Sci-Fi December: Cyborg

Cyborg illustration by Jeff SchwartzbauerCyborg – 1989

Dir: Albert Pyun | Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Deborah Richter, Vincent Klyn

Year: Undisclosed post-apocalyptic future

Review: Bet you’re thinking some of those dudes above are cyborgs; they aren’t. Surely Jean-Claude Van Damme is a cyborg, right? Nope. Not a cyborg. The movie does contain a Cyborg but its extremely unimportant to any bit of plot that the character is a cyborg and may as well have been called “Woman”. The plot is that Van Damme is a “Slinger” a sort of mercenary / coyote in the plague ravaged east coast and he aids people moving from town to town. He literally stumbles upon a Cyborg which has the recipe to cure the plague, but she is being hunted by “Pirates” and she is trying to escape to Atlanta (note: they say Atlanta a comical number of times, maybe the most in film history) to deliver the cure. The pirates capture the cyborg and are going to deliver her in order to kill the scientist that needs the recipe. Van Damme is only interested in the pirates because their leader murdered his girlfriend and her siblings and he wants revenge, so he’s going to knife-boot kick his way down to Atlanta. As he goes he keeps catching up with the Pirates and getting in these stock Van Damme brawls which aren’t anything more exciting than you have seen from him before – every roundhouse kick is extremely telegraphed and the opponent is completely hypnotized with no way to defend and just takes boots to the jaw and then vice versa. The villain is extremely stupid and uninteresting and just flexes to a concerning degree during the final showdown between his full rotation baseball pitch punches that Van Damme has no way of dodging. The highlights are the wig Van Damme wears in flashbacks and when he proves he’s stronger than Jesus / Spartacus by heel kicking his way through the crucifix he is nailed to.

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