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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 1954Hawaii, USA
Birth NameAlbert F. Pyun

Mini Bio (1)

Few other directors have been the object of so much vituperation as Albert Pyun. Frequently compared with Edward D. Wood Jr., they both share a fascination with the bizarre. Pyun has a feel for the stylistic and hypnotic, changing the conventions of fiction and making each of his movies an extreme experience.

Born in San Diego, he was later brought up in Hawaii. There his childhood was illuminated by an unending consumption of movies--awful horror and tacky action films in the cinemas regularly attended by the Marines from the nearby Kaneohe military base.

At the age of nine he started shooting short films with an 8mm camera borrowed from his parents. At 16 he embarked with his mates on gangster movies that he later revealed underground, while working at night as an editor, sound technician or electrician for local laboratories. Following his graduation, at 18 he traveled to Japan. Once there, supported by Toshirô Mifune, he succeeded in getting hired as a trainee of the great Akira Kurosawa.

Back in the US, he shot over 300 commercials. Taking advantage of the revival of the "sword-and-sandal" genre prompted by John Milius' Conan the Barbarian (1982), he obtained funding for The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982). Probably one of his less loathed films, it was a visual feast--extremely pulpy, although with a touch of gore not suitable for all. Its unexpected success would raise the interest of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, the owners of Cannon Films, a flashy (though strictly a low-budget) production company.

Under the Cannon seal, Pyum would turn out some of his most well known films, such as Cyborg (1989). A vehicle for up-and-coming martial arts actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, it was initially conceived as a heavy opera without dialogue to be shot in granulated black and white. That, however, was rejected by producers, who were opposed to this kind of avant-garde treatment.

In 1993 Pyun made another movie on cyborgs, Nemesis (1992), in which gunfights prevail over martial arts in comparison to his previous movies. It has a great cast of brute actors (and actresses), and pre-empts the cyberpunk aesthetics of later movies. Its success would pave the way for three sequels. Pyun usually has to overcome budget shortages, re-editing and other kinds of damage caused by producers and distributors intending to bury his authorship. His swift shooting style allows for avant-garde exploration within his films, and Pyun belongs to that lineage of filmmakers yet to receive the appreciation they should. To define Pyun, we could call him a sort of Jean-Luc Godard of the B (or possibly Z) movie. Albert Pyun has completed more than 40 films, overcoming the worst circumstances. His creative restraints have frequently pushed him to shoot two films at once. While completing a project with a more-or-less assured (though never generous) budget, he takes advantage of locations and technical teams to shoot undercover an "author's fancy", sometimes in just two or three days.

Pyun has hardly ever controlled the final editing of his films, but he always shoots in scope format, with anamorphic and wide-angle lenses, in an attempt to emulate the shot compositions and usage of framing of his idol, Sergio Leone. His films have been re-edited by producers and re-framed to satisfy the television and video market, so a large part of Pyun films' magic has gone missing. Eager to preserve the originality of his work, he created the production company Filmwerks in 1994, through which he will finance a handful of titles representing an illustrative summary of his unique and captivating art.

Despite some reverses and bashes, Pyun has managed to complete Infection (2005), a film on which he finally has been able to exert full control, and recovers his avant-garde impulse along with his hectic creativity. Once more, Pyun leaves the spectator in a shock following a display of his technical skill: this time, the focus is on the shooting of a definitively psychotronic plot in real time and in one continuous sequence.

Albert Pyun is already working on new projects that he describes with his characteristic enthusiasm: "Cool Air", an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft in an editing stage; a remake of Mean Guns (1997) on a Faustian tone; he is even considering the making of a surrealistic western, "Left for Dead", that he is to shoot simultaneously with "War Zone", a bellicose nightmare.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A. Nonymous

Trade Mark (6)

Frequently uses George Mooradian as cinematographer
Frequently uses 'Tom Karnowski' and Gary Schmoeller as producers
Frequently casts Jahi J.J. Zuri and Thom Mathews
Frequently casts Vincent Klyn and Norbert Weisser
Frequently casts Tim Thomerson and Nicholas Guest
Frequently uses Anthony Riparetti as composer

Trivia (8)

Writer's trademark: The character "Brick Bardo" was used by Pyun in seven of his earlier films (Radioactive Dreams (1985), Alien from L.A. (1988), Deceit (1992), Cyborg (1989), Bloodmatch (1991), Dollman (1991) and Nemesis 3: Time Lapse (1996)), and also in his more recent film, Infection (2005). The character is played twice by Tim Thomerson, Scott Paulin and Christian Andrews, and once by Thom Mathews and Ralph Moeller.
Originally lined up to direct Laird Hamilton as He-Man in the sequel to Masters of the Universe (1987) (to be filmed back to back with Cannon Pictures' aborted version of "Spider-Man"), but financial difficulties with Cannon caused the film to be canned, with the remaining sets and props being used in Cyborg (1989) with Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Won Best Director award for Left for Dead (2006) at the VIII Semana Internacional de Cine Fantástico y de Terror on September 9, 2007.
Won Best Director and Best Picture awards for Infection (2005) at the VI Semana Internacional de Cine Fantástico y de Terror de Estepona.
Received the Unicorn de Oro Lifetime Achievement award at the VI Semana Internacional de Cine Fantastico y de Terror in 2005.
In 2014 he was named Best Director for The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper (2014) by the 2014 Pollygrind International Film Festival.
Was approached to direct Total Recall (1990) in 1983 by the Ladd Company. Was approached to direct a remake of "The Killer" in 1994 by TriStar Pictures.
Awarded Best Director award for Left for Dead (2006) in 2007 by the Estepona International Film Festival (Gold Unicorn). He received his second Best Director award for The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper (2014) in 2014 by the Pollygrind Underground International Film Festival.

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