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Monday, 24 December 2012

HEATSEEKER (1995)

An Albert Pyun film involving kickboxing and cyborgs? Really? Wow, there's something I've never seen before. Sarcasm aside (as well as Cyborg and Nemesis), I'm actually quite fond of Pyun's deliciously tacky low-budget sci-fi action flicks, unless its Nemesis 4. That was painful.

Heatseeker isn't awful when compared to that surreal gob of puke, but it lacks a few aspects which would have made it great. Namely a plot and some characters.

However, it's a Trimark Pictures release (I love those) and it cost me the grand some of 10p for the ex-rental tape I've watched now. Bargain.
The premise is all based on futuristic tournaments, either fought between humans or cyborgs, but rarely between humans and cyborgs.

Our hero Chance O'Brien (Keith Cooke, from, erm, the Cynthia Rothrock classic China O'Brien) is an all-human fighting champion, who takes it upon himself to face down the greatest cyborg fighter of them all (Xao, played by Gary Daniels) when his girlfriend is held to ransom by a megalomaniacal corporation.

Also starring Thom Mathews and Norbert Weisser alongside the remarkably sweet Tina Cote, Heatseeker should really be a post-apocalyptic-cyberpunk-martial-arts-movie fan's wet dream, but unfortunately the story is kinda vague, the characters never get past a name and a fighting style, and it's hard to really care about what's going on onscreen.

That said, the cyberpunk visuals and martial arts battles are a joy to watch. It's just a shame about the actual film itself. It does kinda read like a cyberpunk checklist at times (the clothes, the action, the corporations, the shady dealings and stylised dialogue), but that doesn't make for a classic film.

It's fun if you're in the mood for mindless cheese, but if you're after a compelling story, best to look elsewhere. Although, if you're going to pick up a movie like Heatseeker, I doubt you're really looking for high art. Me? I enjoyed it. It's flawed and silly, but hey, so am I.

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