Cyberpunk Review » Cyborg

March 7, 2006


Year: 1989

Directed by: Albert Pyun

Written by: Kitty Chalmers

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Low

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Low

Key Cast Members:

  • Gibson Rickenbacker: Jean-Claude Van Damme
  • Nady Simmons: Deborah Richter
  • Fender Tremolo: Vincent Klyn
  • Pearl Prophet: Dayle Haddon
  • Rating: 4 out of 10



    Overview: OK, so you have Jean-Claude Van Damme – a guy that can’t show any emotions other than staring intensely or screaming anger – but at least he’s an awesome fighter. So all you have to do is provide a simple, semi-coherent story that allows the guy to show his two emotions and then spend the rest of the movie kicking ass. Simple, right? Unfortunately, Pyun’s Cyborg fails miserably in the story department. From beginning to end, the rationale for key events are completely non-sensical, which leaves us a steaming pile of crap with pretty good fight scenes.




    The Story: In a bizarre dystopic future that has ultimate anarchy next to people apparently trying to build little houses on the prairie, a modern version of the plague has devastated an already crippled society. But a cure has been found. And for some reason, these people in one location need to get the cure from another location before it can be used. So…the answer to make this happen is to take one of their hot chick key engineers named Pearl Prophet(played by Dayle Hadden) and TURN HER INTO A CYBORG!!! Why the fuck do they turn her into a cyborg in order to play courier, you ask? Does this make her impervious to attacks? No…in fact, she’s completely worthless as far as combat is concerned. In fact, absolutely NO reason is given for this transformation. We are left to assume that somehow, hard drives only work in the future if they are embedded in people’s bodies (there is a focus on her cybernetic eyes, so perhaps they want us to believe that optical cameras only work in the future if embedded in cyborg eyes). Nor do we find out why the cure will be lost if this cyborg chick dies (gee – if this is a Johnny Mnemonic type thing, can’t they just upload it in chick #2?). In any event, her guardian is killed by the “flesh pirates” and now she needs another body guard. It just turns out that Jean-Claude Van Damme, hero extraordinaire’s one happy family moment was crushed by the flesh pirates, so he’s more than happy to go to the rescue. And for some reason, he’s taken a straggler, Deborah Richter, for the ride.




    The rest of the movie is a tracking/confrontation movie where Van Damme tracks down Vincent Klyn, leader of the flesh pirates and engages them in fight after fight. Not surprisingly, Van Damme initially gets his ass beat a few times before we get to the predictable ending. In keeping with the whole incoherence theme, in one scene Van Damme is crucified on a ship’s mast (with nails through the hands – the whole bit), but is fully healed by the next evening’s final showdown. Even worse, we find out from Pearl Prophet, the cyborg chick, that her homies back at the fort can kill the pirates anyways, so we are left wondering why Van Damme even bothers.




    The Bottom Line: The whole goal of the movie was to get Van Damme going at it with buff surfer Vincent Klyn. Why they even bothered to add a cyborg to this is beyond me, as it simply doesn’t fit with the story. Who knows, maybe this was the only thing they had available in their limited FX bag. Well, cool, why not spend the 20 minutes it takes to actually write a rationale for the cyborg’s inclusion? In short, this film was never going to be great, but with a little amount of coherence, it could have been decent. I do give one star extra for the fight scenes, which gives Cyborg 4 stars.


    ~See movies similar to this one~

    This post has been filed under Dystopic Future Movies, Man-machine Interface, 4 Star Movies, B Cyberpunk Cinema, Cyberpunk movies from 1980-1989 by SFAM.


    February 16, 2007


    although critics didn’t liked “CYBORG”, the latter still featured good cinematography, costumes, hand-to-hand combat scenes were beautifully choreographed.

    Com Wedge said:

    Is the reason they call him Van Damme because everytime he makes a movie we have to curse for spending our money on it?


    SFAM said:

    Hi Carlos, other than the fight scenes, I saw little to watch, but I do agree with you about those. And yeah, Com Wedge, not all of his movies are worth the dough in retrospect. But some are probably funner than they should be.

    March 19, 2007

    A.J said:

    i agree with both com wedge and carlos. why was van damme even in thise movie also whats up with the cyborg part why was that even in there this movie was messed up big time.

    March 20, 2007

    SFAM said:

    I agree, A.J. The Cyborg aspect was pretty incidental here.

    March 30, 2007

    David said:

    Odd 80s movie… anyone who’s seen and liked Jean Claude’s other movies though should like this, that is if you don’t mind seeing the guy get beaten like dog and then cruified in the desert.

    July 5, 2007

    Dawid Michalczyk said:

    What I really like about Cyborg are the visuals, and the dark future, post apocalyptic atmosphere. And then you have the lone hero who knows how to kick ass without looking cheese. Though the visuals may seem simple and unimpressive, they are actually realistic and a great match for such a movie. The costumes, original soundtrack, and especially the settings in abandoned structures and out in the middle of nowhere places makes this movie so full of atmosphere. One of Van Damme’s most memorable movies IMO.

    July 29, 2007

    GAROU said:

    This is my favourite Movie. Only best Entertainemt!
    Rating: 10 out of 10

    Many Greetings


    July 30, 2007

    ArmorcastMatt said:

    Has anyone else ever noticed the weird guitar names in this movie? Many of the main characters are named after brands or models of guitars Gibson Rickenbacker, Fender Tremolo, Marshall Strat, etc.
    I loved this movie when I was a kid. 4 stars seems more than fare though.

    October 4, 2007

    emanuel said:

    bueno la pelicula esta muy buena cyborg me encanto espero q el capo de van damme siga haci soy fanatico de el y de todas sus peliculas lo sigo desde q soy chico y practico las artes marciales q hace el el mua thay y el kicboxer bueno les dejo mi mail un beso EMANUEL APOLINARI…

    March 10, 2008

    Bruno Valente said:

    hello, please can u tell me where that part of the sewer and the factory, was filmed, in real life, what´s the name of that spot.
    i´m sorry i´m portuguese i can´t speak english very well
    please response to my email

    charly said:

    hola amigo vandamme yo me charli lei para todos los atores de mundo entero

    May 29, 2008

    Anonymous said:

    This movie fucking rules I highly recommend it!

    June 5, 2008

    mateja said:

    tung ju pershendes mateja edhe se di kuna po i shkruj valla po gjithashtu ju pershendes

    June 23, 2008

    smiley said:

    well,it was the nicest action movie that i have ever seen.see you.smiley.

    September 7, 2008

    sorgweilo said:

    i saw that movie just yeterday.
    I agree with most of u: it was a movie without sence, the Cyborg was useless…
    Why a Cyborg fainting for minutes after falling down the ground?
    And why a Cyborg need a Bodyguard??? no Sence!
    One should think a Cyborg is more powerfull…

    Only thing worth watching was the cute actor Deborah Richter…
    but Van Damme not even dared to screw her whe she put her clothes off :P

    She was a real stunning female… 20 yrs back :)

    anyways, wish i could find more pics of her…

    Gigabyte Eschaton said:

    The title is a misnomer. The “cyborg” in the movie was simply a mnemonic carrier, nothing more than a walking harddrive.

    October 4, 2008

    Vincent klyn said:

    best movie ever made

    November 26, 2008

    David Guzzi said:

    I agree vince!

    December 7, 2008

    Katalyst said:

    All i got out of this movie was Heeeaaaaa!!!! AAAAAAAAaggghhhh!! GGGGiiidddaaaawww!!!! AAAAiiiiiieeeeeaaaaawwwww!!!! Oof!
    Terrible movie

    March 31, 2009

    Mr. Pickles said:

    i never seen this movie but is it cool.

    Mr. Pickles said:

    katalyst is the movie ugly if it i wont watch it. (im scared)

    July 31, 2009

    Xeran said:

    Can’t wait for the day of robot cyborg girls to come true for more robot girls.

    September 10, 2009

    Narek Avetisyan said:

    Vince Klyn should have played in many other action films as a leading role.

    October 5, 2009

    ROBOCOP CAIN said:

    oh no

    December 26, 2010

    deadmovie said:

    The Cyborg is most overrated movie, it has a excellent locations and atmosphere I don;t know why you people bash it so hard. You can follow on my blog about this movie:
    I described my opinion about Cyborg

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