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Going into this movie, I was expecting a Robocop rip-off, what I got
was a fairly entertaining Robocop rip-off that also reminded me of
Darkman and The Guyver in equal amounts. Imagine my surprise then, to
learn that this fairly obscure little movie actually predates all of
those films by a good few years, and the only films that are blatant
influences on it are The Terminator and Frankenstein.
A brilliant Scientist is killed by his boss to be recreated as an invulnerable Cyborg who will obey his every command. However, when the control chip for him is detached, he escapes, visiting his mourning wife, while being hunted by a Bounty Hunter(played by Pam Grier) and the company's scientists and hired muscle, before he decides to put an end to their schemes.
It's not brilliant, and all of the aforementioned movies, barring maybe the first Guyver, are better than it, but that doesn't mean it's not a fairly good B-grade Sci-Fi movie that never bored or failed to entertain me. The effects, done by Stan Winston, are actually pretty good, although the Cyborg's design could have been better, it's actual creation is excellent. Acting in the movie is fairly divided, with the main players all doing very well, but the supporting cast are pretty dreadful.
Worth watching to see a sort of Pre-Robocop Robocop.
You probably have never heard of this movie but it's a real find. It's a mixture of science-fiction/action and revenge themes. It has a comic book plot but it's presented in a fast paced, razzle-dazzle way. The cast is in pretty good form too. Chaykin really steals the show in an interesting plot twist. It doesn't have much to do with the original Frankenstein legend so The Vindicator is a better title than Frankenstein 88. It was shot in Montreal but you'd never know it. Unlike many Canadian films made at the time, it does not have an ultra-slow, cheap look about it. In fact, the special effects and sets are highly impressive. It only had a minimal release and then turned up on Pay-TV and video. If you like sci-fi even a tiny bit, check this out and tell a friend. You won't be disappointed!
Looks as if the Robocop writer has been wholesale looting The Vindicator. This is a very solid horror/action movie about a man set up in an accident to be used in cruel experiment. Anyone who have seen Robocop knows the story. Watch out for Pam Grier as a bitchy and darn good looking assassin. This highly effective, violent and bloody horror movie may not be to everyones liking, but this Canadian outing is well worth seeking out for anyone who is fan of the genre. 8/10
as a fan of robocop, i always loved this movie. i seen it when it first came out, and finally i bought it on DVD from Brazil, it was never released in the us on DVD. i like the film, but like everything else in this world, everyone has their opinion, love it or hate it. no matter what a movie does, someone will always say "why didn't they do it another way?" in other words you cant please everyone. if you love robocop, you will love this film. to me, its so unique thats its not cheesy, or silly like a lot of lower budget movies. this film always kept me interested. i can see a few scenes that robocop borrowed from here, but tell me what movies don't do that? a lot of films use other ideas from other movies, and sometimes change them around. fun film!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well I just got done watching this movie and it's a great flick.
The acting's top notch for a production like this. The highlights for me were Richard Cox as Whyte and David McIlwraith as the Vindicator/Frankenstein. The story overall has its twists and turns and keeps you entertained.
Some movies move very slow. The only thing that can be said about this movie maybe is that it moves a little too fast sometimes.
I don't understand why James Rolfe from cinemassacre.com didn't like it. It's got a lot of drama, intrigue and action. Very recommendable.
I don't regret paying those few bucks for the DVD at all.
PS: One bad part - the exploding truck. Too much for my taste.
The movie starts with a monkey in a cage, who's been hooked up to some
sort of robotic transmitter that people can command the monkey to
perform certain acts. Then one of the scientists says, "Now take a look
at what happens when we touch him with a robot." To which a small
remote controlled robot enters the cage and touches the monkey,
followed by inappropriate reaction from the monkey. Whenever a film
starts with testing a monkey and we hear, "Ok Now take a look at what
happens with when touch him with a robot." I'm going to be in for the
Vindicator might not feel like an original story, crossing Robocop with the Hulk (film doesn't even try to hide that it has borrowed a concept from the hulk by making), with a scientist who's been rebuilt into a powerful after a freak accident, which was purposely cause by his coworkers to push forward an experiment.
Yes, this is low budget, and yes this is silly, and yes, this is very eighties, however the film runs smoothly, never feeling dull. It's villains are despicable and you'll root for the hero to give them their dues. Some of the directors choices are also good, for instance a church sequence that has a great shot of our hero jumping from a balcony into shattering wood floors.
This is a true 80's low budget gem. Hard to find but worth the hunt.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Scientist Carl Lehman (well played by David McIlwraith) gets blown up something terrible in a deliberate chemical explosion. He has his brain transplanted in the body of a nearly indestructible metal cyborg suit by his evil colleagues who are led by wicked obsessive fellow scientist Alex Whyte (a perfectly hateful portrayal by Richard Cox). Lehman embarks on an all-out killing spree. It's up to nasty mercenary Hunter (a wonderfully loathsome turn by the divine Pam Grier) to put a stop to him. Director Jean-Claude Lord, who previously helmed the under-appreciated slasher psycho thriller "Visiting Hours," stages the plentiful action scenes with considerable verve and maintains a zippy pace throughout, thus ensuring that this flick sizes up as an enjoyably trashy sci-fi/horror action outing. Paunchy character thesp Maury Chaykin easily cops top acting honors as disgusting fat creep Burt, who in the movie's single most tasteless sequence has a brutal fistfight with Lehman's pregnant wife Lauren (a winning performance by the lovely Teri Austin). Stan Winston's nifty make-up f/x and Paul Zaza's thrilling score further add to the overall sleazy fun.
The combination of amazing special effects and oscar worthy acting makes the Vindicator one of the most important sci-fi films of recent years. For some reason still unknown to me this gem was found in a bargain bin, why some worthless human thought it right to dirty a modern classic by relagating to a bargain bin is beyond me. I have never been so terrified by a man in tin foil and random bursts of fire. Forget Terminator, Robocop, Aliens, and other films that blaintly ripped off this masterpiece, the vindicator is an unstoppable force.
A scientist working on a top secret experiment is killed in an
explosion but the corporation that funds his experiments transforms him
into a robot.
A resurrection science fiction film that despite being a B-low budget affair has a grander 80's film quality feel thanks to some gritty, raw and rough round the edges special effects.
Richard Cox and Pam Grier are watchable and some performances are above average. However, they are counter balanced by what should have been better supporting actors. Edith Rey and David Preston's dialogue is sometimes flawed, yet their story fairs better exploring some moral dilemmas.
Although it predates Robocop (1987) I remember the main draw to watch it was because of The Terminator (1984). That said, the Vindicator shares more with Frankenstein and the Wraith (1986).
Jean-Claude Lord's Vindicator was of its day. It has some nice visual moments. The certain charm it held in my mind since 1986 was mostly warm nostalgia - as on revisiting The Vindicator it's not as fast paced as I remembered it.
While fun at the time, in retrospect it's for comparable curiosity only.
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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