Posts Tagged ‘Nemesis’

After nearly retiring , and still  fighting  serious illness B (to Z) movie kingpin Albert Pyun found the strength to finish off his magnum opus (semi- sequel to both of his early career cyber- punk outings) CYBORG NEMESIS.

Final piece of the puzzle is completed as he cast (still unnamed) young actress that will open and close the movie. Final scenes will be shot in Ryolite (Nevada) and will officially signal the wrap of the lengthy shoot of CYBORG NEMESIS. Big part of editing is already done with sound designer Michael McCarty still working hard as we speak. Score will be handled by Pyun’s long time collaborator Tony Riparetti (Mean Guns, Postmortem).

With a cast of old favorites and new talent: Sasha Mitchell, Dru- Anne Perry, Joei Fulco, Joseph Cannon, Daniel Faust, Jessica Delgado and Kim Coture this films actualy has a potential to be not a swan song but a return to form of sorts for Pyun who spend last couple of years working on ultra- small productions, making unofficial sequels to films (of others as well as himself). Visibly enthusiastic he called this his firs balls out Sci Fi movie- in outer space. So, even thou he is rehashing the old themes here- there seem to be a silver lining as this movie shows a more focused Pyun who surrounded himself with a bigger, more professional crew to help him realize his vision.

Cyborg

P.S. He still promises a few surprises in the final movie (Gruner cameo perhaps?), so we’ll have to wait and see what future brings. Besides cyborgs and space stations and that kind of stuff.

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We already talked about this one when we reviewed the original Nemesis film waaaaaay back but we finally have some concrete news… and they are not really promising. Or they are really promising if you want it reviewed on this page in the foreseeable future.

Anyway it seems that Albert Pyun failed to bring some of the old “stars” of his two franchises, namely Van Damme and Olivier Grunner.  He also failed to bring ‘roided female MMA star Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos and (I must admit an interesting choice that makes a lot of sense) Van Damme’s daughter Bianca Bree (aka Bianca Van Varenberg aka Bianca Van Damme) . It seems that all the weight is planted firmly on the shoulders of a newcomer and a lead actress a 16 year old Joei Fulco and in the MMA fighters crossover department we’re left with Kim Couture, 3rd rate fighter famous mostly for being an ex- wife of 5 time UFC Champion Randy “The Natural” Couture. The rest of the cast are Pyun regulars like Michael Pare (he’s really fallen on hard times did he?), Kevin Sorbo (the less said about his career- the better) and Sasha Mitchell.

Pyun predicts that Fulco will end up being a great star and for his (and everybody’s ) sake I hope he’s right ’cause without a charismatic lead this cheap, lo- fi SF action flick could easily end up being a complete train-wreck. Just behold insecure camera work and sub- par CGI bellow (coupled with a strange, STRANGE soundtrack choice).

Info via  http://www.dreadcentral.com

One of our most reviewed directors on our blog is by far Mr. Albert Pyun (Cyborg, Nemesis, Sword and the Sorcerer…), so naturally we wanted to have a few words with him, find out a thing or two about the classics and also see what’s he been up to these days. So, here we go!

01. I understand that you started your career working with the great Toshiro Mifune and legendary Akira Kurosawa.
What was the whole Japanese experience like and what is the most important thing you learned while working there?

I learned the value of having a hardcore work ethic and preparation. The thing I loved most was watching such a high level of talent and artistry and how they applied their skills to the smallest detail. I also enjoyed the dedication everyone, including Mr. Mifune, had to doing their best no matter the challenges.

02. It can be said that you were slightly ahead of the curve with your Sword and the Sorcerer which came out almost simultaneously with Conan The Barbarian and started a trend of Barbarian movies which lasted some years. I would love to hear about your main inspirations for The Sword and Sorcerer?

My main inspirations for The Sword and the Sorcerer were Richard Lester’s The Three Musketeers, John Milius’ The Wind and the Lion and The Baby Cart samurai series.

03. One of the of the signatures of your involvement with the film is often a combination of  kickboxing and hybrid martial arts with a post- apocalyptic backdrop. I am interested to hear how you developed that unique approach to action/adventure movies.

I know, but what’s odd is I didn’t being with great interest in martial arts or with post apocalyptic stories. I was drawn to martial arts as a lower cost replacement of firearms in my films. I was drawn to Post apocalyptic settings because they were easier to create on a limited budget. And there were no rules on how it had to look. I actually feel my current film “ROAD TO HELL” is one of the first films where I got the setting I was after without compromising for budget.

04. I find that most of your movies have a kinda comic-book quality (of course you also you directed one of the early Marvel adaptations). Did you grow up as a comic- book aficionado and if so what were/are some of  your favorites?

Yes, I grew up on all the DC and Marvel comics along with the Japanese Manga books and Tintin as well because I lived i foreign countries as a child so I was exposed to many different types of comics and books.

05.What is the favorite actor/actors that you worked with and why? And is there some actor whose work you greatly admire but you haven’t gotten the chance of working with?

I’ve really enjoyed working with all the actors for the most part.  I never really had any problems there. My favorites were likely Scott Paulin and Norbert Weisser. Both understand my sensibilities. Sasha Mitchell, Michael Pare’ and Christopher Lambert were great as well. I liked them as people immensely. The most colorful was probably Burt Reynolds and Dennis Hopper. Loved both and Ice-T as well. Jean-Claude and Steven Seagal were interesting because they aren’t actors so much as archetypes. So that was a challenge. I really liked them all as they always brought great ideas and all were very easy to work with.

06. You worked on films of many, many different genres (SF, Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary Action even Western),  do you have a favorite movie genre that you enjoy more than the others?

I love musicals most of all and sort of experimental films where I can play with form and structure.

07. I believe that you are hard at work at a Cyborg sequel/ prequel so it would be interesting to hear something about the basic plot, actors involved and of course about general tone and the esthetics of the film.

I’m just trying to make something different. Something a little experimental and surreal. And, yes, like an opera. A very pessimistic film.

Thank you and all the best!

 

    *Here you can marvel at Gruner as he demonstrates his  kickboxing skills on
a bad stop- motion Terminator rip- off.

One of those films that start kinda gritty Cyber Punk-ish with a possible promise of good innocent fun and then… goes absolutely nowhere! Director Pyun (somewhat rightfully claimed to be a Hawaiian reincarnation of Ed Wood) wanted to make a film with a dystopian , almost William Gibson SF atmosphere and every time he got close to nailing it he found a new way to royally screw things up (adding women with big muscles in the scenes has been known to do that.) It takes somewhere around a half an hour to set up our story and after that he just trows it all away the same moment our hero Rain (Olivier Gruner) gets to the island and fists start flying/guns start blazing.

Event that could be forgiven (often enough SF is just a backdrop for a classic action fest) if those same action scenes made some kind of impact but there are just cartoonish violence at it worst. Incoherent story gets completely lost in translation really fast while bizarre bunch of characters kill/fuck/or save one another almost randomly.
At some points you have to ask yourself did those people follow a REAL SCRIPT and soon after you start doubting that the script even existed. Perhaps they had a 10 page treatment… for the beginning of the movie and then they improvised from there. That would explain a lot of things. There is also a hilarious moment when a gun packing grandma starts unleashing hell, it is absurd as it gets, but at least it’s fun and you can’t say that for the rest of this picture.

THIS. IS. BAD.

Olivier Gruner ( our cyborg ex-government agent) is karateka/ ex- kickboxing champion and he demonstrates his skill here and there (in-spite of the laughable choreographed fight scenes ) but he’s acting is so woden that after a while you start appreciating all the subtleties of Schwarzenegger’s performances and that is never a good sign. On the + side (if there is one here) he gets to fight a crazed robot, terminator style stop- motion monstrosity that explodes for no apparent reason and takes his arm with him!*
One of his sidekicks (the only one that actually survives) is irritating teenage girl who becomes extremely important character out of nowhere in the last half an hour of the film– against all common sense. His dog at the beginning of the film had more character and a hell lot of more story potential than she ever had!
Legendary “Cary” Hiroyuki Tagawa (Sheng Tsung himself) makes an appearance as the crazy Yakuza boss in a Hawaiian shirt but not even his devilish charm can make this crap watchable.

Verdict: If you have to watch an Albert Pyun film watch his eulogy  of Cannon Films in the form of Van Damme’s Cyborg, Cyber- Punk angle is better realized and despite the fact that JCVD wasn’t  much of an actor back then/ or much of an English speaker back then he always had a ton of charisma, the thing that Gruner sorely lacks.

Trivia: Pyun is doing a (joint) prequel of both Nemesis and Cyborg. Unfortunately he discovered digital technology/ CGI (nobody told him that you need some money to make it work) so his movies are now worse than ever. Here’s a trailer for Cyborgs: Rise of the Slingers so you can remember to avoid it if you have the bad luck of seeing it somewhere.

You can actually find better special effects (and acting!!!) in Porn these days .