Cyborg (1989)

Posted in Reviews by - January 12, 2014
Cyborg (1989)

In a post-apocalyptic New York, the world has been ravished by The Plague, populated by dry ice machines and so-called ‘pirates’, who dress like rejects from an 80s hair metal band, or something out of The Warriors. Their leader, Fender Tremolo (Klyn), communicates using mostly grunts, and quite likes the dystopian, primitive chaos of the future. He escorts a female cyborg on her way to meet some doctors in Atlanta to help cure the plague, hoping to steal the antidote, but marauding vigilante Gibson Rickenbacker (Van Damme) has other plans. Spending most of the film topless, Gibson is an emotionally-stunted monosyllabic street thug determined to avenge the death of his adoptive family. He kicks himself off a crucifix and ends up stripped to the waist (again) in the pouring rain for a final duel with the equally naked Fender in surely one of action cinema’s most homoerotic grappling scenes. Pyun can’t film a fight sequence (the editing is laboured with far too much slow motion) and Van Damme’s energies are wasted during the physical scenes. But for a cheap stab at conjuring a budget Terminator with an undercurrent of Mad Max hysteria, the film’s style and atmosphere is convincing enough, even if the cast are – as the title suggests – mostly robotic.

AKA: Cyborg 009

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