Of all the early Van Damme movies in which he played the main hero this has got to be the worst of ’em. Directed by notorious director Albert Pyun this movie is nothing more than a low budget cat and mouse game between “slinger” Gibson (Van Damme) and “pirate” Fender (Vincent Klyn) set in the near future after a plague wiped out most of humanity and the earth is a desolate wasteland. Cyborg tries to emulate “The Road warrior” in terms of set design, but ends up being more like “Surf Nazi’s Must Die“.
From the minute the movie opens it has a Troma feel over it. The sets all are extremely fake and contrived. To create a dystopian future the set-designer thought it was a good idea to throw a barrel on the ground and place a tire next to it in one scene. In what is supposed to pass as a city, there’s just junk everywhere. An alley is covered in nets. People have died, yet at some point somebody must have placed all those nets there. In a dystopian future where the majority of the population has been killed buildings and streets aren’t maintained and therefor covered in plants, stuff like signs get a more weathered look. Tires, barrels and nets don’t just randomly appear.
There is a sort of story here. A cyborg holds the cure of the plague. It’s captured by evil pirate Fender and his gang who have joy in plundering villages and killing people at random. Fender wears these big sunglasses, but always takes them off before killing somebody just so he can show his crystal blue eyes. Fender takes with a deep dark voice, and mostly says things like how he likes death, misery and the state the world is in today. Fender wants to take the cyborg to the location it actually wants to go itself, Atlanta, so he can control the cure and be a “God”. On his trail are Nady (Deborah Richter) and Gibson who also want to bring her to Atlanta. At least everybody in this movie wants to go the same direction.
Explained through many flashbacks Fender is responsible for killing Gibson’s lover and her son, while kidnapping her daughter. These flashbacks feature JC in a stupid wig and parts of them are repeated throughout the movie. As if we need to be reminded every five minutes how Fender and his gang killed them.
In the third act most movies feature the talking killer. This is the moment where the bad guy only has to pull the trigger to kill the good guy, but then, to elaborate on their supremacy, start giving away all their plans and give the good guy a chance to escape. Fender is the opposite of that: instead of monologuing in the final showdown he just screams “aaaaaaaarrrrrr” all the time. Nothing else. At one point I just joined in and started yelling “aaaaaaaarrrrrr” at the screen. I patted myself on the back when Fender and I screamed in perfect sync. Suddenly this movie became outright hilarious.
Cyborg is a really bad movie, one which clearly shows its budget restraints and feels like a cheap copy of the Mad Max movies. Which reminds me: why is it, that when the world is post-apocalytic men suddenly all become muscular and start wearing clothing you normally would only find in a gay leather shop?