Thursday, 6 October 2016

Cyborg X (2016)

So in 2017 something goes wrong with a secret government project.  An AI program goes rogue, creates an army of cyborg killing machines, and unleashes them upon the world.  12 months later, the scattered remnants of humanity are hiding wherever they can, and facing the choice of a quick death at the hands of the machines, or a slow one from lack of food.  But then a small group of survivors discover that the man who created totally-not-Skynet is still alive.  Hoping that he might have some insight into how to fight back, they resolve to rescue him from the cyborgs who just captured him.

Now that's hardly an especially novel premise for a film but in the right hands it could be entertaining.  Alas: these are not the right hands.  Imagine a 14 year old boy's Terminator fanfiction about the Skynet War.  Now imagine that someone made a fan film of that fanfic, but clumsily edited out all the recognisable names to protect themselves from legal action.  You're probably still imagining something considerably better than Cyborg X, but you're starting to get the basic idea.

I know some of the people in this film can act: I've seen them do it elsewhere.  But in Cyborg X I'm guessing the only direction they ever got was "more ham! more!", since they just tend to shout their lines at each other.  In fact a lot of the film's problems can be traced to the direction.  The "action" sequences for example tend to consist of people standing in place and gritting their teeth while CGI muzzle flash erupts from their gun.  Check out Danny Trejo in the image above and you've pretty much scene every gunfight in the film.

Speaking of the CGI, most of this stuff wouldn't have cut it twenty years ago, let alone today.  The physical effects aren't much better.  Certainly don't expect to see anything that looks as slick as the DVD cover.

I have seen worse films than Cyborg X - Zombie Hunter comes to mind, as I saw it recently and it also features Mr Trejo - but that's a frighteningly low bar to clear, and should not be taken as any kind of recommendation.  If you absolutely must watch a low-budget Terminator knock-off, try something like Hardware instead.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't realised that Hardware came out in 1990, and that it was DYLAN MCDERMOTT playing the Space Marine boyfriend. Now I gotta do a rewatch.