GB’s VHS Vault: American Cyborg: Steel Warrior

 See if this film synopsis rings a bell with you…

The time is the future, 17 years after the war. What war you ask? It’s never revealed but that’s not important to the plot. America is now a prison camp with an Artificial Intelligence running the show. Cyborgs do the day-to-day bidding of the A.I (in this film however only one cyborg is ever shown).

A human resistance has been formed to fight back. All hopes rest on the only fertile female is being transported to Europe where she can safely have babies. One cyborg is tasked with killing her, while a hunky rebel is employed to protect her and get her to the boat before the baby she has runs out of oxygen.

This film is a mish mash of loads of other movies. Watch the trailer below and see how many you can spot. Don’t worry the main influence is listed below!

So what we have here is a mix of Children of Men and Terminator 2. To be fair Children of Men was made years after this cinematic beauty hit the video stores, so it’s not like it copied anything from that. But it borrowed pretty heavily from Terminator 2. You only have to look at the lead cyborg to see that or just look at this foreign release poster for clarification on which film it is influenced by!

We are introduced to this nameless cyborg straight away when he casually breaks a bum’s neck and then uses him as an impromptu shoe cleaner! The cyborg likes to look dapper and has a lovely all leather ensemble, and an even lovelier mustache. Man it’s a bleached blonde thing of beauty! This guy is the vainest robotic creature in all of Sci-Fi history! In his defence he does look awesome. In fact he looks a lot like Jesse Ventura if Ventura came from a dimension where leather is mandatory!

Now, let’s shift focus to the other characters in this tale Mary and Austin. Mary is the only lady with a working uterus (see what they did there with naming her after the biblical character, clever!). Mary has a child but the strange thing is she does not keep it in her tummy; she keeps it in a see through plastic jar! This is messed up and brilliant all at the same time. Story wise this means that Mary can get away quicker when chased as she is not stuck with a bun in the oven, but it also means that the baby can become a suspense tool when the jar falls onto roof tops or into the hands of gangs.

The baby needs to be on a boat at a certain time, other wise the boat will leave without them and the baby will run out of oxygen, so Mary moans about this. A lot. In fact I don’t know how Austin puts up with her seeing as when ever he is in a potentially fatal fight to save her life, she pops up pointing to her watch complaining about the time.

Austin is grumpy as Hell, but he has lovely flowing locks and will help you out if you pay him in batteries, so he seems pretty legit. In addition to his amazing hair, he can kick ass and blow stuff up with the best of them. It is strange though, in a post-apocalyptic society lacking  food and basic survival supplies, there is still time (and enough beauty products) to keep the lead characters looking gorgeous. Austin can also get romantic which is not as much fun to watch!  That’s pretty much all he does until near the end when (SPOILER ALERT) we find out he is a cyborg! No explanation is given for why this is or how he can have emotions or the fact he bleeds bright red blood while the unnamed cyborg leaks out milk like the robots out of the Alien movies.

Story wise its pretty generic, but there are some great scenes in this flick which normally focus on the cyborg. He likes paying with his prey and in one scene casually throws them about before snapping their necks. He also has his own computer style music soundtrack noise that follows him around a lot like Jason Vorhees has in the Friday the 13th series. Its a nice touch, but it does mean you know when he is coming as the music is a dead give away! All in all this film has a great musical score which sounds very much like a 90’s beat em up arcade game like Final Fight.

The story is really driven by the cyborg. If the story is flagging he pops up out of nowhere and starts blasting stuff up. Hell, in one scene he actually jumps through a wall like the Kool Aid man and casually starts killing people! Unfortunately he also has Storm Trooper aim which means that he misses pretty much every target in front of him!

The cyborg and Austin have some great fights, as the whole movie is essentially just a massive battle between these two in different locations. Sure you have the odd mutant pop up to kidnap Mary and eat her flesh so he can taste her beauty (yes that’s actually a line!), but mostly it’s these two boys smacking lumps out of each other. If you watch Family Guy and see the chicken vs Peter fight then you have seen this movie!

The final fight takes place in the sea and looks more like two men having a splash and a paddle than an epic fight but it ends well. Austin rips out the cyborg’s eye and he explodes! Now that’s an ending!

Now its quite obvious I have a soft spot for the cyborg, but there is one final star who deserves recognition, and that’s the baby in the jar. This cheeky chap pops up from time to time and gives our heroes problems (mostly by ending up on something quite high up and needing rescuing). There are loads of shots of him bobbing around his glass jar looking quite dead and very plastic but there are close ups of him where it looks like he is going to wink at the camera. The baby’s best scene is when he floats off into the sea while the two guys punch it out. Don’t worry the baby is saved and all ends well.

So what did we learn from this movie? Well that in the future it will either proper sling it down with rain, or be like the Sahara desert.  Cyborgs dress to impress, gangs imitate characters from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, make up is more readily available than food, and characters can say lines like “drop your draws bitch” without been laughed out the room. More to the point I’ve learned is that this film is a barrel of laughs and should be watched by any fan of cheesy action flicks.

3 and a half out of 5 grizzlys


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2 thoughts on “GB’s VHS Vault: American Cyborg: Steel Warrior”

  1. Wh…what? How does the baby get nutrients and grow? Why keep it in a jar with her? Why not hide it? Holy crap, I have to see this movie. I’m loving these articles man, you gotta do more. 90’s shit house action flicks like this, Fist Of The North Star and I Come In Peace are the fucking best.

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    1. Thanks man that means a lot :) got loads to watch so i’m looking forward to doing more because like you said cheesy action movies are the bees knees :) she keeps the jar in a bag but 10 minutes does not go by without it falling out the bag or she drops the bag near the cyborg! There may have been a fancy reason for it getting its food but it must have been boring as I forgot lol!

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