Retro-review: New on BluRay from Kino Lorber!
Directed by Franklin Adreon
Written by Arthur C. Pierce
Starring Michael Rennie, Karen Steele, Wendell Corey, Warren Stevens, Eduard Franz, Harry Carey Jr., Adam Roarke, Chubby Johnson, Tyler MacDuff, Dale Van Sickel, Troy Melton, James Hibbard, Sherry Alberoni, Betty Jane Royale, John Beck, Charles Evans, JoAnne Gaylord, Harry Hollins, Richard Travis, Byron Morrow
I love watching these old sci fi classics because you can see the nugget of inspiration that shows up in modern films. I don’t think anyone can watch CYBORG 2087 and not be reminded of James Cameron’s THE TERMINATOR and T2. I’m sure Cameron saw this film and either through homage or outright plagiarism, a lot of what ended up in his TERMINATOR films seems to have been inspired by this classic little sci fi flick.
A cyborg named Garth-A7 (THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL’s Michael Rennie) is sent into the past to retrieve a scientist responsible for creating a device that eventually leads to the destruction of society as we know it. The objective is to either retrieve the scientist or kill him. Once transported back in time, he is met with opposition from the local authorities and is also followed by a pair of Tracers are sent back in time to stop Garth-A7 from achieving his goal. Meanwhile, the scientist’s associate Dr. Sharon Mason (Karen Steele) attempts to connect with the cyborg on a more emotional level as a means to understand him. And a group of ginchy kids with a dune buggy simply LOVE to dance!
Despite the goofy inclusion of those hep cat kids and extended minutes of their dance moves to some groovin’ music as an attempt to attract a younger audience, CYBORG 2087 is a pretty awesome little sci fi flick. Much like THE TERMINATOR and T2, a half man/half machine is sent back in time to prevent a scientist from creating something that is devastating to the future, followed by another set of future men bent on stopping them. The look of both Garth-A7 and especially the Tracer officers who wear round motorcycle helmets and uniforms not unlike Robert Patrick’s T-1000, seem to be templates Cameron used for his sci fi masterpiece.
CYBORG 2087 is a quaint and adorable version of the TERMINATOR franchise. There are no naked time travelers or “Fuck off, ass-hole”’s—no morphing police officers or massive amounts of machine gun cartridges, but at its core, the story and the feel is all the same. I loved every second of this film that is as a sign of the times it was made in as the TERMINATOR films were a sign of their age. Rennie is awesome again as the alien/robotic lead, exhibiting the authority and power he exuded in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. The laser guns and antics the humans and the cyborg try to take on the Tracers is downright huggable. If you’re looking for a gateway flick to get your kid interested in sci fi, this might be one to consider. Either way, lovers of classic sci fi and sci fi aficionados are going to want to swipe this up quickly.