In a future beset by chaos and violence, mercenary Gibson Rickenbacker (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is charged with a mission that could change everything: protecting beautiful cyborg Pearl Prophet (Dayle Haddon). She holds the cure for a deadly disease that could destroy humanity, and must get it to scientists in Atlanta. But warlord Tremolo Fender (Vincent Klyn), fearing that his power will be undercut by peace, intends to make sure she never reaches her destination.
In the “martial artist with a funny accent hero who hunts a killer in a plague-infested urban dump of the future” genre, CYBORG kicks off cult director Albert Pyun’s cyberpunk-dystopia string of movies. Interestingly, CYBORG was put together haphazardly after Cannon Films original plans to make MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE 2 and SPIDER-MAN movies, with Pyun set to direct both, fell apart. Not wanting to just discard the pre-fabricated sets and costumes from these canceled productions, Pyun came up with the CYBORG script in a matter of days, repurposed said sets and costumes, and cast a then unknown Van Damme to replicate the Chuck Norris craze (incidentally, the MISSION IN ACTION movies starring Norris were also Cannon Films productions).
The sad thing is that the world never got to see Pyun’s MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE sequel or his take on SPIDER-MAN. However, what the world missed is replaced by Pyun giving JCVD a shot at low budget movie stardom and cementing him as the ’90s action hero he would eventually become. And in my defense of CYBORG–for all its shortcomings, badly lit scenes, and meandering plot, Pyun did give us one helluva climactic showdown between Van Damme and Vincent Klyn, with lots of yelling…Not yelling words, but just yelling. It’s almost hypnotic. And epic.