SHG-Media has made a clear effort to improve the quality of their films in 2010. Their last couple of releases, while not perfect, have displayed significantly improved technical quality. Dark Robin vs. Freakmaster continues that trend with the best editing and fight choreography of any SHG produced film. While the company is to be applauded for that, this latest offering might surprise certain viewers expecting to see the usual conventions of a heroine peril film.
Dark Robin consists of several fighting scenes where the title character takes on her nemesis, The Freakmaster, in an underground fighting room. The entire film is basically a series of back-and-forth matches where both characters use a variety of fighting moves against one another. The choreography and editing of the fight scenes is, in my opinion, better than previous SHG films. I also really liked the scenario, with the attractive heroine forced to fight a tough opponent. For fans of evenly matched fighting, this might be an enjoyable film. It’s more along the lines of a fantasy mixed wrestling match than heroine peril film, and should please fans of that particular genre.
On the down side, there’s really no “peril” to speak of. The heroine is never completely at the mercy of the bad guy(s). The matches are for the most part even throughout. Sometimes Dark Robin has the upper hand, and sometimes she doesn’t. Personally, I’m a fan of having the heroine lose and then allowing the victims to have their way with her. She can come back in the end and destroy all of the bad guys afterwords, but the fun of the heroine peril genre, to me, is having the heroine in a helpless position for a good part of the film.
Dark Robin vs. Freakmaster doesn’t really offer that to the viewer. It’s not a traditional “heroine peril” film, and it doesn’t pretend to be. It’s a fantasy fighting film with pretty good editing and fight scenes. Because the film seems to be aimed at a different type of viewer than fans of heroine peril, it’s difficult to give a final grade. As a heroine peril film, it’s not very good, but that’s because it doesn’t aim to be peril. There’s no torture, no interrogation, no extended beatdown scenes, etc. As a fantasy fighting match, it’s good, but I don’t feel qualified to offer a judgment about it since that’s not necessarily my thing. So if evenly matched, male vs. female fantasy fighting is something you’re interested in, check out Dark Robin vs. Freakmaster and let me know what you think.