If you’ve found your way to our blog, then chances are pretty high you’ve already seen a Nu Image movie. They first jumped to fame with their animals-gone-amok films (SPIDERS series, OCTOPUS series, CROCODILE series, SHARK ATTACK series) starting in the 2000s that conned unsuspecting DVD renters into enduring poorly rendered CGI creatures attacking poorly paid actors in Bulgaria. Amazingly, this success allowed them to start backing bigger films and soon you could see their logo theatrically on Stallone films (THE EXPENDABLES films) and other big budget stuff (the recent OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN). To quote the old Virginia Slims ad, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” Indeed, the company founded in 1992 initially shot and distributed cheap direct-to-video action flicks in South Africa and was built on the backs of guys named Bradley and Zagarino playing robotic warriors. Yes, they are the “House the Cyborg Cop Built.”
CYBORG COP (1993)
said I wanted ROBOCOP!”). The producers obviously had a Cannon state of mind going when they founded their company and it shows right down to casting David Bradley, perhaps the last Cannon star thanks to AMERICAN NINJA 3-5. Bradley is adept at martial arts and all of his action scenes are well done. It also shows in the hiring of Cannon staple Sam Firstenberg to direct the picture. He follows the Cannon model of “bigger is better” in terms of the explosions. The film’s finale features the entire compound being blown to bits. Another highlight is probably Rhys-Davies as the villain. He is obviously having the time of his life hamming it up. $50 to the first person who can figure out just what the hell kind of accent he is trying though. South Africa plays the fictional Caribbean island well enough, although it does result in some laughable “eh, mon” bits. Also, there are some great bits like a hotel clerk telling Bradley to stay away from a rough bar because he is a white dude and when they cut to the place, it is filled with white folks and a happy reggae band playing.
Of course, my personal favorite bit was Kessel’s top secret underground lab having “exit” signs. Yes, I’m a low grade villain bent on world domination, but I don’t skimp on building standards.
Thankfully, the producers didn’t skimp when it comes to the cyborg bits. Now don’t go in expecting James Cameron level stuff, but you do get the gradual destruction of an evil cyborg (Rufus Swart) and the required cyborg arm. I did laugh when they outfitted Philip with his new arm and opted to leave on the armpit hair.
CYBORG COP II (1994)
Bradley and Firstenberg are back! The first CYBORG COP must have fooled a lot of renters as this sequel hit shelves just over a year after the first film.
|"We gonna walk down to Electric Avenue..."|
CYBORG COP III (1995)
PROJECT: SHADOWCHASER series they distributed, and Bryan Genesse, who also co-starred in PROJECT: SHADOWCHASER II.
|CYBORG COP III or NRA wet dream?|
It is equally strange that Zagarino, a man known for playing cyborgs in his sleep, is the hero this time around. He and Genesse (woah @ his Southern accent) make a good team though. Director Yossi Wein cut his teeth on the first CYBORG COP flicks as the director of photography, so he definitely knows how to shoot an action scene. And, believe it or not, this entry might have the biggest explosions (see pic) of any of the trilogy. So this film has plenty of explosions but they really skimp on the cybrog aspects. In fact, outside of some robot-o-vision screens, the only proof you get of a cyborg is the main guy having a tiny sliver of metal exposed on his face. Not cool. It was also about halfway through the film that I realized I was being lied to – there are no cyborg cops on display! I guess the title CYBORG KINESIOLOGY STUDENT just didn’t have that ring to it. It is this kind of schizophrenic nature that resulted in the film coming out on US video in 1996 under the generic title TERMINAL IMPACT rather than CYBORG COP III (to further confuse matters, a double feature DVD of this and CYBORG COP II calls it part III, yet the cover refers to them as CYBORG SOLIDER and TERMINAL IMPACT).