Directed by: Albert Pyun
Category: Sci-fi Cinema/Cult Classics
Wow. My second badass Albert Pyun flick of the week! As much as I love Cyborg (haven't seen the directors cut yet), I think this one one-ups it in terms of entertainment value and I think I might just like this one a little bit more. I'll admit, right now i'm on an Albert Pyun high. I've got my orders in for directors cuts of both Captain America (1990) and Cyborg and have been trying to play catch up on his vast filmography which won't be easy cuz the dude's made a "lot" of flicks!
As with most of his movies, I do remember seeing this when it first came out on VHS (pretty sure it didn't get a theatrical release in my town), but that was it. Probably just the one time and I don't remember much about it other than it was from the same guy who did Cyborg, it also had cyborgs, a lot of action and starred the French dude from Angel Town. Almost 20 years have gone by since that first viewing, so it's pretty much like watching it from scratch all over again.
NEMESIS is pure badass adrenaline fueled awesomeness! This film has some crazy ass action in it and it's probably the main thing it has going for it. I mean, the action in here is insane and I know i'll get flack for this, but i'd say it rivals even The Killer in terms of how many bullets go flying through the air. The only time it ever slows down is this one section in the middle, but then just when you think it's starting to ease up a little bit they throw even more insane action and gunplay that outdoes the sequences from before. It's so frustrating that we can't watch this in Anamporhic Widescreen as intended. You clearly see that director Albert Pyun filmed it that way with how he frames and composes his shots and I really hope one day we'll be able to see it like that. Or any of his other films for that matter. It's weird, but for some reason hardly any of his films are ever released in there proper aspect ratio. I know Cyborg and The Sword and The Sorcerer are, but I honestly can't find any others that are.
Here's the plot via IMDB:
In the future, chaos is rampant as 'information terrorists' threaten to destroy order in society. Alex is a part-man-part-machine LAPD cop who is the best at what he does. When one of the terrorists calls him a machine, Alex questions his humanity and decides to leave the force. His final assignment is to apprehend an old colleague who has stolen some data. However, there is more than meets the eye and Alex must question his allegiance.
In all honesty, the plot was a little confusing. You know it's about cyborgs and all that, and that he's trying to get out of the game and they keep trying to hire him one last time to retrieve some stolen data. But he gets double-crossed or something. It sorta reminds me of Blade Runner (of course without the fancy effects), except here he actually knows he's part cyborg. There is a voice over narration which does help a lot in explaining what's going on. But it doesn't really matter because the visuals in here and the insane amount of action and stunts are what drives this baby. It's one spectacular action set piece after another and though I loved what Pyun did visually with Cyborg, he tops himself here. And everyone looks so cool. It looks like it could be 120 degrees outside, but they're always wearing trench coats and wearing sunglasses and look so cool.
Visually, it's probably one of director Albert Pyun's more impressive films. I haven't seen everything he's done, but i'm definitely on a roll and what he's done here is pretty damn impressive and proves that the guy is in fact talented.
This thing has a pretty sweet cast also. Besides Olivier Gruner we've also got Brion James (the replicant in the beginning of Blade Runner who blows the interview guy away when he's asked about his mother), Tim Thomerson (Jack Deth of Trancers fame and Dollman), a naked Thomas Jane (the 2nd Punisher), Deborah Shelton sporting a nice amount of unnecessary nudity, and regular baddie Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat and the villain from Showdown in little Tokyo). A pretty badass B-Movie cast to say the least. Gruner does a decent job as the lead here, but you can't help but think that he wouldn't come off so wooden if he didn't have that French accent.
Nemesis has spawned 3 other sequels so far, none of which I've seen yet. But I can't imagine they're any better than this one because this one just simply rules! There's a ton of action, a lot of unnecessary nudity and a semi-cohesive storyline. There are a few drawbacks though, like with the opening sequence. I don't know, I just felt that with a movie filled with so much badass imagery the opening sequence with Alex and a hooker/cyborg just kinda looked half assed with a lot of closeup hand held camera work. But then he kills her/it and proceeds to escape from the hotel with some baddies on his tail and the film kicks into gear. Also, the ending sequence with Alex and Farnsworth. You can call it a blatant Terminator ripoff or you can call it a homage to a very badass sci-fi flick. In either case, the effects are laughably bad. And yea I know, small budget. And you also have to consider it was 1992, so yea. Low budget effects hadn't yet reached the level of decent low-brow effects. But whatever, it looks cheesy and cheap and I suppose adds to the nostalgia factor. I just have to keep reminding myself "they were on a budget dork!". Director Albery Pyun is currently working on a version 2.o with newly enhanced effects and some re-editing I think. So far no release date has been set, but you can bet I'll be one of the first in line to purchase that awesome release when it's available.