Taglines: He’s the First Hero of the 21st Century… And He’s Our Only Hope.
Gibson Rickenbacker is a hired fighter living in a plague-ravaged apocalyptic America where a plague has infested most of the United States and the rest of the world. In New York City, Gibson encounters a woman named Pearl Prophet. Pearl reveals to Gibson that she is a cyborg who is carrying vital-information for a group of scientists in Atlanta who are working on a cure to the plague and Pearl hires Gibson to escort her back to Atlanta.
But Pearl is kidnapped by “Pirates” a murderous gang led by Fender Tremolo, who wants the cure for themselves and they decide to take Pearl to Atlanta themselves. Gibson, joined by a young woman named Nady Simmons, goes in pursuit of Fender and his gang, as Gibson sets out to rescue Pearl, stop Fender and his gang from reaching Atlanta and defeat Fender who slaughtered Gibson’s family.
Cyborg is a 1989 American martial-arts cyberpunk film directed by Albert Pyun. Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as Gibson Rickenbacker, a mercenary who battles a group of murderous marauders led by Fender Tremolo (Vincent Klyn) along the East coast of the United States in a post-apocalyptic future. The film is the first in Pyun’s Cyborg Trilogy. It was followed by 1993’s Knights (originally entitled The Kingdom of Metal: Cyborg Killer) and Omega Doom in 1997.[original research?] Cyborg was followed by sequels Cyborg 2 and Cyborg 3: The Recycler.
About the Story
A plague known as the living death cripples civilization. A small group of surviving scientists and doctors — located in Atlanta, Georgia, home of the CDC — work on a cure to save what remains of humanity. To complete their work they need information stored on a computer system in New York City. Pearl Prophet volunteers for the dangerous courier mission and is made into a cyborg through surgical augmentation.
Pearl, accompanied by bodyguard Marshall Strat, retrieves the data in New York but is pursued by the vicious Fender Tremolo and his gang of pirates. Fender wants the cure so he can have a monopoly on its production. Strat, badly injured while fighting the pirates, tells Pearl to leave him and find a mercenary, known as a “slinger”, who can escort her to safety. She gets cornered but is saved by a slinger named Gibson Rickenbacker. After she explains her situation, they are overrun by Fender’s gang, and Gibson is knocked out by falling debris. Fender demands that she accompany him to Atlanta or die.
Fender’s gang slaughters a family and steals their boat. They head south for Atlanta via the Intracoastal Waterway with the captive Pearl. Gibson, who had been tracking the pirates, arrives at the scene of slaughter later that night. A shadowy figure attacks him, but he disables her. She turns out to be Nady Simmons, a young woman who mistook him as a pirate. Nady, whose family was wiped out by the plague, joins Gibson.
Gibson is less concerned with a cure for the plague than with killing Fender. Gibson and Nady trek southward through the wastelands, where bandits ambush them. Concerned for Nady, Gibson unsuccessfully attempts to convince her to stay away. After declining sex with Nady, Gibson reveals that all he cares about is revenge against Fender, who killed his lover and destroyed his chance to have a normal life and family.
Intercepting Fender and his crew near Charleston, South Carolina, Gibson defeats most of his men, but Fender shoots him with an air rifle. Now nursing a gunshot wound, Gibson realizes Haley (his dead lover’s younger sister whom Fender kidnapped) is now a loyal member of Fender’s crew. He flees the pirates and ends up alone with Pearl and Nady. Pearl refuses to go with him — she calculates that Gibson is not strong enough to defeat Fender and will be unable to get her to Atlanta safely. She says she will go along with Fender and lure him to his death in Atlanta, where she has resources at her disposal.
Tired, wounded and badly outnumbered, Gibson flees with Nady through the sewer into a salt marsh, where they are pursued by the rest of the pirates and eventually separated from each other. Gibson is thoroughly beaten by Fender and crucified high on the mast of a beached, derelict ship. Haley lingers at the scene but still leaves with Fender.
Gibson spends the night on the cross. In the morning, near death, he kicks the mast repeatedly with his dangling foot in a last fit of rage. The mast snaps, sending him crashing to the ground, his arms still tied and nailed to the cross. Finally, Nady appears out of the marsh to free him.
Directed by: Albert Pyun
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Deborah Richter, Vincent Klyn, Alex Daniels, Dayle Haddon, Blaise Loong, Ralf Moeller, Haley Peterson, Janice Graser
Screenplay by: Kitty Chalmers, Daniel Hubbard-Smith
Production Design by: Douglas H. Leonard
Cinematography by: Philip Alan Waters
Film Editing by: Scott Stevenson, Rozanne Zingale, Sheldon Lettich, Jean-Claude Van Damme
Costume Design by: Heidi Kaczenski
Set Decoration by: Yvonne Hegney
Music by: Kevin Bassinson
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release Date: April 7, 1989