than its predecessor.
CIA agent Max Reed (Mark Hamill) witnesses Dr. Tetsu Segawa—a researcher for the mysterious Kronos Corporation—being murdered. Dr. Segawa had stolen an alien device known as “the Guyver” from Kronos. College student Sean Barker, whose girlfriend’s father was Dr. Segawa, finds the Guyver’s hiding spot while watching the forensic team investigating the crime scene. Through further events, the Guyver fuses with Sean and causes him to be covered in a suit of bio-armor. The president of Chronos, Fulton Balcus (David Gale), wants the Guyver back and sends his mutant henchmen, the Zoanoids, led by Lisker (Michael Berryman), to steal it back.
- Directed by: Screaming Mad George and Steve Wang
- Produced by: Brian Yuzna
- Screenplay by: Joe Woo, Jr.
- Based on: Bio Booster Armor Guyver by Yoshiki Takaya
- Music by: Matthew Morse
- Cinematography: Levie Isaacks
- Editing by: Andy Horvitch and Joe Woo, Jr.
- Distributed by: New Line Cinema
- Release Date(s): March 18, 1991
- Running Time: 88 minutes, 92 minutes (special edition)
- Country: United States
- Language: English
- Followed by: Guyver: Dark Hero
- Jack Armstrong—Sean Barker/The Guyver
- Mark Hamill—Max Reed
- Vivian Wu—Mizky Segawa
- David Gale—Fulton Balcus
- Jimmie Walker—Striker
- Michael Berryman—Lisker
- Peter Spellos—Ramsey
- Spice Williams-Crosby—Weber
- Willard E. Pugh—Colonel Castle
- Jeffrey Combs—Dr. East
- David Wells—Dr. Gordon
- Linnea Quigley—Scream Queen
- Greg Paik—Dr. Tetsu Segawa
Reactions to the film were generally negative.
Glenn Kenny of Entertainment Weekly said the film features “surprisingly convincing costumes and effects, inspired casting, and energetic direction, [but] what sinks it is its unfortunate adherence to the time-honored direct-to-video clichés: an unearned paycheck for a onetime A-picture star, and a tendency to fall back on lame humor whenever the going gets slow.”
David Johnson of DVD Verdict criticized the film’s “ham-fisted over-acting,” “ludicrous plot contrivances,” and “nauseatingly hokey soundtrack.” Johnson called the film “a big, dumb joke,” saying: “Despite some good creature effects, the movie crashed and burned and crashed again, weighted down by preposterous acting [and] corny music.”
Nathan Shumate of Cold Fusion Video Reviews criticized the film, in particular “the annoying demeanor and lack of personality” of lead actor Jack Armstrong, adding: “If there ever was a movie made for fan appreciation only, this is it, [...] but not everything can be blamed on audience unfamiliarity; there are plenty of elements in this movie that don’t work even by fanboy standards.”