Cyborg Cop 3 (1995)

Welcome back to the world of the “unquel”, where part of a numbered series of movies bears no relation to what’s gone on before it. The first two entries in the Cyborg Cop-verse, although they bore precious little relation to each other, starred the same man; part 3 has nothing in common with parts 1 and 2 at all. But! In terms of trashy 90s genre movies, the entire series has been a great deal of fun to watch, and they’re all available on Youtube (I think).

Starring in “Cyborg Cop 3” are ISCFC favourites Bryan Genesse (“Screwballs 2”) and Frank Zagarino, who we’ve already covered together in “Project Shadowchaser 2”. Evidently, they enjoyed working with each other (they appeared in four movies together) and they have an easy camaraderie – I would have totally enjoyed a series of movies of them wisecracking their way through cyborg-based shenanigans. But one is all we have!

So, our friends are Federal Marshalls – although their whole business operation seems more bounty hunter than legit federal agent – Saint (Zagarino) and Max (Genesse), doing their best to make this a late entry into the buddy-cop genre. They both kick ass, but only get themselves associated with the main storyline by accident. They eventually meet Evelyn, an investigative TV journalist, because they both pull up at the same gas station. She’s discovered a plot by Delta Tech to turn college students into super-powerful cyborgs, so they can go into nuclear meltdown places and clean up with no fear of injury or radiation poisoning. What I think is important to note that the cyborgs in the three volumes of this fine story bear no relation to each other at all, and the ones in part 3 seem significantly less good than the ones in part 2. Ah, who cares?

There are some curious choices in this movie, perhaps most notably the way it uses the cast. After establishing Saint and Max, it then goes to Evelyn’s story for a solid 15 minutes or so, and she’s sort of dull, comparatively. Director Yossi Wein is better known as a cinematographer, if you can call a guy who’s never made a film anyone sensible will have heard of, known in any way, and the flow of things in the early running is a bit weird. They’re by far the most entertaining thing about “Cyborg Cop 3”, and whenever they’re not on screen you’re a bit “hey, where are Max and Saint? Max and Saint should be here now” It’s not like they even set Evelyn up as a love interest, so there’s even less point to give so much of the movie to her.

There’s also a curious use of sets. Despite them having an office, and using Saint’s house (Max apparently lives in a hovel) for a few sitcom-like scenes, they have a base which is a slightly disused museum. Paintings and objets d’art all over the place, but whoever owns it is fine with a couple of marshalls bringing waifs and strays back to it. Then…they arrange to meet the villain in a junkyard, pretty much just because the film crew found one they could use and they couldn’t be bothered to write it organically into the movie. I admire them just going “ah, screw it, junkyards are cool”.

One would hope a cinematographer would know better how to film action, as well. There’s a crop duster chase scene which could have been brilliant, but in reality it just left you thinking “why doesn’t the guy behind just pull up and away from the stream of chemicals?” Although it does set up one of the dumbest endings in recent memory, and a use of miniatures almost as egregious as the models they used to blow up in “Cyborg Cop 2”.

Still, it’s a lot of fun. Genesse and Zagarino have gotten a pretty rough deal from other reviewers but I like them, and despite this being yet another movie where the lead characters are neither cops or cyborgs, you’ll be solidly entertained by it. Watching trash from the 90s, you find the odd idea that you wish had been developed, and these two guys kicking cyborg ass was one of them. We got 13 “Witchcraft” movies but not another in this series?

Rating: thumbs in the middle

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