3 Mar

Albert Pyun’s director’s cut of Cyborg surfaces

Posted by Bryan White | Thursday March 3, 2011 | News

CyborgIt’s profoundly odd to me that I can just up and email Albert Pyun about matters like this but I’m glad that I can. A couple of days ago I caught wind of a rumor that a discarded workprint of the 1989 Jean Claude Van Damme flick, Cyborg, had surfaced. I have a tendency to rag on Albert and because of that I feel bad because he’s a really nice guy. In spite of my feelings about the greater body of Albert Pyun’s work, he has a couple of flicks that I actually really like, Cyborg is among them, and a recent one, Bulletface (Review) that reviewed really well here. He tends to find himself in the middle of catastrophically difficult productions and Cyborg was one of them. In the late 80’s, Cannon Film was coming apart after some extremely poor business decisions that mostly involved Superman 4: The Quest For Peace where they essentially took a generous budget for their Superman movie and broke it into smaller pieces to make other movies leaving themselves with not much left to make their Superman flick. The end result was embarrassing for everyone involved. A planned sequel to Masters of the Universe and a Spider-Man feature, both to be directed by Pyun, eventually siphoned millions out of the Cannon bank accounts and never went anywhere, costing the company greatly and once again, leaving them with not much money to make something out of nothing. Out of these troubles, Pyun made Cyborg using sets, costumes and props intended for those failed projects. The script was written in a weekend, Van Damme was cast (instead of Pyun’s original choice of Chuck Norris, who was probably too busy planning the secession of Texas from the Union) and in three weeks, the entire movie was in the can. Depending on how you look at it, Cyborg is either a pathetic dog with a nigh-incoherent script or it’s a testament to the ingenuity of b-movie filmmaking. I lean toward the latter. The guy took bits and pieces from a He-Man movie and a Spider Man movie and made this morbid document of anarchy. The version that hit theaters in 1989 was grimy, nasty and extremely violent and this is after Cannon and Van Damme took it away from Pyun and engineered something that they thought would be palatable to the box office. It didn’t help and the finished product required substantial cuts to pass with an R rating. I emailed Albert to get the low down.

Yes it’s true. My longtime composer Tony Riparetti was cleaning out his storage and discovered this VHS of my last cut of Cyborg, before JCVD and the studio took over the film from me. The cut is before it had to make MPAA cuts to get an R (for graphic violence). It’s the only cut that exists of what I wanted the film to be. The cut was telecine from the editorial 35mm work print and the soundtrack is a temp mix with the comlete Riparetti/Saad score which was replaced in the release version. My cut also has a voice over narration by Van Damme’s character.

And it isn’t an alternate cut but my last cut, hence, i guess my director’s cut. Which Van Damme and Cannon hated.

Albert is being evasive about how you get a hold of a copy because, quite frankly, I’m not sure who owns the rights to this movie and the way this is playing out, it sounds like Albert and Curnan Pictures are making bootleg versions of the movie available to interest parties. Then again, that’s all just speculation. Everything at the Curnan site seems a bit bootleg to me. If you’re interested in a copy of Pyun’s Cyborg director’s cut, you need to email curnanpictures@gmail.com and let them know you want in. I’m sure they’ll provide the details.

One final note from Albert:

It is a bootleg in the sense that any old recording that gets out is a bootleg. But its not pirated as this is the ONLY copy that exists and its my legal cut to have per my directing deal. I just want it to get and be seen by Cyborg fans and maybe offer a comparison to what has been out there all these years. Also, all the movies at Curnan Pictures are owned by Curnan Pictures. None bootlegged or pirated. Though sometimes, I have had to get a version and then re-do it closer to my version so its a bootleg in that sense. I see it as more renegade myself.

Edit: If you’re planning on leaving a lengthy comment below about how Guam hates Albert Pyun, stowe it. I seriously don’t give a fuck. Albert is remarkably easy to get a hold of and I suggest you take it up with him rather than smear your shit on my comments.


  1. March 3, 2011 10:51 pm

    Albert Pyun

    Hi Bryan,

    Thanks for the story and I am terribly anxious to get your thoughts on this cut of Cyborg.

    Albert Pyun

  2. March 3, 2011 10:52 pm

    cynthia curnan

    Dear Bryan White

    The movies on pyun.com website are owned by Curnan Pictures – CMPS, LLC. They are NOT bootlegged.

    We are offering CYBORG: Director’s Cut plus Commentary DVDs because Albert Pyun was given permission to exploit his own version of the film, which he thought had been lost.
    That said, we are offering the film ourselves, not through amazon or netflix channels.

    Other than the ‘bootleg’ part, your article is the best on this subject. Thanks for that.

    Cynthia Curnan

  3. March 4, 2011 2:02 pm


    Allright off I go. Id love to get my hands on this. Im hoping it even comes in a real dvd case with artwork.

    Thanks a lot for posting this story, I had honestly forgotten cyborg.

    Now if I can get my hands on a workprint/directors cut of nightbreed Id be a happy man.

  4. March 4, 2011 2:20 pm

    Japan Flix

    Wow! I remember seeing the theatrical version as a kid and not having the slightest clue as to what was going on!

  5. March 4, 2011 2:59 pm

    Albert Pyun

    Japan Flix – lol…it might have played better without knowing what was going on! The Director’s cut leans a bit more on story and has Van Damme’s character narrating sections to provide better context and clarity of story.

    Not a plot driven narration but more a reflective one.

    Albert Pyun
    Facebook / Albert Pyun Movies

  6. March 4, 2011 4:50 pm

    Gerard Iribe

    Any plans for a Blu-ray?

  7. March 6, 2011 2:03 pm

    Albert Pyun

    Hi Gerald,

    No blu-ray of this cut. The picture quality just isn’t up to blu-ray quality. Unfortunately this was created from a telecine of the work print so its picture quality is and dodgy at best. Think of this as just a peek into my last days of editing on Cyborg before getting removed. It’s no where near a finished master quality and even has time code running in two windows because this was a working telecine for post. albert

  8. March 8, 2011 3:49 pm


    Guys, make sure to check out the cover art for this director’s cut edition done by Jerry Scullion – It’s really cool…


  9. March 25, 2011 3:17 pm


    Guam hates Albert Pyun.

  10. March 27, 2011 6:55 am

    Bryan White


  11. April 19, 2011 12:34 pm

    Sydney Radebe

    Dear Sir!

    I hope this proposal will ritch you, I worked with you in 1985 shooting Journey (Alian From L.A in South Africa I watch your movies a lot and you never came out of my mind as one of the best movie directors.

    I personaly have been working on some titles and documentaries for our television channels.

    Me and my team have put together some good scripts, and two of them we agree that they will do well if you be part of us as a director/director, this is just a proposal to you Sir.

    The first title “War Lock” 1 and 2, and the other is titled “In Blood” dased on xenophobia attacks that took place here in South Africa, last year we only had threats nothing happened, if I am correct on the 16, April 2011 in the Northen Province (Pietersburg) the attacks took place and the Etopians who have suffered the results, but the pepetraters have been arrested.

    We are busy at present with latest research, as well rising funding in our local intitutions.

    We will be very much happy to hear from you Sir, hope you will find this giving sense to you and your team.

    We thank you in advance

    Yours Faithfully

    Sydney Radebe

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