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An employee of a secret company operation becomes the victim of the company's special weapons project. He is transformed into a robotic killing machine that, because of his programming must destroy anything that comes near him. Written by
Michael Silva <email@example.com>
Maybe I was expecting a little too much from it, but 'The Vindicator' was a so-so Canadian low-budget get-up of a half-human / robot on the rampage for revenge against those who did him wrong. While being tacky, junky and trashy all rolled into one, it just didn't rally up the thrills like it could have done. The story is pure comic-book stuff with some outrageous inclusions and can be loosely tied to the 'Frankenstein' story. But the main cause of interest, and it's been thrown around was how it could be seen as a minor blueprint for Paul Verhoeven's superior 'Robocop (1987)'.
Comparisons aside (which on the other hand James Cameron's 'Terminator (1984)' could've been an influencer to it), it's standard b-grade ho-huh that I didn't find it all that exciting or gripping in it's bland story-telling (which had too many daft moments in a wonky script) and uniformed visuals. Director Jean-Claude Lord's (who was also behind the 1982 slasher 'Visiting Hours') handling is crudely makeshift and the pacing can get blotchy, but the grimy atmosphere and cold-blooded violence (at least the deaths are creative) seems to fit. However the premise had something original to work with, but the way Lord went about it wasn't. At times it seemed to get too mushy with some unwanted details, where I wished it kept to a more straight-forward, but harrowing revenge exploitation path.
Iconic cult actress Pam Grier appears as a hired gun to destroy the cyborg, but even her firebrand presence isn't all that flammable. David McIlwraith cruises through his part as the scientist turned machine. Richard Cox is perfectly snake-like in his performance, but the pick of the bunch is Teri Austin's gallant turn. The always dependable Stan Winston vividly crafts out the space-suit wearing cyborg and make-up FX with great care, and is one of the film's major highlights. Paul Zaza's music score starts off effective, to only go on to be mainly forgettable.
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