Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Cyborg, il guerriero d'acciaio / Cy Warrior / Cy Warrior: Special Combat Unit

An accident causes the activation of the top-secret Cyber Warrior or 'Cyw' before his programming has been completed.

Number five is alive – or something

Concerned that the Cyw may fall into the hands of enemies, prove unable to control or simply receive unwanted attention from the public or foreign powers, the military dispatches a crack squad led by Colonel Hammer to bring back the Cyw one way or another: “If any of you see this piece of garbage and it gives you any kind of resistance blow it up as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, their target is befriended by young Brandon Scott and his sister Susan (no relation to Nieves Navarro, evidently), who had conveniently been orphaned by the death of their parents in a car crash a few years previously...

If this 1989 entry from make up and effects man Gianetto De Rossi is an obvious Terminator rip-off, down to copycat scenes of the Cyw performing surgical repairs on himself and POV shots in which he assesses the threat posed by possible enemies, it also has certain affinities with the later Universal Soldier which, along with in its high-speed reading Star Trek: The Next Generation's Data, demonstrates that apparent influences could go both directions or merely be coincidental.

“Hey CW1, we're friends. You can trust us. We don't want to do you any harm.”

Otherwise, there's not much to say about the film itself, with action, characterisation, dialogue and narrative alike being decidedly perfunctory. Nor is De Rossi's direction particularly inspired or imaginative, though also characterised by a surprising restraint, with little use of 'dramatic' close-ups, zooms and other techniques that we might traditionally associate with the inexperienced filmmaker striving for effect.

Henry Silva, great fun as always

Henry Silva is good value as the foul-mouthed Hammer, the kind of the boo-hiss villain who thinks nothing of having his men fire into crowds of innocent bystanders at a funfair in an ill-fated attempt to bring in the Cyw in the confidence that his superiors will cover up the incident as a turf war between local gangs, while the woodenness of Frank Zangarino as the Cyw is suitably in-keeping with his robotic nature, every move of his head being accompanied by the whirr of his motors on the soundtrack at a volume that makes you wonder how he didn't also turn the heads of people in the street.

The music by Lanfranco Perini is a plus, with simple yet effective percussive ostenati overlaid with synthesisers in a way that successfully connotes the Cyw's high-tech, robotic nature and, as the story progresses, emergent humanity.

Note how the Cyw's insides extend out further than his outside.

What was most interesting for me is how the film, like a number of filone entries of similar vintage such as Luigi Montifiore's Metamorphosis / DNA formula letale and producer Fabrizio De Angelis's Killer Crocodile – one of De Rossi's other directorial ventures was a sequel, Killer Crocodile II, shot back-to-back with its precedessor – seems to have sank without a trace, as indicated by the murky looking pan and scan Greek subtitled VHS source through which I had the opportunity to watch the film.

Twenty or even ten years earlier Cy Warrior would likely have found enough of an audience and and sufficient box office returns for De Rossi to carve out a longer running directorial career and maybe even have the opportunity to find a filone he was more suited for.

[The AVI is available from Cinemageddon]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The trailer is not to be found, scarce, rare, in short supply