Action Movie Fanatix Review: Cyborg

Cyborg banner

He’s The First Hero Of The 21st Century… And He’s Our Only Hope.

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Deborah Richter, Vincent Klyn, Alex Daniels, Rolf Muller, Jackson “Rock” Pinckney, Dayle Haddon, Stefanos Miltsakakis

Director: Albert Pyun

1989  |  86 Minutes  |  Rated R

“I like the misery.” – Fender Tremolo

I don’t even know how many times I have watched Cyborg.  Far too many times to count.  Even after all those times I kept thinking that Van Damme was the cyborg.  For some reason it never clicked.

In the post-apocalyptic future, the world has been ravaged by a deadly plague.  Pearl Propher (Dayle Haddon) is a cyborg with the key to the cure for the plague.  Fender Tremolo (Vincent Klyn) and his fellow cannibalistic flesh pirates kidnap Pearl in hopes of using the cure to rule the world.  It’s up to the saber-wielding Gibson Rickenbacker (Jean-Claude Van Damme) to save her – and save what is left of civilization.

When the opening monologue starts, I instantly start smiling.  “Restore it?  Why?  I like the death.  I like the misery.  I like this world!”  I love it!  Pair that with the obviously painted backdrop of a post-apocalyptic New York City in the super specific time period of In The Future and you have the makings of a classic Cannon/Golan & Globus release.

This is early Van Damme so he wasn’t the actor that he is today (He’s actually gotten to be a legit actor – I’m not just being sarcastic) but we all know he brings it when it comes time to start kicking ass, especially when he gets the crazy eyes.

The action is bloody good fun with plenty of jumping spin kicks and brutality to quench your thirst for violence.  The choreography isn’t much to write home about but it all feels hard hitting and there’s lots of yelling throughout the fights to really drive the point home.  The final showdown between Gibson Rickenbacker and Fender Tremolo (WTF is with those names) is decently memorable even without crazy choreography, wirework or CGI.

Take note parents and future parents.  Quit naming your kids with stupid names.  The escalation is what leads us to names like Gibson Rickenbacker, Fender Tremolo or, God forbid, Katniss Everdeen.

Albert Pyun is a master of getting the most out of a meager budget.  The sets are varied and large enough to never make you feel like “gee, this seems cheep.”  The costumes are perfect post-apocalyptic attire, meaning layers of crappy worn out clothes and some medieval armor randomly thrown in.  I imagine a trip to the thrift store and the renaissance festival could have clothed the entire cast.

I know it’s bad but I can’t help having a great time watching Cyborg.  Low budgets and bad acting don’t seem to bother me when combined with this much kick ass action.

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