Monday, July 18, 2011

July 14 - American Cyborg: Steel Warrior (1993)

The cover of my VHS copy of American Cyborg: Steel Warrior

American Cyborg: Steel Warrior (1993)
Director: Boaz Davidson
Format: VHS (Cannon)

Just one of many in a long line of low budget early 90s scifi actioners directly inspired by Terminator 2: Judgement Day, this clumsily-titled flick is an above average effort, filmed in Tel Aviv, Israel by Palestinian director Boaz Davidson.

It's one of two scifi movies Davidson helmed in the space of three years, the other one being the Michael Pare vehicle Lunar Cop (which I've previously reviewed). This one is a major improvement over that - my major gripe with Lunar Cop was its unfuturistic future sets, but here the sets are dark and dirty as they should be in a post-apocalyptic tale.

The male lead, Joe Lara, is also a big improvement on Pare. Lara's not going to win any acting awards, but he's believable as a brooding action hero.

After derivative opening narration that fills us in about mankind going sterile and cyborgs now ruling the roost, we meet Mary (Nicole Hansen). She's humankind's last hope, a pregnant female (although her creepy-as-hell fetus is out of her body and riding around in a plastic jar). She needs to get to the port of the ravaged city to catch a ride to Europe, but out to stop her is a cyborg (John Saint Ryan, DELTA FORCE 3).

To Mary's rescue comes street warrior Austin (Lara, STEEL FRONTIER) and together they battle their way through the city to get to the port, encountering various cyberpunk-esque characters along the way and battling the chasing cyborg. Naturally they fall in love in the process and there's a nice plot twist towards the end.

The acting is good for a movie with such a low budget (and missing any big name actors) and, as I previously mentioned, the post-apocalyptic cityscape sets are nicely done. The fight scenes are good enough, mainly consisting of gunfights and martial arts. My only real gripe is that the cyborg could have been more menacing - he just plain sucks at shooting people only a few feet away and struggles to beat a puny guy like Austin in hand-to-hand combat. He does have a nice spin kick though, something Arnie never had.

There's no gore to speak of and the closest we get to T&A is Hansen showing off some decent cleavage and pouring water over herself. This movie rates low on the unintentional humour front and there's not much in the way of cheesiness. It's just a solid low budget scifi actioner which did enough to keep me interested from start to finish.

Previews on my VHS: Stalin, The Bodyguard, Unforgiven, To The Death, Tommyknockers

1 comment:

The Goodkind said...

I find American Cyborg incredibly entertaining primarily because of the evil Rob Halford cyborg and the plot's uncanny resemblance to Children of Men. Of course, that film came out a decade later, but the source novel was published a year or so before American Cyborg. This just makes me want to listen to Judas Priest.