The Gratuitous B-Movie Column 12.9.13 Issue #285: Cyborg Cop (1993)
Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz on 12.09.2013
David Bradley December continues with a look at the 1993 sci-fi action flick Cyborg Cop directed by Sam Firstenberg plus a Big Question, a new batch of Things to Watch Out For This Week, a new B-Movie Babe and more!
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #285: Cyborg Cop (1993)
It's a David Bradley December: Week 2
Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has no clue where that block of wood came from, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number two hundred and eighty-five, It's a David Bradley December continues with a look at 1993's Cyborg Cop, directed by the incomparable Sam Firstenberg.
Cyborg Cop (1993)
The first time I saw Cyborg Cop (also known as Cyborg Soldier) was back in the early 1990's on HBO as part of the channel's old Thursday Night Prime series, which saw a new low budget genre movie debut every Thursday at 9pm (Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence was the first movie of the series). I didn't like it all that much then, although I'm not sure why (I can't remember what my problem with the movie was back then). However, my general appreciation for Cyborg Cop changed after seeing the sequel, Cyborg Cop II (I saw that movie on Cinemax), and now I consider Cyborg Cop one of the better low budget sci-fi action flicks on the mid-1990's. It's also one of Bradley's better performances.
Bradley stars as Jack Ryan, a badass DEA agent who is all about catching the bad guys, the rules be damned. His brother Phillip (Todd Jensen), who is also Jack's DEA partner, is a little less crazy, but he, too, wants to get the bad guys. As the movie starts, we see the Ryan brothers taking on a drugged out psycho who has kidnapped a hot babe for some reason. In the middle of a shootout with the druggie, Jack decides to load his pistol with "illegal" bullets that will take the bad guy out. Phillip warns Jack not to use them, that the bullets are only legal for SWAT teams, but because he doesn't give a flying hooey about the rules Jack uses the illegal bullets anyway and kills the bad guy dead. Unfortunately for Jack, the drugged out bad guy was the son of a rich guy, and because rich guys have all sorts of connections, Jack is destroyed in the local media and is forced to retire.
The story then shifts to a few months/a year later. Jack is unemployed, bitter, and trying to relax, while Phillip is still with the DEA and looking into adopting a kid (Frankie, as played by Steven Leader). Phillip asks Jack to watch Frankie as he goes on a special infiltration mission in the Caribbean. Jack agrees, but tells Phillip to watch his back (he doesn't trust the DEA anymore). So Phillip goes on his mission, and Jack watches Frankie and bangs some hot babe off screen (we see Jack in bed with the topless woman after waking up from a nightmare). The mission doesn't go well, as Phillip's DEA team is ambushed by heavily armed bad guys, as well as a cyborg that is essentially indestructible (Quincy, as played by Rufus Swart). Every member of Phillip's team is killed, and Phillip is captured and handed over to Kessel (the immortal John Rhys-Davies), a major drug runner who also dabbles in cybernetics research.
So then some stuff happens, Jack gets pissed when he finds out from his old DEA boss (Callan, as played by Ron Smerczak) that Phillip's mission went to shit and he's missing, and Jack decides to go to the Caribbean "on vacation" to find out what happened. As soon as he gets to the island in question (I don't remember the name of the island, if it was meant to be real or made up) Jack runs into Cathy (Alonna Shaw), a reporter for the newspaper that forced him to retire. As you'd expect, Jack isn't too keen on meeting a representative of the entity that ruined his life, but he doesn't want to spend too much time on hating her as he has to find Phillip. It doesn't take long for Jack's "vacation" to go from bad to worse as he is chased by the local authorities for drug smuggling, which is just bullshit. Jack ends up teaming up with Cathy, who is forced to tag along with Jack as she is robbed of her car and has no real local connections to work off of.
Now, while all of that is going on, Kessel has his team of doctors transform Phillip into a cyborg, as Kessel is looking into selling Quincy to a group of people who want to assassinate a president for some reason (the movie doesn't delve into the details of the president in question). Quincy is a deadly monster, destroying everything in his path and then some (we see him cut a guy's hand off with super sharp razorblade fingers, punch a hole through a guy's head, and destroy an armored car after being set on fire). Quincy will be easy to sell; as long as the group in question has the necessary funds to buy him (a Kessel cyborg assassin costs $25 million in cash). And while all of that is going on, Kessel wants his henchmen to find and capture Jack so he, too, can be transformed into a cyborg.
I don't want to say any more about the plot as there are a few twists towards the end that are worth being surprised by. Director Firstenberg, a veteran of working with low budgets and getting the most out of them, puts together some brilliantly ridiculous action scenes that bookend the movie (the ambush on Phillip's DEA team is insane). The one thing that surprised me about the movie was its general lack of fight scenes. Bradley engages in karate several times but, outside of Quincy, he isn't matched by anyone. You would think that Kessel would have had at least one karate master henchman on the payroll.
Bradley is excellent as Ryan. He's a natural as a "fuck the rules" DEA agent, although there are times where he seems a little too wacked out for his own good (I'm actually surprised that he wasn't fired earlier in his career). He also knows how to wear a fanny pack and make it look manly, something that's almost impossible to do.
John Rhys-Davies is hilarious as the villain Kessel. He's able to take a rather one note bad guy role and turn it into a tour-de-force performance. Alonna Shaw is okay as Cathy the reporter. She's kind of annoying at times, but then she's willing to get naked at the drop of a hat for no reason other than it seemed right at the time, and in these kinds of movies that's always a plus.
Ron Smerczak is a supreme douchebag as Callan the DEA prick. He's such a piece of garbage he could have easily taken the Kessel role of Rhys-Davies had to back out for some reason. And Todd Jensen does an admirable job as Phillip. He's a little dreary as a full on human, but his performance picks up after he's transformed into a killer cyborg.
And Rufus Swart, who sort of looks like a young Larry Drake's stunt double, is great as Quincy the cyborg. According to imdb this is Swart's last movie performance, which is a shame as he could have had a lucrative career in movies like this one playing the bad guy. He's scary as hell.
Cyborg Cop is a low budget sci-fi action flick worth tracking down. It's got great action scenes, mostly great performances, and the kind of attitude that more modern low budget sci-fi action flicks should try to emulate. It's ridiculous, it's fun, and it's generally awesome.
See Cyborg Cop as soon as you can. See it, see it, see it.
So what do we have here?
Dead bodies: 30+
Explosions: Both big ones and small ones.
Nudity?: Yes, and it is glorious.
Doobage: A warehouse shootout, illegal bullets to the chest, a newspaper headline montage, billiards, attempted helicopter assault, knife sharpening, inflatable boat hooey, a fake looking jungle, an RC drone plane, wire fence cutting, exploding drone, exploding DEA agent, multiple explosions, a massive shootout, throat slitting, multiple grenade attacks, multiple people falling off a roof in slow motion, exploding water tank, multiple nifty "man-on-fire" gags, an up close handgun blast to the eye, a razor hand, bloody hand removal, a very low budget lab, a scientific calculator, laser arm removal, a robotic arm, a douchebag old boss, a pool hall karate meltdown, a robotic arm that operates a phone, car theft, a hot chick changing her clothes in the back of a pickup truck, a car chase, multiple wild flips with one explosion, a cyborg demonstration, armored limo destruction, car lifting, a cyborg punching a hole through a guy's head, floppy tits, banana eating, attempted making out, off screen face removals, a hilarious discussion about dicks, wang fondling, a karate street brawl, head smashed through a car window, a sex scene with boob kissing, face slapping, multiple moments of reggae, a street fire, machine gun attack, a mutilated face, acid attack, attempted strangulation, multiple headbutts, cyborg face destruction, attempted electrocution, a five fingerprint briefcase lock, multiple homemade bombs, hand crushing, a vicious neck snap, shotgun hooey, multiple stunt performers wearing what appears to be gold face paint, dirt bike hooey, a bad motorcycle stunt double, a broken chandelier, attempted helicopter escape, exploding helicopter, face slashing, a suplex, a great bullet to the head, decapitation via dirt bike wheel, and a "family" ending.
Kim Richards?: None.
Gratuitous: David Bradley, news media criticism, billiards, an RC plane drone, John Rhys-Davies, multiple instances of cyborg violence, a very low budget lab, laser arm removal, David Bradley extremely pissed off, a robotic arm that hands up the phone, a car chase with multiple wild flips and one explosion, a cyborg demonstration, a cyborg punches a hole through a guy's head, floppy tits, local reggae music, wang touching, a karate street brawl, boob kissing, a five finger briefcase lock, hand crushing, shotgun hooey, stunt performers who look like they're wearing gold face paint, a bad motorcycle stunt double, exploding helicopter, a suplex, a great bullet to the head, and decapitation via dirt bike wheel.
Best lines: "I've got a body shot!," "You really like that junk, don't ya?," "That place is about as stable as a two-legged milk stool!," "Oh, this is the bit I like," "Now, I need a survivor," "The sonofabitch has a vest on!," "Where's my brother?," "Jesus, Phillip, you better be okay you sonofabitch!," "Equipment is replaceable!," "You are a psycho!," "You sonofabitch! You can't do that! This is a press pass!," "I will kill at your command," "You again? What, are you following me?," "Just my fucking luck," "Johnson? He's a big lad, isn't he?," "You have disgusting habits," "Okay, I'll go see Mr. Kessel," "Try me you motherfucker!," "I just had that wall painted!," "He's not a chimp! He's a man!," "You have perfected the art of bullshit, Kessel," "No, Phillip, shake Captain Callan's hand," "Come on, don't stand there, Phillip. Let's take this dickhead out," and "For a great mind you sure are a big sucker."
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Facebook Page!
Please check out The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page, which can be seen here. There's not much there at the moment, but, as time goes by, expect to see daily questions and musings and other B-movie hooey. And it would be cool if you "liked" it, too.
And please check out my interview with director Brett A. Hart about the Ain't It Cool internet show and more!
And now, Dr. Phil
"Never deliberately fuck a bitch that has banana titties. You should always try to find a bitch that has big round ones, or medium sized round ones. Banana titties are okay in a pinch, but if you have a choice, always go for the round ones. Banana titties have a tendency to be less firm, and that's just not right. Titties need to be firm. And big. I mean, think about it, you don't see bra companies advertising bras that make a bitch's tits longer. Bra companies make bras that make titties look bigger. That's what matters most. Big tits."
Interesting, Dr. Phil. But what happens if you meet a chick...
"You mean a bitch, right?"
Ugh, sure. A "bitch." So what if you're doing her and, as she takes off her bra so you can get at them, it turns out her big, round titties are actually banana titties pushed up and in disguise?
"Well, by that point it's too late to turn back. And, as I said, if you're desperate and the bitch in question is the only bitch around, it doesn't really matter anyway. The banana titties, no matter how they're revealed, will just have to do."
Okay. Thanks for the advice. No one asked for it, but, I guess, what the heck? Thanks anyway.
"You're welcome motherfucker. Now, when it comes to small titties, like basically a big nipple but no mound, you should just kick that bitch out of bed and tell her to go dyke. Unless she has a nice ass. Then you should fuck her in that ass and then tell her to go dyke."
Jesus Christ, Phil, what the hell is wrong with you?
"What? What did I say?"
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Theme of the Week
Things to Watch Out For This Week
- Man of Tai Chi: You would think that a kung fu action flick directed by and starring Keanu Reeves would have received a wider release than it did, but then if it was up to me all kinds of low budget action flicks would be getting wide theatrical releases. I've heard some good things about Man of Tai Chi, so what the heck? I'll hopefully get a chance to see it soon.
- Zombie Night: John Gulager directed this zombie TV movie, which features Anthony Michael Hall and Daryl Hannah, so it's worth at least a rental. I think it looks pretty decent, but then plenty of zombie movies look decent in the trailer and then turn out to be excruciating bores (Zombie Hunter I'm looking right at you). I'm pulling for Zombie Night, though. I want it to succeed.
- The Seasoning House: This thriller looks amazing, and everything I've heard about it has been great. It deals with a rough subject (prostitution and human trafficking), but that shouldn't stop you from checking it out. Am I the only one, though, that thinks the DVD cover makes it look like a low budget ghost movie?
- Steal: This low budget action flick from 2002 stars Stephen Dorff and Natasha Henstridge and is getting the low cost DVD treatment, which is pretty cool. I would like to know why, though, this is getting a release now. Wasn't it already released once before?
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Babe of the Week: Amy Smart
The Big Question: Whatever happened to the The Transporter TV series?
Back when Cinemax said it was going to produce its own TV series, a TV adaptation of the Jason Statham action movie franchise The Transporter was among the shows the premium cable channel had planned on making and airing. 12 episodes of the show were produced according to imdb.com and wikipedia, and the show, starring Chris Vance in the Frank Martin role originated by Statham, has already aired all over the world, except in the United States. What the heck is the hold up? Does Cinemax plan on airing the show at all?
I was actually kind of looking forward to this show. I'm a big fan of the movie franchise, and eventhough Statham wasn't set to reprise the Martin role, I was interested to see what Vance could do with the character. Plus, I wanted to see how the show adapted the badass action scenes and brutal martial arts fights that made up the movies. Would we get something cool or supremely cheap looking?
So, again, what the heck happened here? Will America ever get to see The Transporter TV show? And for those of you who have seen it, how is it? Is it worth checking out and pining for?
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week
This week, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week goes to MSNBC, for essentially firing Martin Bashir. I know that Bashir "technically" resigned, but let's face it, Bashir was fired. And what exactly was he fired for? For saying something derogatory about "governor quitter" Sarah Palin. "But what Bashir said was sexually graphic and misogynistic!" Shouldn't that kind of thing matter, especially when the public political discourse is so negative?
No, it shouldn't matter at all. And why? Because this isn't a game where both sides are playing by the same rules. Right wing talkers have been making derogatory remarks about progressive women for decades now and none of them have ever lost a job because of it (or, if they have, they didn't lose their job for long). And if Hillary Clinton decides to run for President in 2016 the commentary will be relentless, and yet somehow it will be okay because, hey, this is America, Jack.
I'm also incredibly tired of progressive media people who absolutely refuse to support fellow progressive media people. You often wonder why the left, even when it's in power, never gets anything accomplished and ends up sucking right wing ass, and the fucking answer is right in front of you. The other side isn't going to suddenly come to the conclusion that it's wrong, that it should stop being so crude and rude and awful, and that maybe we should all work together. You are the enemy. Period.
Please, for the love of Christ, wake the fuck up.
And then there's Fox News host Megyn Kelly, for putting J. Christian Adams on her show and claiming he's some sort of "Washington whistleblower" when, in fact, Adams is a race baiting liar. As the fine folks at Media Matters document, Adams was the one behind the false "President Obama is protecting the New Black Panthers from prosecution for intimidating white voters" story, something that should disqualify him from any further TV "expert" appearances. And yet there he was on Friday night, talking about how the President has hired "open border radicals" as immigration enforcement lawyers without any real evidence to back it up.
How much do you want to bet, even after yet another public dismantling, Adams will be back on Kelly's show again?
How is Kelly allowed to continue the lie that she's non-political?
And finally there's Douchebag Hall of Famer Ted Nugent, for proposing that the "gun show loophole" can be closed only if people who don't pay federal income taxes are banned from voting. Of course, to Ted the people he's referring to are poor people (or, if you will, minorities, but he won't come out and say that because then the cat would be totally out of the bag). Why is the solution to almost every problem from the ultra right wing lunatic side? Why do they hate democracy so much? And poor people?
And how many white Ted supporters living off of public assistance do you think read his World Net Daily column, agreed with it, and then realized that he was talking about them, sort of, too? Do you think, after that realization, they just cranked up "Cat Scratch Fever" and started fondling their bows?
I'll say it was like half. I'll be generous.
NASCAR and Indycar thoughts
The NASCAR Sprint Cup banquet was last Friday. I didn't watch it live (I actually forgot it was on), but I did watch about an hour of it during a replay on Fox Sports 2. Everyone seems to be flipping out about a joke host Jay Mohr made about Danica Patrick. The joke was at her expense, sure, but what he said wasn't inaccurate. Patrick didn't have a good year and ran towards the back for most of the year. The thing that annoyed me is how generally scripted the whole thing appeared. Why is NASCAR trying to turn its year end awards show into the Oscars? The show would come off better on TV if it was portrayed as a party instead of a lame, solemn affair. Make it fun, people. Make want to watch.
I was also shocked that Matt Kenseth, in his second place acceptance speech, didn't thank Jesus. Kyle Busch sort of thanked Jesus, although it came out awkwardly (something about God bless or something like that).
NASCAR also announced last week that it was changing the eligibility requirements for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. You can read all about the rule changes here. I seriously doubt that these changes are going to alter the racing public's interest in heading to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, but then I doubt anything could.
Over in Indycar, Chip Ganassi's team is expected to make an official announcement for Dario Franchitti's replacement in the #10 car this week. Ryan Briscoe and Alex Tagliani are apparently still the front runners for the seat, which is surprising to me because I thought all that talk about unemployed Formula 1 drivers looking at Indycar as an option was going somewhere. I mean, you would think that Indycar itself would encourage Ganassi to go after an F1 guy to make any kind of international expansion a little easier. If Briscoe and Tagliani are the real front runners, though, I would probably go with Briscoe since he has a better winning percentage than Tagliani, but then Tagliani knows how to go fast at Indy and I'm sure sponsor Target would love to have another Indy 500 win. I guess we'll see Ganassi's pick soon enough.
Indycar also announced its TV schedule for 2014, and the biggest change is with Indy 500 qualifying as it will air on network TV for the first time in many years. ABC will have both Saturday and Sunday qualifying, although it looks like we're only going to get a few hours of coverage each day instead of all day coverage like in years past. I think that sucks. Part of the fun on Indy is watching damn near everyone who wants to try to qualify make an attempt. We're not going to get to see that if we're only going to see a few hours each day.
I mean, sure, getting on network TV brings in the potential for more viewers, but what happens to those teams with one-off sponsorships who are now not going to get any TV coverage while qualifying? Maybe ESPN will agree to air qualifying during the time ABC doesn't want it? That's my hope.
Well, I think that'll be about it for this issue. B-movies rule, always remember that.
If there's anything you want to see reviewed here in this column, feel free to offer a comment below or send me an e-mail. I'm always on the lookout for new stuff to watch.
And don't forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.
David Bradley- Jack Ryan John Rhys-Davies- Kessel Todd Jensen- Phillip Alonna Shaw- Cathy Ron Smerczak- Callan Rufus Swart- Quincy the Cyborg Anthony Fridjohn- Hogan Steven Leader- Frankie Robert Reynolds- Johnson
Directed by Sam Firstenberg Screenplay by Greg Latter and Glenn A. Bruce
Distributed by Vidmark Entertainment and Image Entertainment
Rated R for graphic violence, language, and nudity Runtime- 95 minutes