|Date of Birth||1954, Hawaii, USA|
|Birth Name||Albert F. Pyun|
Mini Bio (1)
Albert Pyun is an award-winning American filmmaker best known for his contributions to the science-fiction and action genres. He is credited with pioneering the cyborg sub-genre and is considered to be a maverick and renegade in independent genre cinema. With over 50 titles to his name, he has enjoyed a prolific career spanning 30+ years and has earned himself a fevered cult following.
His first film, The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982), was the highest-grossing independent film of 1982, earning $36,714,025 in the US. The film's success led to Pyun being attached to various large sci-fi projects, including Total Recall (1990) (eventually directed by Paul Verhoeven) and he became a much sought-after director by several studios. His follow-up film was the post-apocalyptic sci-fi Radioactive Dreams (1985), which helped launch the careers of Michael Dudikoff and John Stockwell, and cemented Pyun's reputation for being an edgy and creative filmmaker. The 1980s was a highly productive decade for him, with the release of Dangerously Close (1986), Vicious Lips (1986), Down Twisted (1987), Alien from L.A. (1988), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1988), Cyborg (1989) and Deceit (1992).
Pyun's work with Cannon Pictures saw him direct more films for the company than any other filmmaker and his involvement with "Spider-Man" and "Masters of the Universe 2" became legendary. When both films were canceled mid-way into their productions, Pyun devised a breakneck strategy to combine the sets and costume designs from both to salvage the lost money and deliver a single stand-alone film. The result was Cyborg (1989), which opened in 1989 as the fourth highest grossing film in America. It grossed $10,166,459 and gave Jean-Claude Van Damme his Hollywood superstar status.
The 1990s proved to be an even more prolific decade, with PYun directing a further 24 films. Notable throughout those years include Captain America (1990), Nemesis (1992), Nemesis 2: Nebula (1995), Nemesis 3: Time Lapse (1996), Nemesis 4: Death Angel (1996), Kickboxer 2: The Road Back (1991), Knightriders (1981), Omega Doom (1996), Adrenalin: Fear the Rush (1996), Hong Kong 97 (1994), Postmortem (1998) and Mean Guns (1997). His work with Charles Band's Full Moon Pictures saw him direct Dollman (1991) and Arcade (1993), both of which continue to hold a strong cult following.
The 2000s marked a new era for Pyun, as he moved away from the independent studio system and began making films much more independently by way of self-funding and outsourcing money personally. This allowed for greater creative freedoms as a filmmaker, despite his budgets being drastically reduced. His new approach to filmmaking has divided audiences, however; those who have followed his career closely agree that his films since 2000 have been far more audacious and personal, none more so than his 2013 film Road to Hell (2008) (shot in 2008). Inspired by Walter Hill's classic Streets of Fire (1984), the film acts as a spiritual sequel and presents the two protagonists in an alternative future. Michael Paré and Deborah Van Valkenburgh reprised their roles of Tom and Reva Cody and their characters are pitted against a vibrant and surreal purgatory landscape. The film has enjoyed a steady run on the festival circuit and is slated for a home-entertainment release. Other notable films from this decade include the stunning one-shot horror film Invasion (2004) (aka "Infection"), the brutal drug trade thriller Bulletface (2010) and the long-awaited Abelar: Tales of an Ancient Empire (2010), a follow up to "The Sword and the Sorcerer". Investor and distributor interference on this film jeopardized the final theatrical cut and the film is slated, along with several of his other films, for an upcoming director's cut release.
The 2010s have proven to be a difficult time in Pyun's career due to declining health and difficulties getting a major project released. His film Cyborg Nemesis: The Dark Rift was shot, but remains unfinished due to pending post-production issues. An incomplete version of the film was screened for an audience at the Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival. His health took a turn for the worst in 2012 when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The effect of the illness took an emotional and physical toll on him and in early 2013 he announced his retirement. Following a brief hiatus he concluded that the best remedy was filmmaking and he made a triumphant return with The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper (2014). While he endured medical tests and treatments, the film had an incredibly fast turnaround and was written, shot and completed within a matter of weeks. The story line was a direct follow-up to "Invasion" and continued the one-shot concept. It was entirely filmed over the course of a single day and showcased Pyun's ability to think outside the box, both practically and creatively.
As of 2015 Pyun has attempted to develop various other projects, while maintaining ongoing treatment for his MS. These projects include "Napoleon", "The Kickboxer": "City of Blood" and "Algiers". In maintaining a strong relationship with his fan base Pyun has shared the production details of these projects on his Facebook page and maintains that he is still actively pursuing them. Their further development will depend on his ongoing health. He attributes his relationship with his fans as a driving force in fighting his illness and he has shared his medical journey with them almost every step of the way.
November of 2015 saw the release of a conceptual teaser trailer for a brand-new film titled "Star Warfare Rangers" and the "Cyborg Witch of Endor" (later retitled Interstellar Civil War: Shadows of the Empire (2017)). Having evolved from various attempts to revive his "Cyborg" saga, the film is set to be an original story detailing the search for a missing Cyborg child. The film will mark Albert's 33rd collaboration with his long-standing composer Tony Riparetti and boasts an impressive cast including Brad Thornton, Glenn Maynard, Ellie Church, Tommie Vegas, Shane Ryan and Morgan Weisser, among others.
Pyun's career has seen him work with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, many of whom got their first break with him. He has worked with the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sasha Mitchell, Christopher Lambert, Natasha Henstridge, Brion James, Tim Thomerson, Jackie Earle Haley, Teri Hatcher, Rutger Hauer, Olivier Gruner, Charlie Sheen, Burt Reynolds, Steven Seagal, Rob Lowe, Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Kevin Sorbo, Tom Sizemore, Andrew Dice Clay, Dennis Hopper, Kevin Gage, Robert Patrick, Seth Green, Dennis Chan, Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin, Ronny Cox, Kris Kristofferson, George Kennedy, Richard Lynch, Lee Horsley, Richard Moll, Courteney Cox, Tom Matthews, Nicholas Guest, Kathy Ireland, Deep Roy, Michel Qissi, Andrew Divoff, David Carradine, Vincent Klyn, Mitch Pileggi, Yuji Okumoto, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Michael Pare and Deborah Van Vulkenburgh. His most frequent actor collaborations have been with Norbert Weisser and Scott Paulin, who have worked alongside Albert in dozens of films spanning several decades.
Albert lives in Las Vegas, NV, with his wife and producer, Cynthia Curnan.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: G.A. Cochrane (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)