I first saw this movie in the dollar theater with my son’s mother. It was over a year after my son was born (we’d given him up for adoption because we were kids) & almost a year since her family had moved to another city. She was in town for a couple days visiting her grandmother & it happened to be near the theater & I walked the three miles to meet her for the movie. I was 14 & the post-apocalyptic nihilistic savior vibe of the movie was great. It was the last time I’d ever see the girl. She lived an hour away & writing letters for over a year just wasn’t a sustainable relationship for two high school kids not old enough to drive. I like to think it was her that stopped writing first, but to be honest I can’t remember.
So this movie came back on my radar because I was hanging out with my son before he was moving across the country to go to graduate school & the house we were hanging out at had a collection of B movies including Cyborg & I pointed it out to him & told him his mom liked the movie. Then almost a year passed & he came back to town for spring break & we played a house show together at that same house & there was the movie still sitting on the shelf. So I felt compelled to re-watch it.
There’s a couple of odd things about this movie. It’s called Cyborg, but the cyborg in it really doesn’t have to be a cyborg for any reason – though I guess if you titled the movie Genetic Scientist Trying to Get to Atlanta it doesn’t sound as cool – & isn’t even really a main character. According to Wikipedia this movie was made in an attempt to recoup costs from two cancelled movies, so I’d guess the cyborg prop that appears in one scene was probably something they had lying around. Most of the characters in here are named after musical instrument companies for some reason (Gibson Rickenbacker, Nady Simmons).
Now I know this movie isn’t good in the same way as Alien or Blade Runner, but it is good in the same way as Return of the Living Dead Part 3 or Soldier. It stars Jean-Claude Van Damme & it’s directed by the guy who did the Masters of the Universe movie. Well, here’s a confession, I like the Masters of the Universe movie. I also like this movie. It doesn’t have incredible style or great production values or anything. But the character Van Damme plays is a little more sophisticated than being a simple bad ass, somewhat reminiscent of Mad Max in the original Mad Max. Also like Mad Max or Soldier it’s more of a post-apocalyptic western than a sci-fi action flick. Somewhere between Shane & The Terminator I guess. I spent a good portion of my life the twenty years between my viewings of this movie trying to like arty movies & re-watching this lets me know me liking something has nothing to do with technical merit & what I want is something that is just competent & satisfied with what it is. Probably because that’s what I’m seeking for myself, to be competent & satisfied with my lot in life.