Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cyborg Cop II (Sam Firstenberg, 1994)

It looks like someone is having cyborg-related problems... again. Oh, Jack Ryan. When will your friends, relatives and enemies stop being turned into mindless killing machines? In Cyborg Cop II (a.k.a. Cyborg Soldier: Cyborg Cop 2), Jack Ryan finds himself... Whoa! Hold up. Is that what I think it is? It is!!! Are you sitting down? 'Cause I'm about to blow your freakin' mind. Guess who wears a fanny pack from start to finish in this film? (Um, David Bradley.) Wait, how did you know that? (Everyone knows that David Bradley wears a fanny pack in Cyborg Cop II.) Well, I didn't. And that's causing a bit of a problem. You see, if I had known that David Bradley wore a fanny pack in Cyborg Cop II, I wouldn't have gone so overboard with the fanny pack talk in my not yet award-winning review of Cyborg Cop. To make matters even more complicated, David Bradley has a scene in this film with an actress who is also wearing a fanny pack. That's right, this film, directed, like the first one, by Sam Firstenberg (Ninja III... Dominion!) is literally oozing fanny packs. When I saw this, I started to panic.


Of course, I could have done some research beforehand, and quickly found out that Cyborg Cop II was rife with fanny packs. However, when it comes to watching movies, especially cyborg movies, I like to go in fresh. Nevertheless, the sight of two actors onscreen at the same time wearing black fanny packs sent me over the edge.


Don't believe I'm over the edge, check this shit out: The more I observed Jack Ryan (David Bradley), the more I started to realize that his power comes from his fanny pack. Sure, that might sound like the ravings of someone who has clearly lost their grip on reality. But how else can you explain the fact Jack Ryan never gets injured? Thrown through plate glass windows, punched in the face (by cyborgs, whose punching prowess is second to none) and hit with large metal pipes, Jack Ryan seems impervious to harm.


Okay, so what if Jack Ryan's fanny pack contains an ancient talisman of, oh, let's say, Latvian origin, that prevents him from being hurt. (Or, he could be a cyborg himself, and his fanny pack is where he keeps his back-up battery.) Jack Ryan, a cyborg? Poppycock. No, an ancient talisman of Latvian origin makes more sense. Think about it.


If you're currently having trouble in the thinking department, let me help you out: When Jack Ryan was a little boy growing up on the mean streets of Chillicothe, Ohio, his Latvian grandfather, Artūrs Irbe Rieņš (their name was officially anglicized in 1906, but Artūrs refused to be called Mr. Ryan), gave him an ancient talisman of Latvian origin on his tenth birthday. The only problem being, ancient talismans of Latvian origin are too unwieldy to wear around one's neck, and they're definitely much too irregularly-shaped to be crammed up one's anus (trust me, I know). In order to rectify the situation, Artūrs suggested that Jack store it in a fanny pack, which he has done ever since.


In other words, I don't want to hear any more of this Jack Ryan is a cyborg nonsense.


Though, I have to say, I'm having a little trouble coming up with an equally levelheaded reason as to why Gloria Alvarez (Kimberleigh Stark), Jack's go-to babysitter, was wearing a fanny pack.


Actually, after giving it a lot of thought, I think I have an explanation for that as well. Since Gloria will be looking after his adopted son while he's out fighting cyborgs, Jack gave her a less powerful ancient talisman of Latvian origin that used to belong to his Aunt Lūcija (she drowned in the Scioto River - witnesses say that her fanny pack sat on the shore mocking her as she struggled to keep her head above water). Anyway, like his grandfather's talisman, it's way too cumbersome to be worn around the neck or to be inserted into your average anus. Hence the reason Gloria was wearing a fanny pack when she came over to babysit. Any questions? I didn't think so.


It takes roughly nine minutes for Jack Rieņš, I mean, Jack Ryan, and his fanny pack to appear onscreen. Up until this point, we've had to endure a Sam Firstenberg-style, over the top, body count heavy gun battle.


Taking place in a warehouse used to manufacture cocaine (one where all the workers work topless), the shoot out pits Starkraven (Morgan Hunter), a ruthless criminal (think Kurtwood Smith in RoboCop crossed with Yul Brynner), and his pick-up truck filled with henchmen, against Fats (Robin Smith), a drug kingpin who commands an army of hapless thugs. The reason I call them "hapless" is because they can't seem to stop four or five guys from destroying Fats' operation.


When the DEA show up, Starkraven and his men take hostages and barricade themselves inside. Since Captain Salerno (Dale Cutts) is at a loss what to do, Jack Ryan (David Bradley), and his new partner, Mike Alvarez (Hector Rabotabi), who show up late on their motorcycles, decide to do things their way. Of course, this way ends up getting Mike killed.


When word gets out that Starkraven has escaped from prison, Jack Ryan immediately springs into action. Leaving his adopted son with Gloria Alvarez, who you might remember as the leggy party girl in the skimpy mini-dress from the first Cyborg Cop, Jack Ryan heads out to find Starkraven and bring him to justice.


I wonder if Jack would have acted differently if he had known the truth. Didn't you hear, Starkraven didn't actually escape from prison. No, his body was "borrowed" by the ATG (The Anti Terrorist Group) and turned into the ultimate tactical warrior. Knowing Jack, he probably would have done the exact same thing. Sure, Starkraven (who is re-born as "Spartacus") is now a super-cyborg, but don't forget, Jack has an ancient talisman of Latvian origin in his fanny pack. Meaning, super-cyborg, schmuper-schmyborg. Bring it on.


To the surprise of virtually no-one, Spartacus goes rogue. After killing all the ATG scientists, Spartacus begins to assemble a cyborg army. Well, that's actually not true (not the cyborg army part), some of the ATG scientists seemed genuinely surprised when Spartacus goes rogue, especially the leggy lady scientist who gets knifed in the back.


Oh, and if you're wondering how I knew the leggy lady scientist was in fact leggy, that's simple.


Take a look at the skirt she's wearing while sitting at the bar/lounge next to the cyborg lab. Pretty modest, right?


Okay, now look at it. Where did the material go? It would seem that her skirt went being modest to super-short in the blink of an eye. I'm not complaining. I just thought it was weird that her skirt length changed the moment she entered the cyborg lab. Either way: Best continuity error ever.


After some perfunctory sleuthing scenes (cool, floppy disks) and an action sequence where Spartacus' cyborg army takeover a nuclear power plant, we finally meet Liz McDowell (Jill Pierce), the deputy director of operations for ATG. I say, "finally," because this film has been a major sausage festival since the leggy lady scientist scene. At any rate, realizing that Jack Ryan is the only one competent enough to stop Spartacus, Liz decides to team up with him.


Unfortunately, there's no time for romance. There is, however, time for erections. You probably didn't notice, but Jack Ryan is sporting a massive erection when he meets Liz McDowell for the very first time. Wearing a short gray skirt with a matching blazer, the simple act of flashing a little leg causes a torrent blood to rush to Jack Ryan's penis. You might be thinking: How embarrassing. But fear not, as Jack's fanny pack has got his erection under control. The great thing about fanny packs is that they're not only perfect for carrying around unwieldy ancient talismans of Latvian origin, they also allow the wearer to sport as many erections as they want. The fanny pack is most likely thinking to themselves: Get hard, my Latvian-American friend. I've got you covered.


(So, is this movie good or what?) How the fuck should I know. I can tell you this, I won't be writing about Cyborg Cop 3. No David Bradley, no fanny pack, no review. So, fuck you, Cyborg Cop 3. Your ass smells like shit.


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