Starring Dave Trix, Aurelie Aloy, Fréderic Avila, and Cyril Basilée
Directed by Mathieu Cailliere
It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that Cyborg: Deadly Machine, which can now be viewed on YouTube, is the most insane film you’ll see all year, as it literally includes a scene where a guy armed only with a frying pan fights a super-powered cyborg warrior and emerges unscathed. The post-apocalyptic wasteland which serves as the setting for Cyborg: Deadly Machine is so damn violent and crazy that it makes Mad Max: Fury Road look like Sesame Street in comparison, so be prepared for some hardcore sci-fi action. Director Mathieu Cailliere clearly did not hold back when it came to brutality, and his film is all the more memorable for that.
Our frying pan-wielding hero is named Alex Rayne, and he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to saving the world. After a prologue sequence which explained that machines have risen up and taken over, we then learn that Alex is trying to survive in the harsh wasteland, and that he also loves to cook, something which sets him apart from other sci-fi other heroes of his ilk. Wherever Alex goes, he also brings C-9000, a sentient computer with a child-like personality, making this story seem like a more deranged version of The Mandalorian. But unlike Baby Yoda, C-9000 is not afraid to use foul language when he feels the need. He also acts as Alex’s friend and companion, even reminding him at times that he should be saving the world instead of worrying about the taste of his tomato sauce.
And while Alex would clearly rather be cooking than fighting, he eventually decides to destroy the cyborgs menacing what remains of humanity, because they don’t even eat their vegetables. His martial arts skills and his proficiency with a frying pan are nothing to be scoffed at, as they make for some very entertaining action sequences. And seeing as this film was heavily influenced by video games, it almost seems fitting that one action scene in particular was literally animated to resemble a beat ‘em up game from the 1990s. If you grew up playing games like Streets of Rage and Double Dragon, you won’t know whether to laugh at this scene or be moved by it.
Alex was played by Dave Trix, and despite the campy tone, he kept a straight face throughout, even though his dialogue was clearly not synched up to his lip movements for comedic effect. Aurelie Aloy also deserves praise as Stacy, a no-nonsense freedom fighter who teams up with Alex, and Fréderic Avila’s robotic performance as the voice of C-9000 will probably have you in stitches. Especially when he tries to woo a fellow computer he meets on his travels, and gets no response.
Despite only running for fifty minutes, Cyborg: Deadly Machine was filled with so many popular culture references that it demands multiple viewings to spot them all. Everything from Terminator to Robot Chicken was given a shout out, and we were even treated to footage from the largely forgotten RoboCop Versus The Terminator Mega Drive game (yes, it really does exist). And as hardcore Alien fans, hearing Stacy using the codename Nostromo certainly bought a smile to our faces. Heck, the film even ends with a fake 1990s commercial for Cyborg: Deadly Machine action figures, so the level of meta on display here is clearly jaw-dropping, but we’ll leave you to decide what to make of that.
While it may be too ridiculous and over the top for some, we found Cyborg: Deadly Machine to be an enjoyably cheesy sci-fi adventure about a warrior obsessed with creating the perfect stew and his wise-cracking computer sidekick. And you also need to watch it to learn the secret ingredient of Alex’s tomato sauce, because it’s probably not what you expect.
If you don’t mind being constantly bombarded with popular culture references, you’ll probably enjoy Cyborg: Deadly Machine. Director Mathieu Cailliere created a loving homage to the Terminator franchise while also adding his own unique spin, and fans of both action and sci-fi cinema are in for a treat.