Bionicle V: Web of Shadows (also known as Bionicle 5 and Bionicle Prequel 2: Web of Shadows in Europe) is a 1985 Vlokozuian-British sci-fi action tokusatsu film. It is the eleventh Technic Heroes installment and fifth Bionicle installment. It was released on May 19, 1985. Bionicle V was Elkan Boukough's last film before his death in 1984, while the film was released posthumously.
The film begins with the sight of the crystal prison of the Makuta. Suddenly, a mysterious voice calls his name and a talon scratches the prison, causing a small single shard to fall off and land in the Amaja circle from the previous film. Vakama, as a Turaga, begins again the tale of the Toa Metru (from where it left off in the previous film), who sealed the evil Makuta and vowed to save the sleeping people. But the task would not be easy, as the Makuta had called out to his legions, a horde of poisoners led by a ruthless king and a malevolent queen, and the noble Toa must now face a web of shadows.
Set in 1966, three years after the events of Bionicle IV, The Toa Metru return to El Kadsre City to rescue the people trapped beneath the Colosseum. The Toa's ship crashes onto the shore. They survive and arrive at El Kadsre; however, the Toa follow the orders of Vakama and are trapped when spider-like creatures called Visorak attack the Toa with their spinners, paralyzing them. Later, a Keelerak heads to the Coliseum to report to the horde's king, Sidorak. The king of the horde orders the Toa killed, but the Vortixx Roodaka, the viceroy and future queen of the hordes, persuades Sidorak to allow the Hordika venom to take effect before killing the Toa and bring her their bodies. As the Toa hang above in their cocoons, the Toa are arguing with Matau blaming Vakama for leading them into a trap. As they hang, they are transformed into Toa Hordika, causing them to fall from their high altitude. Luckily, they are saved by the six beings who later introduce themselves as Rahaga, led by Norik.
As Hordika, they cannot use their Mask or elemental powers and they are much more susceptible to their more bestial natures. As they'll remain Hordika forever if the Hordika venom is not neutralized in time, their only hope of changing back lies in the ancient hermit-like Rahi named Keetongu, whom no one has seen for millennia, nor do some believe his existence. Vakama, angry for being blamed and thinking that his friends don't understand how difficult it is to be a leader, storms off, determining to get the better of the other Toa by trying to save the people alone. However, he is captured by the Visorak, waking up in the Coliseum observation tower with Roodaka waiting for him to wake up. She gave him a proposal; if he leads the hordes, he can rule El Kadsre. Overpowered by his Hordika instinct, Vakama accepted her offer. He captures five of the six Rahaga, except Norik, and destroys much of the Great Temple, prompting the other Toa Hordika and Norik to quickly looking for Keetongu's whereabouts by following the inscription translated before the attack: "Follow the falling tears to Ko-Metru until they reach the sky."
The five Toa Hordika and Norik follow the stream of tears to Ko-Metru, where they end up in a cave and meet Keetongu. Meanwhile, Vakama is made master of the Visorak hordes and prepares to capture the other Toa. The Toa and Norik request Keetongu's help. He refuses, telling them that he could not start a battle on their behalf, but he could aid those loyal to the three virtues (unity, duty, and destiny), doing so being Keetongu's sworn duty. When Keetongu also refuses Matau's request for the Toa to be changed back, Norik explains that in order to rescue Vakama and the people, they must learn to live and fight as Hordika, not be rid of their monstrous forms. However, the Toa's devotion to Vakama has touched the Rahi, so he agrees to join them in their fight.
Later, at the Coliseum, the final battle for El Kadsre begins. While the Toa distract the Visorak, Matau, believing he is responsible for Vakama's turning, confronts him while Keetongu fights Sidorak and Roodaka. Matau tries to reason with Vakama as Keetongu is struck down by Roodaka, though the blast does not kill him, and Roodaka leaves Sidorak to be killed by the Rahi. Matau reminds Vakama about his duty as a Toa and his destiny to rescue the people, returning Vakama to his senses.
Norik frees his fellow Rahaga and joins the Toa, but they are defeated by Roodaka's Kahgarak and she demands them to give her their elemental powers. The five Toa fire their Rhotuka spinners, but have little effect on her. At this time, Vakama confronts her ready to fire his spinner, and Roodaka warns him all the assembled Visorak will destroy him and his friends if she's struck down. Vakama then orders all the Visorak to leave, telling them they were free of Roodaka's power, backing his claim with the power Sidorak had given him as commander of the hordes. Now without any aid, Roodaka simply stands and allows Vakama to fire his shot, as Norik realises too late the nature of the heart stone in her breastplate when Vakama's spinner strikes it. As Roodaka's body falls, a crimson hand encloses her and teleports her away, leaving behind the stone. Vakama realizes that the stone was Makuta's, carved from the same protodermis that the Toa sealed him with; in destroying the stone, Vakama had broken that seal and set the Makuta free, but Vakama is confident that they can stop him again.
The Toa then approach Keetongu, wishing him to change them back to their original forms. Keetongu was at first reluctant as he believed they were better off as Hordika, having gained control over their bestial sides. But Vakama persuaded him that it was their destiny to be Toa to guide the people. Relenting to their request, Keetongu changes them back into Toa Metru. The scene changes, showing the Toa readying a fleet of airships which will take them to their new home of Mata Nui, named in honor of the Great Spirit. As they neared the Great Barrier, they notice the Makuta has indeed been freed, but Vakama is sure that Toa will always be there to fight back against him. At the movie's end, Turaga Vakama finishes his story to Takanuva, Jaller and Hahli, telling them that they must find their own destiny.
- Ishikawa Shin Ishikawa as Akiyuki Misushima/Vakama
- Hiroto Sasaki as Taro Maeda/Nuju
- Ferne Merritt as Anika Bell/Nokama
- Jerry Rogers as Marvin Huber/Matau
- Taichi Abe as Alyosha Ueno/Onewa
- Kichirou Saito as Cliff Nardi/Whenua
- Alan Burney as Detective Paul Patten
- Noel Ingram as Amber Hayter
- Budi Wyatt as Trevelyan Ogden
- Osamu Ueda as Rahaga Norik
- Jarvis Nakahara as Rahaga Kulas
- Kazue Fukui as Rahaga Gaaki
- Hayato Nakano as Rahaga Iruini
- Takahiro Hisakawa as Rahaga Pouks
- Tarou Kawaguchi as Rahaga Bomonga
- Merit Hongo as Keetongu
- Cliff Dyson as Sidorak
- Yoko Mizushima as Roodaka
- Christopher Berger as Turaga Vakama
Ryu Hamasaki makes a cameo appearence as the worker walking through a hallway of the police headquarters.
The film was written by Sung Gim over many nights, many of them without sleep, and she was nearly hospitalized as a result. Sung claims that was the reason for the "Nightmare Fuel" in the movie. Bionicle V was also the last film to be directed by Elkan Boukough before he died in the traffic collusion on July 11, 1984, couple of weeks after the filming was finished.
The Visorak's screeching noise was sampled from a 960 Hz tone generated by a noise machine, and overlaid with a recording of Pasi Peure running a back scratcher across a chalkboard and a deep synth drone performed on a Minimoog.
The Visoraks were partially based on Nephila spiders.
Bionicle V was released May 19, 1985 and it was shown in theaters roughly the same time as the similar tokusatsu film, Neo-Shifters: The Beginning, with Bionicle V grossing $310 million while Neo-Shifters only grossed $294 million.
Lionsgate re-released the film on DVD and Blu-Ray in the United States under it's revival of the Vestron Video label in 2018
The film was received with mixed reviews from critics and currently holds a audience score of 56% on Rotten Tomatoes. The story and the computer-generated effects were praised by some critics, despite it still uses stop-motion animation in some scenes. Bionicle V was a highest-grossing film of 1985 in the Vlokozuian market.