Future War – It’s NOT Cyberpunk

February 28, 2007

Movie Review By: SFAM

Year: 1997

Directed by: Anthony Dublin

Written by: David Huey (story), Dom Magwili

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Very Low

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very Low

Key Cast Members:

  • The Runaway: Daniel Bernhardt
  • Cyborg Master: Robert Z’Dar
  • Travis Brooks Stewart: Sister Ann
Rating: 1 out of 10


Future War Screen Capture

 

Overview: Based on the very deceptive cyberpunk-looking DVD cover, I felt it wise to give Future War a brief mention – I say brief because this movie sucks so bad that anything more than brief would constitute more effort than was spent on the entire script. Now I would consider giving Future War the same treatment I gave Cybernator, but unfortunately I just can’t possibly call this movie cyberpunk. Sure, it has time travel (I think), and these evil looking cyborg dudes, but Future War can’t put together a semblance of even an incoherent plot to explain things.

 

Future War Screen Capture

Check out the henchmen cyborg! You gotta wonder why they just didn’t go all out and make him into a Vampire Cyborg – that woulda been Kewl! (perhaps they couldn’t afford the fake teeth). And get used to the boxes. They are in about 40% of the movie – so much so that they even have a guy in the credits listed as “box wrangler”!

 

Lets just start with the intro lines from the movie (punctuation and capitalization remain intact from the film – yes, some sentences have periods, others have capital letters at the beginning, but not all):

 

From the future traveled a master race of Cyborgs.

The made abductions from Earth’s past.

The dinosaurs were trained as trackers

The humans were bred as slaves

Now a runaway slave escapes to a place his people call heaven…

we know it as Earth

 

Future War Screen Capture

Doesn’t this dinosaur remind you of the Stonehenge set piece in Spinal Tap? Just a wee bit too small, ey? Don’t worry, he grows another 10 feet a few scenes later

 

Um, OK, so these master race of cyborg dudes, who incidentally get their asses kicked by a second rate martial arts guy (who in Matrix Reloaded, turns into the ultra-cool Agent Johnson) because they don’t use their gun attachment till its too late, go back in time to get dinosaurs and train them to track escaped human slaves. Yeah, this works. Lets be clear here: some jackass with a spare $10,000 bucks wanted to make a really kewl film with cyborgs, dinosaurs and martial arts fighting – oh oh! and also a hawt chick prostitute-turned-nun! – unfortunately this was the best plot he could come up with.

 

Future War Screen Capture

Yes, nothing beats martial artists fighting master cyborgs in a warehouse church! Too bad the cyborg dude died in the last scene. Ah well, why not use the Jason resurrection thing? It works, right?

 

The Bottom Line: Pretty much the entire movie takes place either in the director’s dive house or in this really dull looking warehouse. The warehouse is “decorated” with either cardboard boxes or well-used 8×8 wooden pallets standing upright, depending on whether its supposed to be a sewer (the pallets) or um, a warehouse (the cardboard boxes). Due to a neurotic use of forced perspective, the rubber dinosaurs are constantly changing size. They go from beaver-sized to allosaurus-sized, depending on the scene (well, OK, sometimes in the SAME scene). So, does the prostitute-turned-nun decide to have sex with Agent Johnson or will she say her final vows to become a nun forever? More importantly, who the fuck cares? I understand Future War was also featured on MST3K – I would recommend that route if you must watch this. And just for the record, Cybernator is LOADS funnier.

 

This post has been filed under 1 Star Movies, Cyberpunk movies from 1990 – 1999, It’s Not Cyberpunk! Mkay? by SFAM.
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Cybernator

March 22, 2006

Movie Review By: SFAM

Year: 1991

Directed by: Robert Rundle

Written by: Robert Rundle & Edward Sanchez

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Low

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very Low

Key Cast Members:

  • Brent McCord: Lonnie Schuyler
  • Rating: 1 out of 10


    Screencap

     

    Overview: So you wanna make a cyberpunk movie but you don’t have any money, ey? No problem! As long as you have a hand-held video cam, some blue paint and a few extra malleable thin rubber tubes in your garage, you too can shoot your own cyberpunk movie! Fair warning – you might have to spring for a few bucks at Toys-R-Us for some realistic looking guns though, so try to save up a paycheck or two before getting started! Here we have an example of the lowest in cyberpunk cinema. My review will be slightly different than most in that I won’t bother hiding spoilers. Truly, you won’t care. If you watch this movie, you won’t be watching it in eager anticipation of the plot turns. While I do give Cybernator only 1 star, it really is one of those “so bad it’s good movies.” You really might be interested in dropping 6 bucks on this turkey. Think not? Read the review.

     

    Screencap

    Notice the high-tech lasers! Apparently, they only had enough money to draw the pink part in twice, as its always one of two sizes. As another “feature,” whenever the laser fires, the left side of the screen has a nice pink line running down it.

     

    The Story: The movie opens up in a complete dive strip club (a warehouse with a stage made up of black cardboard paper with shiny cut-out stars taped to it), where policeman Brent McCord (Lonnie Schuyler) comes along with his partner to see his stripper girlfriend. Unfortunately, some evil cyborgs have come to kill a US Senator, who just happens to be having sex in a sleazy room in the back (concrete walls, warehouse floor, etc.). After the evil cyborgs kill the senator, they decide to go on a rampage, randomly killing other folk. Of course, our great policeman is able to kill them, even though the cyborgs have ray guns.

     

    Screencap

     

    At the Morgue: the Morgue, which looks surprisingly like a made-up office room, has an Indian doctor (who actually appears to be trying to act – one of the few) who has just completed her autopsy on the two cyborgs. She states of the tough one, “He is covered with a steel titanium alloy…he is virtually indestructible. He was killed when the bullet entered the heart…”

    Hmm…indestructible ey? But can be killed with a bullet through the heart? Hmmm….In any event, the morgue chick is apparently well versed in identifying military cyborgs, and proclaims that these ones are “government property, possibly from the army or something.”

     

    Screencap

    Indestructable! Unless, um, you shoot him in the heart, that is.

     

    Our intrepid detectives then drive over to the local army building. You can tell its an army building due to the army-green colored early 70s oldsmobuick parked outside. They of course walk right into the General’s office, which is the same as the doctor’s office, but the bodies have been removed, and a flag and spaceman picture have been mounted on the wall. If this weren’t enough “reality” for you, the General’s desk has two American flags on it and a plastic toy tank to yet again convey that scary military feeling. This realism would have almost worked except for every so often, the camera veers too high and we see that the top of the general’s office is missing, and appears to be a made-up room in the same warehouse as the nudie bar.

     

    Screencap

    One of the few actual “B” movie actors.

     

    In any event, while the cops are “interrogating” the general, (who tries to throw them off-track by proclaiming that the marines are working on that stuff, not the Army – so don’t bug him!), a random scientist walks in and announces, “Here’s the new design on the Blackhawk 2000 project.” After the General quickly kicks out the scientist, we find out that the Blackhawk 2000 project is “classified!”

     

    Screencap

    Here’s the cybernator again! Apparently, cyborgs in the future randomly gyrate from white to blue skin. I’m guessing they have “mood” skin.

     

    Yes, ladies and gentleman, we have truly well thought-out plot points like this that permeate the movie. But wait – there’s more! That random scientist, who popped his head into the General’s office and spilled the classified program, quickly runs outside (like, RIGHT outside the General’s window) to secretly give the inside scoop to the cops. He of course wants to make sure they are really cops so he says, “You guys are cops? Show me your badges.” Being concerned that he’s meeting them right outside the General’s window, the scientist smartly tells them to meet him later that night in an abandoned alleyway. But alas, he was overheard by the Cybernator – who just happens to be waiting right next to them in a parked truck!

     

    Screencap

    Interestingly, the laser shots don’t always arrive prior to the blood stains.

     

    Unfortunately, our star’s partner gets killed by the Cybernator, so he decides to substitute his stripper girlfriend as his new partner. As the plot continues, we find that it is in fact an evil Colonel (played by an actual B actor – William Smith!) who is behind the nasty cyborgs. What’s worse, our dear police man is actually a cyborg in disguise!!!!! Versus us finding out by some cool way, say, of seeing the skin from his arm come off or something, they instead go for the ingenious method of just announcing it!

     

    Screencap

     

    And now the military wants to kill the evil Colonel, so they capture the stripper and tell Brent that he’s a cyborg, and that he must kill the rogue cyborgs if he ever wants to see his stripper chick again. Are they guarding her at a special military base? Of course not! They appear to be holding the chick at the director’s house. Incidentally, I hope they added the puke green carpet to make us think this was an Army installation, cause if this was his actual decor, Damn!

     

    Screencap

    Apparently the heavy-set dancer in the street qualifies as the “underworld.”

     

    Finally we come to the best scene of the movie – the fat cyberchick scene! This chick is doing her best at belly dancing, but apparently they forgot to give her lessons. Still, it’s the thought that counts, or so I’ve heard. I think this scene is supposed to represent the seedy underground – the place Brent goes to find out where the bad guys are. There’s nothing special here, but the line of the movie – it’s priceless.

     

    Screencap

    Ah yes, yet another random cyborg, enjoying the night delights.

     

    A random sleaze bag dude is truly enjoying himself while watching the sexy belly dancer. Then he notices a cyborg standing nonchalantly beside him. Apparently, the cyborg doesn’t think she’s all that, which pisses off the sleazebag. So he, being a helpless, loser sleaze bag, of course decides to pick a fight, and says:

    Sleaze bag: Cyborg Scum! You’ve got the passion of a toaster!
    Cyborg Response: “Some of my best friends are toasters…You Fuck!!!”

     

    The cyborg then takes out a gun and shoots the sleazebag in the face – definitely the best real laugh of the movie. :)

    Screencap

    He’s almost indestructible…um, unless you rip out his rubber tubes, that is.

     

    The movie goes on and on like this – until the final conflict! At last, we get to the epic battle between the two Blackhawk 2000 Cyborgs – the Cybernator and our cheesy cop detective, Brent. At least we’ll see an epic battle, right? NO!!! Yet again we are fooled. Guess how you beat the evil blue cyborg with the weird little tubes dangling from his head? That’s right – you just take out the tubes! True insanity in action ladies and gents.

     

    Screencap

    Yet another cyborg fight! Two for the price of one!

     

    But wait! There’s more! It turns out that the evil Colonel Peck is…dun dun dun – Brent’s Brother!!!! Why the plot twist? No real reason given…just…um, because the Army is eeeeeeeevil! To which of course, Brent responds, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” (not really…but he should have – instead he says, “Your not my fuckin brother!”)

     

    Screencap

    FYI – I think the gray spray-painted paper glued to the side of the colonel’s head is supposed to be his cyborg skeleton.

     

    The Bottom Line: Now I won’t spoil it by showing you the cheesy ending, or worse, the cheesy rationale for the evil cyborgs, but suffice to say the quality is as good at the end as it is throughout. Rarely have I seen acting and dialog of this caliber. Clearly, the vast majority of the lines were ad-libbed (I hope). And, um, nobody in this movie can ad-lib. Still, Cybernator does qualify as a “So bad it’s good” movie – the type that makes Plan 9 look well thought out. So if you want to see the worst that cyberpunk cinema has to offer, kick back with a group of friends and enjoy!

    ~See movies similar to this one~

    Hmm…indestructible ey? But can be killed with a bullet through the heart? Hmmm….In any event, the morgue chick is apparently well versed in identifying military cyborgs, and proclaims that these ones are “government property, possibly from the army or something.”
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/cybernator02.jpg” alt=”Screencap”> </p>
    <div class=”quote”>Indestructable! Unless, um, you shoot him in the heart, that is.</div>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    Our intrepid detectives then drive over to the local army building. You can tell its an army building due to the army-green colored early 70s oldsmobuick parked outside. They of course walk right into the General’s office, which is the same as the doctor’s office, but the bodies have been removed, and a flag and spaceman picture have been mounted on the wall. If this weren’t enough “reality” for you, the General’s desk has two American flags on it and a plastic toy tank to yet again convey that scary military feeling. This realism would have almost worked except for every so often, the camera veers too high and we see that the top of the general’s office is missing, and appears to be a made-up room in the same warehouse as the nudie bar.
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/cybernator10.jpg” alt=”Screencap”> </p>
    <div class=”quote”>One of the few actual “B” movie actors.</div>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    In any event, while the cops are “interrogating” the general, (who tries to throw them off-track by proclaiming that the marines are working on that stuff, not the Army – so don’t bug him!), a random scientist walks in and announces, “Here’s the new design on the Blackhawk 2000 project.” After the General quickly kicks out the scientist, we find out that the Blackhawk 2000 project is “classified!”
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/cybernator04.jpg” alt=”Screencap”> </p>
    <div class=”quote”>Here’s the cybernator again! Apparently, cyborgs in the future randomly gyrate from white to blue skin. I’m guessing they have “mood” skin.</div>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    Yes, ladies and gentleman, we have truly well thought-out plot points like this that permeate the movie. But wait – there’s more! That random scientist, who popped his head into the General’s office and spilled the classified program, quickly runs outside (like, RIGHT outside the General’s window) to secretly give the inside scoop to the cops. He of course wants to make sure they are really cops so he says, “You guys are cops? Show me your badges.” Being concerned that he’s meeting them right outside the General’s window, the scientist smartly tells them to meet him later that night in an abandoned alleyway. But alas, he was overheard by the Cybernator – who just happens to be waiting right next to them in a parked truck!
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/cybernator05.jpg” alt=”Screencap”> </p>
    <div class=”quote”>Interestingly, the laser shots don’t always arrive prior to the blood stains.</div>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    Unfortunately, our star’s partner gets killed by the Cybernator, so he decides to substitute his stripper girlfriend as his new partner. As the plot continues, we find that it is in fact an evil Colonel (played by an actual B actor – William Smith!) who is behind the nasty cyborgs. What’s worse, our dear police man is actually a cyborg in disguise!!!!! Versus us finding out by some cool way, say, of seeing the skin from his arm come off or something, they instead go for the ingenious method of just announcing it!
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/cybernator14.jpg” alt=”Screencap”> </p>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    And now the military wants to kill the evil Colonel, so they capture the stripper and tell Brent that he’s a cyborg, and that he must kill the rogue cyborgs if he ever wants to see his stripper chick again. Are they guarding her at a special military base? Of course not! They appear to be holding the chick at the director’s house. Incidentally, I hope they added the puke green carpet to make us think this was an Army installation, cause if this was his actual decor, Damn!
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/cybernator08.jpg” alt=”Screencap”> </p>
    <div class=”quote”> Apparently the heavy-set dancer in the street qualifies as the “underworld.”</div>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    Finally we come to the best scene of the movie – the fat cyberchick scene! This chick is doing her best at belly dancing, but apparently they forgot to give her lessons. Still, it’s the thought that counts, or so I’ve heard. I think this scene is supposed to represent the seedy underground – the place Brent goes to find out where the bad guys are. There’s nothing special here, but the line of the movie – it’s priceless.
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/cybernator07.jpg” alt=”Screencap”> </p>
    <div class=”quote”> Ah yes, yet another random cyborg, enjoying the night delights.</div>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    A random sleaze bag dude is truly enjoying himself while watching the sexy belly dancer. Then he notices a cyborg standing nonchalantly beside him. Apparently, the cyborg doesn’t think she’s all that, which pisses off the sleazebag. So he, being a helpless, loser sleaze bag, of course decides to pick a fight, and says:
    <blockquote><strong>Sleaze bag:</strong> Cyborg Scum! You’ve got the passion of a toaster!
    <strong>Cyborg Response:</strong> “Some of my best friends are toasters…You Fuck!!!”</blockquote>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    The cyborg then takes out a gun and shoots the sleazebag in the face – definitely the best real laugh of the movie. ':)'
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/cybernator09.jpg” alt=”Screencap”> </p>
    <div class=”quote”>He’s almost indestructible…um, unless you rip out his rubber tubes, that is.</div>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    The movie goes on and on like this – until the final conflict! At last, we get to the epic battle between the two Blackhawk 2000 Cyborgs – the Cybernator and our cheesy cop detective, Brent. At least we’ll see an epic battle, right? NO!!! Yet again we are fooled. Guess how you beat the evil blue cyborg with the weird little tubes dangling from his head? That’s right – you just take out the tubes! True insanity in action ladies and gents.
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/cybernator11.jpg” alt=”Screencap”> </p>
    <div class=”quote”>Yet another cyborg fight! Two for the price of one!</div>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    But wait! There’s more! It turns out that the evil Colonel Peck is…dun dun dun – Brent’s Brother!!!! Why the plot twist? No real reason given…just…um, because the Army is eeeeeeeevil! To which of course, Brent responds, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” (not really…but he should have – instead he says, “Your not my fuckin brother!”)
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/cybernator13.jpg” alt=”Screencap”> </p>
    <div class=”quote”>FYI – I think the gray spray-painted paper glued to the side of the colonel’s head is supposed to be his cyborg skeleton.</div>
    <p>&nbsp; </p>
    <span class=”iTitle”>The Bottom Line: </span>Now I won’t spoil it by showing you the cheesy ending, or worse, the cheesy rationale for the evil cyborgs, but suffice to say the quality is as good at the end as it is throughout. Rarely have I seen acting and dialog of this caliber. Clearly, the vast majority of the lines were ad-libbed (I hope). And, um, nobody in this movie can ad-lib. Still, Cybernator does qualify as a “So bad it’s good” movie – the type that makes Plan 9 look well thought out. So if you want to see the worst that cyberpunk cinema has to offer, kick back with a group of friends and enjoy!

    This post has been filed under 1 Star Movies, Man-machine Interface, B Cyberpunk Cinema, Cyberpunk movies from 1990 – 1999 by SFAM.
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