Cyborg Image


By Alan Ng | August 23, 2021

In his sci-fi epic, Cyborg, writer/director Albert Pyun continues his tradition of indie world-building and places the prolific Jean-Claude van Damme in the middle of all the intrigue. The film takes place during a post-apocalyptic future after a plague has swept across the Earth. Survivors are left at the mercy of marauders and are left with the choice to either join the pack or be hunted, beheaded, and hung (yes, I know).

There is still hope for humanity. Sciences are working feverishly to find a cure for the plague at CDC headquarters in Atlanta. An essential piece of the research is now stored in the databanks of a cyborg named Pearl (Dayle Haddon). Pearl is on the run from the leader of the marauder, Fender (Vincent Klyn), who also murdered her companion, Marshall (Alex Daniel). When cornered, a mysterious stranger Gibson Rickenbacker (Jean-Claude van Damme), comes to her rescue, but to no avail. Pearl is captured by Fender and plans to use her to invade the CDC and steal the antidote…which he plans to use to seize power.

“Pearl is captured by Fender and plans to use her to invade the CDC and steal the antidote…”

Fret not…Gibson Rickenbacker has picked Fender as his target for kidnapping Pearl and the murder of Marshall Strat, but the tune of Gibson’s rage plays on from a gig in Gibson’s past. As Gibson pursues Fender, we go on tour of a dark, future America. Gibson is attacked by various gangs, bandits, and pirates. After one battle, Gibson meets Nady Simmons (Deborah Richter), the sister of a woman Gibson once loves before Fender tortured and murdered her and her children.

Like many of Pyun’s past films, he has a knack for world-building on a budget that Lucas and Speilberg would laugh at. Most of his films naturally occur in a world of decay, as much of Pyun’s lo-fi production design consists of rusted junk and graffiti-littered walls. Most of the weapons used in Cyborg consist of guns, knives, and other medieval weapons fashions from scrap metal found in the area. The costume also consists of mismatched outfits from the grimiest Goodwill one can find. It’s brilliantly cheap and simple and sets the right tone for his futuristic world.

Cyborg (1989)

Directed: Albert Pyun

Written: Albert Pyun, Daniel Hubbard-Smith

Starring: Jean Claude van Damme, Deborah Richter, Vincent Klyn, Dayle Haddon, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

Cyborg Image

"…each step on his journey features some terrifying encounter with either raiders or pirates."

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