1989, a year where most people of my generation have some wonderful memories, and some shitty ones as well i can imagine. But since we are being positive today, let´s mention some of the good things that happened back then. Nintendo released Game Boy in Japan and North America, that became an enormous success worldwide. I never owned my own Game Boy, simply because i was playing the ordinary Nintendo instead. We have to mention that this was the year when the Berlin Wall fell, a very important historical moment for Germany. This was also the perfect year for artist, actor David Hasselhoff to be a part of this historical moment, so his song Looking For Freedom became a huge hit. 1989 was filled with a lot of classic films, and there are a lot of titles to mention. So i decided to pick out 2 films that i especially remember for different reasons. Let´s begin with the comedy known as See No Evil, Hear No Evil, directed by Arthur Hiller. A very funny film with legendary comedians Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, where one of them is blind, and the other one is deaf. One of the reasons why this film is such a great comedy, is because both Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor knew how to deliver funny scenes with their disabilities. If you never thought a film could be funny to watch with people who have a disability, then you should see this one and i guarantee you will laugh. The next film that came to my mind is the action comedy Tango & Cash. Now this is a real 1989 classic, where Kurt Russel and Sylvester Stallone team up to kick ass, and make sure justice is served. Russel and Stallone is a perfect match for a film like this. Since we are looking back 30 years, i was reminded this summer that Albert Pyun´s cult film Cyborg was released 30 years ago this year. One of the classics that Jean-Claude Van Damme released in the 80´s, so i decided to look at the film again. Is this still a great action film, or has Cyborg aged too much through time ?
A plague known as the living death cripples civilization has infected a lot of people. A small group of surviving scientists and doctors - located in Atlanta, Georgia, work on a cure to save what remains of humanity. To complete their work they need information stored on a computer system in New York City. Pearl Prophet ( Dayle Haddon ) vollunteers for the dangerous courier mission and is made into a cyborg through surgical augmentation. Pearl, accompined by bodyguard Marshall Strat ( Alex Daniels ), retrieves the data from New York but is pursued by the vicious Fender Tremolo ( Vincent Klyn ) and his gang. Fender wants the cure so he can have a monopoly on it´s production. Fender murder Marshall, while Pearl is cornered by Fender´s gang. A slinger ( mercenary ) named Gibson Rickenbacker ( Jean-Claude Van Damme ) saves Pearl and is informed on her mission. Before he can help her further, he is knocked up by a falling debris. Gibson wakes up, and remember Fender as the killer of his only family. He must track them down, and make sure Fender does not get his hands on the cure.
When i rewatched Cyborg, i watched this film on the Shout! Factory blu ray release, with some new special features. And i am happy that i did, because this release will give you some more details with new interviews, and a director´s interview with director Albert Pyun. If you have seen Cyborg at some point in your life, you know that the story of this film is very simple. This is the typical kind of 80´s action film, that knows what audience it was made for. You get plenty of fights, bad hair cuts, cheesy dialogue and even some more dramatic scenes where Jean-Claude Van Damme is more quiet than usual. I think this is a good time to talk about the characters. Jean-Claude Van Damme as Gibson, is a great character for such a simple action film like this. Not complicated constructed, you know he just wants revenge and will do anything to stop Fender. Speaking about Fender, now that´s what i call one of the most iconic bad guys of the 80´s, played by actor Vincent Klyn. This film could not have had a better bad ass character than this, and Vincent does a wonderful job with portraying such an asshole. Actress Deborah Richter who plays the female character Nady Simmons gives this film a more sensitive touch, while she can also be tough. What makes Cyborg such a great fun moment is that this film does not take itself serious at all. When you see Fender and his men attacking, you get exactly what you were hoping for. Lots and lots of violence, with a variety of kicks and punches in pure 80´s style. Sometimes you don´t need everything explained, you just want to have fun with a film such as Cyborg. Director Albert Pyun have managed to make an post apocalyptic film that works well with the story, and with great characters. Cyborg is perhaps not his best film, but one of his true classics. If you love Van Damme films, then you have to see Cyborg and experience a fun trip back to the 80´s.