Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
Within the first four mintues of "Infra-Man," (a) a giant flying lizard attacks a school bus, (b) the Earth cracks open, (c) Hong Kong is destroyed by flames, (d) mountains disintegrate to reveal the forms of reptilian monsters with blinking yellow eyes, (e) the Professor announces that a twenty-million-year-old woman is unleashing the hibernating monsters upon civilization, (f) the Science Headquarters is shaken by a second quake, (g) the Mutants awake, and (h) the Professor, obviously shaken, informs a secret meeting of world leaders, "This situation is so bad that it is the worst that ever has been!"
No doubt about it: This is a case for Infra-Man. In his secret laboratory far beneath the Science Headquarters, the Professor explains to a brave volunteer: "We will wire your arms and legs with powerful transistors and death rays. You will be powered by a tiny nuclear reactor. Unfortunately, the operation will be very painful and you may die."
And so we're off and running, in the best movie of its kind since Invasion of the Bee Girls. I'm a pushover for monster movies anyway, but Infra-Man has it all: Horrendous octopus men, a gigantic beetle man with three eyes who sprays his victims with sticky cocoons, savage robots with coiled spring necks that can extend ten feet, a venomous little critter that looks like a hairy mutant footstool, elaborately staged karate fights, underground throne rooms, damsels in distress, exploding volcanoes, and a whip-cracking villainess named Princess Dragon Mom (Philip Wylie, please note).
The movie's totally, almost joyfully absurd, and a victim of John Carter's Syndrome. You remember J.C.S., based on the logical oversight in Edgar Rice Burrough's books about John Carter of Mars. After whole chapters of galloping across the Martian desert on his Martian steed and fighting off enemies in sword fights, John Carter finally says to hell with it, pulls out a ray gun, and fries everybody.