‘Mad Tiger’ is Marvelous Portrait of a Punk Oddity

GameStop, Inc.


A man with wildly spiked, bright yellow hair sits down in a chair. His outfit and sunglasses matches his hair – unusual and yellow. He proclaims, “If you don’t know about Peelander-Z…I gonna kill you!” His name is Kengo Hioki, but he goes by the stage name of Peelander-Yellow. He’s the co-founder of Peelander-Z, a self-proclaimed “comic book ninja rock” band featuring all Japanese members based out of New York City. This cult band is the subject of the new documentary Mad Tiger from the directing duo of Jonathan Yi and Michael Haertlein. This crazed band mixes a raw and raucous sound of punk rock with strange theatrics inspired by Japanese pop culture; the band dresses in color coordinated schemes that don’t seem too far off from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. There’s Peelander-Red (Kotaro Tsukada), Peelander-Pink (Yumiko Hioki), Peelander-Purple (Akiteru Ito), and Peelander-Green (Akihiko Naruse). Mad Tiger isn’t merely a movie that serves to prop up the cult status of Peelander-Z, this is a remarkable film that explores the relationships behind the band during its most troubled times. Here we have a film that is funny, heartbreaking, and rockin’ all at once in what is surely to be a must-see documentary for a lover of rock ‘n’ roll.

The early parts of Mad Tiger document the history and performances of this madcap band. As someone with some familiarity with Japanese punk rock, my initial thoughts were about how I never heard of this band. Upon seeing footage of their live performances, I thought, “I have to see this band live.” There’s a sense of audience participation and showmanship to their stage show, with Peelander-Red doing all sorts of crazed acrobatics while other members of the band put on monster costumes and coach the audience on how to participate. Even though Mad Tiger doesn’t focus solely on their performances, it’s quite apparent that Peelander-Z is a band without many peers.

Yi and Haertlein find Peelander-Z in a moment of transition, as Peelander-Red is preparing to join the band for one final tour before leaving the band. Known mostly as Red, the musician must learn to become Kotaro once again. He has married his hairstylist and plans on opening his own venue and bar. However, Peelander-Yellow isn’t too pleased with this revelation. The two have bandmates for over 14 years, having built a bond that is entirely unique to them.

But Mad Tiger doesn’t dabble in hagiography. Despite the costumes and outlandish backstory involving coming from another planet, Peelander-Z is a band comprised of human beings with emotions and insecurities. Through all the wild music and showmanship, Yi and Haertlein find a deeply personal story about Yellow trying to live without Red as both a friend and a bandmate. Kengo sheds the layers of fantasy that have created Yellow and reveals a controlling and fragile man, scared that the changes in the band may very well leave him without the identity he’s created for himself. The film doesn’t hide the ugly side of Kengo either. He can be controlling and rude to his bandmates, desperate to control every minute aspect of their look, backstory, and how they conduct themselves. One particularly intimate moment has Red and Yellow in a hallway arguing over loose ends that Red used to handle. When the one-sided argument has ended, Yellow looks directly at the camera and asks that the footage not be used. For the good of the movie, the request was ignored.

Mad Tiger is an excellent documentary, one that works as a biography of its subjects but is willing to go far beyond the surface fascination and finding something strikingly human in its brazen showmen. Jonathan Yi and Michael Haertlein have crafted a magnificently shot documentary that is edited together with precision and care, leaving Mad Tiger an intoxicating mixture of audacious rock, humor, and tragedy. While Mad Tiger may not wind up with the largest distribution platform, the film will endure as a cult movie about a cult band, one that is essential viewing for fans of punk rock and oddball bands. Peelander-Z was never destined to be a household name, or even a band that receives regular airplay on the radio. They’re an oddity residing on the fringes of the scene. Thankfully, Mad Tiger is a film that encapsulates everything that makes their shows a can’t-miss spectacle and, more importantly, the humans behind the show.

Peelander-Z will play at The Frida Cinema on April 13th and Mad Tiger will play at the theater for one week starting on April 15th. Tickets are available at The Frida Cinema’s website. For more information about Mad Tiger visit the film’s official website.

  • Mad Tiger


Through examining the members of the cult band Peelander-Z, Mad Tiger powerfully documents a band in transition, finding the wounded humanity in the outlandish alter egos.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three’ – Leaves us Wanting More! – Spoiler Free Review

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three‘ is a...

‘Lumina’ is a Incredible First for Debuting Director, Gino McKoy – Review

‘Lumina‘ is an incredible concept and an exceptional first run for...

Aaron Augenblick Returns for Season 2 of ‘City Island’ on PBS KIDS – Interview

Acclaimed Animator, Aaron Augenblick Returns with a Second Season of ‘City...

Event News Event Reviews
The ‘California Dreams’ Band Reunite on The Sunset Strip For a Night of 90s Nostalgia – Concert Review

Don’t Wake Me Up if I’m Dreaming, The ‘California Dreams‘ Band...

Jay Anthony Franke Talks California Dreams Reunion Concert in LA – Interview

Jay Anthony Franke Talks About The ‘California Dreams‘ Reunion Concert in...

‘An Inspector Calls’ Challenges the Morals of the Bourgeois – Review

‘An Inspector Calls‘ Challenges the Morals and Ethics of the Bourgeois...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Derek Gumin Talks Planet 13 and UFC 303 Meet and Greets – Interview

Director of Wholesale Accounts at Planet 13, Derek Gumin spoke about...

Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the Cactus, Endgame


Fantoy Comics Presents: A 4th of July Message!

Seriously, America, THIS crap?!?!?

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse: Blood on the cactus pt 4 (?)

There are some weird guys here that want invest in a...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Billy Eddy Talks His new Book ‘Our New World of Adult Bullies’ – Interview

Lawyer, Mediator and Personality Expert Bill Eddy Provides a Six-Step Strategy...

Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...