Wednesday, February 26, 2014

American Cyborg: Steel Warrior

Released in 1993, Directed by Boaz Davidson
Starring Nicole Hansen, Joe Lara, John Saint

Now this is fun. by 1993 cyborgs were probably the only thing on TV scarier than Vanilla Ice. Terminator II was the biggest baddest movie anyone could talk about, so Hollywood was ready to throw every cyborg script they had at the wall. Enter American Cyborg: Steel Warrior. It's a double-titled double-dose of terminator ripoff that's got everything you want: a post-apocalyptic wasteland, big guns, excessive use of the color blue, hookers who get their costumes from Pat Benetar videos, badass cyborgs who feel no pain, and of course, beautiful girls. In this case it's the loveable Nicole Hansen.

Nicole plays Mary, possibly the only woman alive who's able to give birth to a live child since the great war brought destruction and acid rain upon the world. Raised in an underground lab, the baby is still a fetus, kept in a stylish artificial womb(These underground rebels always have the best technology). They must get Mary and the baby across the city to the port, where friendly rebels from Europe will take the child to a safer place to be raised as a new beacon of hope for humanity.

Of course, it wont be easy. The world is run by the machines now, and the system employs cyborgs to enforce their rule. Since most of the surviving humans are sterile, the system has let them live out their misery until they go extinct, and then the cyborgs can rule the world in peace and play Sega Genesis forever. If it sounds too much like Terminator, well , just think of it like this: Did you ever watch the Robot War scenes in Terminator and wonder what it would be like to have to survive in that underground mess? Well here you go. Your wish is granted. There's plenty of raggedy clothes and silly street gangs to go around.

Right from the start Mary's friends have a plan to reach the port but they're wiped out by a single lock-jawed cyborg("the newest model!" one yells) who bears a striking resemblance to a certain Austrian cyborg, and relentlessly pursues Mary through the entire movie. If this sounds too much like Terminator, don't worry, there's more! This guy doesn't have any snappy comebacks, but he does get one of his eyes blown out.

Mary, who obviously can't last two minutes on her own, runs into loner rebel Austin, and together they make for the ocean. The chemistry between them could be a little better, but I put that on Hansen. Joe Lara plays his part well, and could have done better as an actor, but Hansen just seems removed sometimes, like it's hard to believe she's all there. The screenplay could've been better too, but hey, what do I know?

One of the most annoying things about this movie is not the T2 ripoffs, I was over that in about five minutes. It's the fact that everytime the Cyborg has the chance to just blow austin away as easily as he kills everyone else in the movie, he settles for man-to-man fisticuffs and ah, fuck it. It's fun to watch. And that's what it comes down to really, if you want a lot of action and a fair bit of suspense, and you can somehow reconcile this as a lost Terminator side story, then I think you'll enjoy American Cyborg: Steel Warrior. Give it a go, and thanks for reading.

If you like spoilers, or you've already seen the movie, check out the play by play at P.A.-UK with lots of pictures. million Monkey Theater also gets into it, linked through the banner below.

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