The Gratuitous B-Movie Column 12.16.13: Issue #286: Cyborg Cop II (1994)
Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz on 12.16.2013
A look at 1994’s Cyborg Cop II, plus two new batches of Things to Watch Out For This Week, a new B-Movie Babe is named, a new Douchebag of the Week is crowned and more!
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #286: Cyborg Cop II (1994)
It's a David Bradley December: Week 3
Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that thinks the idea of ham flavored candy canes is absolutely disgusting, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number two hundred and eighty-six, It's a David Bradley December continues with a look at the sequel to Cyborg Cop, Cyborg Cop II, which was directed by the great Sam Firstenberg and came out in 1994.
Cyborg Cop II (1994)
Cyborg Cop II, also known as Cyborg Soldier, is one of the weirder sci-fi action flicks out there. It's weird because it really isn't sci-fi action flick, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, Cyborg Cop II is more like a straight up action movie with some cyborgs in it. Unlike the first movie, there's very little sci-fi hooey in part 2. It's mostly endless action scenes, explosions, and brutal fights. And while that's cool and all, I was kind of hoping for a little more sci-fi stuff to be in the mix.
Bradley is back as Jack Ryan, a badass DEA agent who plays by his own rules. After watching his partner Mike (Hector Rabotabi) shot dead during a drug raid by the evil drug gang leader Starkraven (Morgan Hunter), Ryan flips out and beats Starkraven to within an inch of his life. However, instead of wasting the punk Starkraven, Ryan arrests the gang leader and makes sure he stands trial. Starkraven is eventually convicted and sentenced to death, which is just fine with Ryan as, in his mind, it's a proper ending to Starkraven's worthless life. But then, for reasons that are never really explained, Starkraven is snatched by a secret government agency known as the ATG (Anti-Terrorist Group) and transformed into a cyborg known as Spartacus.
Now, as Starkraven is being transformed, Ryan finds out that the man he put on death row is no longer in prison and demands answers. How the hell does a prisoner on death row simply disappear? After some badass investigating (riding around on his motorcycle, beating the crap out of people), Ryan finds out about the ATG and, once again, demands answers. Ryan's boss, Captain Salerno (Dale Cutts), has no idea what the ATG is, but he's worried that Ryan is going to go too far and cause some kind of major incident.
So then some stuff happens, Starkraven turns on his scientist creators, kills all of them, and then escapes the cyborg lab (it sort of looks like a reworked version of the lab in the first movie). Along with other cyborgs created in the same lab, Starkraven tries to create a cyborg oasis where they will no longer answer to humans. Of course, since the psycho wasn't removed from Starkraven's brain during the cyborg transformation process, creating a cyborg oasis will involve killing people at will, destroying massive amounts of property, and plenty of speeches about how cyborgs are superior to humans.
And while all of that is going on, Liz McDowell (Jill Pierce), an AGT agent, tries to track down and capture the escaped cyborgs. McDowell runs into Ryan several times, and with Ryan being Ryan, he isn't impressed by her at all. He wants to bang her, sure, but he isn't impressed with her job or her alleged authority. Ryan knows, though, that he's going to need McDowell and the resources at her disposal to find Starkraven and put an end to him once and for all.
The movie starts to peter out story wise once the ATG people show up, although director Firstenberg ramps up the ridiculous action and blows a bunch of stuff up to sort of compensate for it. I wish I knew why the ATG wanted to use death row inmates for cyborg reassignment. I mean, using death row inmates makes sense if all you're going to do is experiment on people, but the ATG plans on using Starkraven/Spartacus as an actual weapon to fight terrorists. Why didn't the scientists know that their plan was fraught with major peril, especially if they didn't plan on blanking the brains of the death row inmates? Were the scientists so enamored with the idea of creating human-robot slaves that they couldn't see beyond that? I'd also like to know if the ATG came about before Kessel's cyborg assassin plan from the first movie, or if it was conceived at roughly the same time. I almost want to believe that ATG, after the events of the first movie, found all of Kessel's plans and blueprints and programs and whatnot and just duplicated them. That would explain how the ATG lab looks similar to Kessel's lab from the first movie.
I'm also confused about Ryan's apparent reinstatement into the DEA. For one, why would he want to go back to work for the government agency, the entity that refused to defend him after the "bad shoot" at the beginning of the first movie? And why is Ryan allowed to ride around on a motorcycle like some scumbum cop from a buddy cop movie? Even if the DEA really wanted him back on the job and apologized for its deplorable behavior against him, would the DEA really allow him to wear whatever the hell he wants? I just find that hard to believe.
And why does it seem as though the DEA isn't a part of the federal government? I really thought that Ryan was just a cop at the beginning of the movie and not a government agent.
I liked the whole "cyborgs that want to take over the world" idea, but it doesn't really work as well as it could because of the movie's low budget. One part of Starkraven's ultimate plan is to transform random people into cyborgs, to sort of build up his cyborg army, but he never even tries to do that. Yes, he says at one point that he wants to turn Ryan into a cyborg, but why didn't he and his cyborg henchmen capture and transform the people at the gas station instead of killing them? It probably would have made more sense to have Starkraven want to take over a small town so cyborgs could have a home of their own. Sure, that kind of thing might have allowed the audience to sympathize with the dastardly but misunderstood cyborgs, but what's wrong with that? And when you consider that Ryan is kind of crazy several times during the movie, a muddled switcheroo twist could have worked.
Of course, it also would have made sense to just have another Kessel type character as the movie's main villain. Why not have the head of the ATG be a psycho with dreams of grandeur?
The flick's action scenes, while ridiculously over the top, are fun as hell to watch. Lots of explosions, bad guys falling in slow motion, and gunfights. It's almost like Firstenberg filmed the big action scenes first, ran out of money, and then had to figure out how to get the rest of the movie made with very little work with. That ATG cyborg lab is always going to bother me. Why the hell does it look like the one from the first one?
Bradley is once again outstanding as Ryan. He's a little more under control than in the first movie in terms of his emotions, but he still lets out the crazy every once in a while. He's also still rocking that fannypack. It looks weird and all, but who the hell is going to tell him to take it off? I know I'm not.
Morgan Hunter is downright diabolical as Starkraven. He's such a vicious bastard that you forget that he really isn't much of a gang leader; he's more of a top tier henchman. He's not a bad cyborg, either, even with that awful baseball cap (what kind of cyborg has its brain inside a baseball cap? How does that make sense?).
Jill Pierce is just okay as Liz McDowell. She's fun to look at and knows how to kick ass, but she doesn't have much charisma outside of those two things. Victor Melleney is hilarious as Sam Pickens, the small town sheriff that helps Ryan figure out what the heck the ATG is really up to. Why is he British? Damned if I know, but it works anyway.
While Cyborg Cop II isn't Sam Firstenberg's best movie, he should be commended for once again getting the most out of an obviously small budget. The man knows how to blow stuff up.
It isn't as good as the first Cyborg Cop, but Cyborg Cop II is a blast anyway. It's weird and not as polished, but it's still a great B-movie. Good job, Firstenberg. Good job.
See Cyborg Cop II. See it, see it, see it.
So what do we have here?
Dead bodies: 50+
Explosions: Several, both big and small.
Nudity?: Yes, and it's not bad.
Doobage: Naked people working in a drug factory, exploding fuel barrel, multiple henchmen deaths, multiple guys falling off buildings in slow motion, a vicious moving vehicle stabbing, a double barrel shotgun blast that causes an office to explode, grenade launcher attack with flaming dead bodies, cocaine tasting, exploding car, a vicious shootout, a fannypack, a thump gun attack, repeated shooting footage, slow motion double handgun attack, attempted hot babe throat slitting, a vicious beating, lead pipe attack, a lead pipe sword fight, bullet to the head, a second vicious beating, a sort of military funeral, a prison beating, an ass injection, a cyborg lab, a baseball hat brain, multiple cyborg weapon hand attachments, a remote control bracelet, attempted stabbing, attempted toilet drowning, attempted desk sex, bloody wrist removal, bracelet crushing, flamethrower hooey, exploding cyborg lab, trophy smashing, car key stealing, a weak head butt, an abandoned steel mill, black floppy disks, a glass of water, some lame bar band music, phone booth destruction, fuel creation, a man is crushed by a car, attempted shotgun attack, slow motion phone throwing, a vicious neck snap, strangulation via car muffler, a slow motion kid rescue, a cop massacre, exploding cop car, vehicular assault, a wild car flip with explosion, exploding helicopter, a bad stunt double, multiple huge explosions, road flare attack, a fire extinguisher attack, a giant blade, grenade launcher to the back, rocket launcher attack, kidnapping, giant magnet attack, electrocution, lighter throwing, a big fire, and a massive model explosion.
Kim Richards?: Attempted.
Gratuitous: David Bradley, David Bradley riding a motorcycle, David Bradley wearing a fannypack, a lead pipe sword fight, an ass injection, a cyborg lab that looks like the one from the first movie, attempted desk sex, bloody wrist removal, gaitlin gun, flamethrowers, and some kind of dart gun, a DEA investigation that apparently isn't a federal investigation, multiple beatings, phone booth destruction, a gas station attack, multiple huge explosions, homemade bombs, a road flare attack, grenade launcher attack, a sign that says "inflammable," a big fire, and a massive model explosion.
Best lines: "Ready Stix? Yeah. Let's deflate the motherfucker!," "Where's Fats?," "Hey, you looking for me you bald fuck?," "Any hostages? Yeah. A bunch of cocaine slaves," "Who the fuck is Jack Ryan?," "You're gonna fry. You're gonna fry," "You know, Jack, you really should settle down now," "Look! I thought you said he wasn't human!," "The time of the cyborg has arrived," "You won't get away with this, Spartacus," "You goddamn sonofabitch!," "How far do you want to take this?," "I'm a federal agent! And I'm fucking Red Riding Hood!," "Trouble sure seems to follow you around," "We will never... surrender," "Hey asshole! Stop!," "Ah, you shot me! You damn fool!," "As far as you're concerned Starkraven is dead," "My, my, my, you really do screw up everything you touch," and "Jack! The magnet!"
Correction: I stated last issue that Cyborg Cop is also known as Cyborg Soldier. I was wrong. Cyborg Cop II is actually known in some parts of the world as Cyborg Soldier. Cyborg Cop is actually known as Cyborg Ninja, although I don't think I've ever seen it as that. But, yes, part two is the one known as Cyborg Soldier, not part one.
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Tom Laughlin 1931-2013 RIP
Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 1
- Force of Execution: It seems like it's been forever since Steven Seagal's last low budget action flick, but he's finally got another one just in time for the holidays. And he's got Ving Rhames, Ben Foster, and "Machete" hisself Danny Trejo tagging along. The trailer looks pretty good, but then that's just a nice boost to what was already a must see movie. I mean, with that cast, how could you realistically say no to it? How?
- Alien Uprising: This low budget sci-fi action flick isn't getting very good reviews, but then so few low budget sci-fi action flicks ever do. Jean Claude Van-Damme is in this for some reason, and I'd imagine his presence is the reason most people are going to seek this movie out in the first place. It's why I'm interested in it. Easily worth a rental.
- The Lone Ranger: It was the biggest bomb of the 2013 summer movie season, as very few people were apparently interested in seeing Johnny Depp as a weirdo Indian, but I'm sure it will find its audience now that it's out on home video. Disney's other major recent flop, John Carter, has no doubt found an audience by now (it's on TV constantly). And with Quentin Tarantino putting it on his favorite movies of 2013 list, maybe the movie will find some sort of hip and edgy cult status in a few years. That kind of thing happens all of the time.
- Elysium: I missed this sci-fi epic when it was in theatres, which I'm still bummed about because I really wanted to see it on the big screen. I'll definitely check it out now that it's on home video. It still looks awesome.
- Family Guy Vol. 12: I believe this is the second Family Guy DVD set released this year, which is weird because I don't think Fox has done that before. It's worth getting, though, as always, because it's Family Guy. Family Guy is still funny.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Theme of the Week
More Things I'm Tired Of
The following is a list of things I'm tired of. They appear in no particular order of importance.
- People who want me to be impressed by how much they like hot food: Just about every time I order chicken wings with a group of people at least one person in that group announces to everyone else how he (and it's almost always a "he") can't really tell the difference between "hot" and "mild" wing sauce. And then someone else in the group announces that he (again, it's almost always a he) can eat spicy food non-stop, or uses hot sauce on damn near everything. And then both of those guys look around the room, as if they are trying to gauge the reaction of the room. Because lots of people are apparently impressed by how much hot and spicy food other people can eat.
I, though, am not impressed at all. Why would I? Why should I be impressed by people who enjoy sweating while eating? Because that always happens, even to those people who have a "strong stomach." They sweat. And that's just nasty.
If you like hot food, fine. Wonderful. More power to ya. But please keep the "I can eat anything hot" shit to yourself.
- Rock radio station DJ's who claim to be insane: I have no idea why having an insane radio station DJ is a desirable thing. Most of them never do anything even remotely crazy, and those that do actually do "crazy things" just end up doing things in the nude or surrounded by nude people. And I don't know about all of you, but I'm about nuded out. And if a rock radio station DJ is meant to be insane, shouldn't that insane DJ, instead of playing rock music, play choral music? Or salsa? Wouldn't that make more sense than an insane guy who never does anything all that insane?
- That fucking Dior/Charlize Theron commercial: I swear to God this fucking commercial plays at every commercial break, regardless of the channel or the time. And while it's sort of fun to look at Charlize Theron, am I the only one creeped out by the CGI dead celebrities (I'm not sure who creeps me out more, Marilyn Monroe or Grace Kelly)? Isn't it time for the Dior people to come up with a new Theron commercial?
Yeah, I think it is. I just saw this again on the TV. Please, make it stop! Ahhhhh!
- Oprah Winfrey's birthday: Oprah Winfrey is turning 60 next month and apparently I'm supposed to give a shit. I'm also supposed to heed her advice in regards to looking to the future and being willing to change things up/"reinvent" myself. Because that's what Oprah is going to do next month when she has a mega rich celebrity birthday bash that I, as a poor person, won't be invited to. She's going to make a commitment to change and the future.
Well, isn't that great? I'm really pulling for you, Oprah. I really am.
Jesus Christ. Why can't you keep your mega birthday bash to yourself? And if you're so into change and whatnot, instead of having a birthday party filled with fellow mega rich celebrities, why not have your birthday bash at a random McDonald's somewhere? Have a Big Mac with Alesha and Rick and go tell John Travolta to go fuck himself.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Babe of the Week: Noureen DeWulf
*** Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 2
- Kick-Ass 2: I still haven't seen the first Kick-Ass movie, so I'm going to have to make an effort to see that movie before I see its sequel. Part 2 didn't make much money, but maybe it'll make lots and lots of money on home video and we'll get a part 3 one day. I really didn't think we'd get a part 2. Anyone out there see this? Is it any good?
- Line of Duty: This low budget action drama has Sean Patrick Flanery in it, so right there it's an automatic potential rental. That's always cool. And Vivicia A. Fox is in it, too. Why hasn't she had a low budget, direct-to-video franchise of some sort by now? She's still "from Kill Bill. That should count for something.
- The Hospital: It's a low budget horror flick that takes place in a hospital. We seem to get at least one of these every year, but this one looks better than usual. I'm kind of creeped out by the trailer, especially by the guy with the hook thing on a chain.
- Devil's Pass: The great Renny Harlin apparently directed this low budget horror flick, which is kind of cool since I didn't think Harlin did that kind of thing anymore. Doesn't he have a Hercules movie coming out soon? One that's actually going to play in movie theatres?
- The Secret Village: The reviews for this flick over at amazon seem to suggest that the movie is really more of a suspense thriller than a straight up horror movie, although when you look at the DVD cover it looks like a demonic Stargate rip off. It's worth a rental anyway, just to see what the heck is really going on with it. And the great Richard Riehle is in it. He's not useless.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week
This week, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week goes to the media, for losing its fucking mind over the "Obama selfie at Nelson Mandela's public funeral" story. Why was the President acting like a teenager at a public memorial service? Why was he smiling so much? Did he want to bang the Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt? And was Michelle Obama pissed off? Is this going to lead to the Obamas divorcing? Does Michelle Obama hate white women? And shouldn't the President resign for this? Ronald Reagan refused to take his suit jacket off in the Oval Office.
Is this really that big of a deal? Is this a story that the media should really dig deeper into, to try to figure out what the hell is really going on? I'm sure the media in general has far more important shit to talk about. But then, even the "liberal" media is always interested in pseudo tabloid celebrity gossip nonsense. I mean, wasn't Mandela's public memorial supposed to be both a solemn occasion and sort of a celebration of his life? So what the heck is going on here? What the hell is the point of this fucking story?
Jesus Christ. Why is everything bullshit?
And then there's the ultra right wing media machine, for losing its mind over Time Magazine's decision to name Pope Francis its 2013 Man of the Year. There were other far more important people to name as Man of the Year, like Ted Cruz (Glenn Beck named Cruz his own Man of the Year). And besides, isn't this new Pope a communist?
I just wish the URWMM would just come out and say that it doesn't like the new pope because he isn't talking about fags and abortion all day, every day, non-stop. It'll be interesting to see how fast the machine becomes pro-pope when Francis does start talking about homosexuals and abortion, because he's eventually going to say something about both. The Catholic Church hasn't officially changed its rules on any of those things.
And besides, doesn't the machine already have a full slate of religious leaders working the "gays are evil" thing? Does the machine really need another full time one?
And finally there's Megyn Kelly, for saying that Santa is white and then, when people objected, claiming that she was "engaging in humor." Yeah. Right. Humor. Who exactly was supposed to be laughing at this particular subject? How is it funny? And why is it necessary to get into a big thing about what Santa Claus really looks like anyway? Kelly also wanted everyone to know that Jesus was a white man. Because that's important.
Yep. Megyn Kelly. She's not an opinion show host. She's just a journalist.
How long is she going to be allowed to keep this scam up?
Indycar and NASCAR thoughts
Well, it was made official this past week that 2013 Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan would be driving the Target #10 car for Chip Ganassi in 2014, replacing the recently retired Dario Franchitti. Ryan Briscoe, who was also in line for the #10 ride, will be driving the #8 car for the Ganassi "B team," teaming up with Charlie Kimball. While the arrangement makes sense, I would like to know what happened to Kanaan's Brazilian sponsors, the ones that got him into the Ganassi fold in the first place (before Franchitti's sudden retirement it was expected that Kanaan would be in the #8 car in 2014). Are they still going to be with the Ganassi #8 team, or have they left the fold since their guy won't need them in 2014? And what kind of sponsor package is Briscoe bringing to the team?
So what happens to Alex Tagliani, the other major name who was in line for the #10 ride? Will he go sports car racing full time in 2014 with Ganassi, or will he find a seat in Indycar? According to various online reports Rahal Letterman Lanigan is looking for someone for a second car, and KV Racing might be interested in the Canadian driver. I would prefer to see Tagliani in Indycar, but I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up racing sports cars for all of 2014 with, maybe, an Indy 500 one off thrown in (Ganassi probably wouldn't mind running a fifth car for the month of May).
Not much going on in NASCAR at the moment. The teams are getting ready for the full blown testing season, which begins soon at Daytona. NASCAR is allegedly looking at tweaking the aero rules for 2014, presumably to make the on track action more exciting. I would rather see NASCAR look at reducing the length of races to make them more exciting (why does every race need to be 400-500 miles long?).
Steve Kinser, the 20 time World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion, recently announced that the 2014 season would be his last as a WoO regular. It'll be interesting to see if this "retirement announcement" means that Kinser, the King of the Outlaws, will be getting out of racing completely, or if it means he'll be running essentially a part-time schedule, racing the big events around the country and perhaps dabbling in other kinds of motorsports (midgets on pavement maybe?). If he really is retiring and getting out of the business completely, what the heck is he going to do with his time if he isn't racing? I saw him race once, and while he wasn't the fastest car on the track, it was amazing watching him slide into the turn at full speed while racing side-by-side with another car, never getting off the gas and never giving an inch. I don't think I've ever seen anyone race so hard for 10th place.
Steve Kinser: a total sprint car badass.
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.
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Cyborg Cop II
David Bradley- Jack Ryan Morgan Hunter- Starkraven/Spartacus Jill Pierce- Liz McDowell Victor Melleney- Sam Pickens Dale Cutts- Captain Salerno Douglas Bristo- Dr, Owns Hector Rabotabi- Mike Alvarez Kimberleigh Stark-Gloria Alvarez Frank Notaro- Stix Robin Smith- Fats
Directed by Sam Firstenberg Screenplay by Jon Stevens, based on a story by Sam Firstenberg
Distributed by New Line Home Video and Image Entertainment
Rated R for violence, language, and nudity Runtime- 97 minutes