In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb large ouygaatyh4jzithj6fi3uyf31ri

Wonder

You’ll shed a tear or two—especially if you’re a parent—and they’ll be totally earned.

Thumb mv5bztg3yteznjytzty2ns00yjnmltlhnjutzti2m2e5ndi4m2njxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymzi3mdezmzm . v1 sy1000 cr0 0 675 1000 al

Mudbound

The film invites us to observe its characters, to hear their inner voices, to see what they see and to challenge our own preconceived notions…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Chaz's Journal Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

Reviews

Cyborg

  |  

I am not sure I remember the opening words of "Cyborg" exactly, but I believe they were, "After the plague, things really got bad." I do remember laughing heartily at that point, about 30 seconds into the movie. Few genres amuse me more than post-apocalyptic fantasies about supermen fighting for survival. "Cyborg" is one of the funniest examples of this category, which crosses "Escape from New York" with "The Road Warrior" but cheats on the budget.

The movie takes place in a future world in which all civilization has been reduced to a few phony movie sets. Leather-clad neo-Nazis stalk through the ruins, beating each other senseless and talking in Pulpspeak, which is like English, but without the grace and modulation. It's cold in the future, and it's wet, but never so cold or wet that the costumes do not bare the arm muscles of the men and the heaving bosoms of the women.

Advertisement

The plot of "Cyborg" is simplicity itself. The movie's heroine (Dayle Haddon) is half-woman, half-robot, and wears a computer under her wig. Her knowledge may include the solution to the plague that threatens to destroy mankind, but first she must somehow return to headquarters in Atlanta. Her enemy, Fender Tremolo (Vincent Klyn), wants to destroy her because he believes that if anarchy is unleashed upon the world, he can rule it. The hero, Gibson Rickenbacker (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is on a mission to escort her safely to Atlanta.

(If you look at the names "Fender Tremolo" and "Gibson Rickenbacker" and wonder why they set off strange stirrings in your subconscious, it is because both characters, according to the movie's press book, "are named after equipment and techniques associated with electric guitars." This rule presumably also applies to the characters Furman Vox, Nady Simmons and Roland Pick.) Once we know the central players, the movie turns into a sadomasochistic passion play, in which the village tries out varieties of unspeakable tortures on the hero, including crucifixion, before the formula is (of course) delivered safely after all. The movie reduces itself to a series of smoking, smoldering cityscapes (which look a lot like urban neighborhoods slated for renewal), and the Pulpspeak is the usual combination of vaguely Biblical formalisms, spiced with four-letter words and high-tech gibberish.

Movies like this work if they're able to maintain a high level of energy and invention, as the Mad Max movies do. They do not work when they lower their guard and let us see the reality, which is that several strangely garbed actors feel vaguely embarrassed while wearing bizarre costumes and reciting unspeakable lines.

Popular Blog Posts

Why I Stopped Watching Woody Allen Movies

Stop watching movies made by assholes. It'll be OK.

“Call of Duty” and “Wolfenstein” Redefine the Modern WWII Game

A review of two of the biggest games of 2017, a pair that use World War II in very different ways.

Netflix's Marvel Spin-off "The Punisher" is a Lightweight

A review of Netflix's new Marvel series, "The Punisher."

The Messy Women of "Thor: Ragnarok"

Hela and Valkyrie are unusual for Marvel and blockbuster movies in general. Both are messy, complicated figures not n...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus