The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cyber-Tracker 2 (1995)

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It was about a year-and-a-half ago that I reviewed CyberTracker, which I just found out, upon looking it up on imdb, that I had misspelled at the time (I had a space between "Cyber" and "tracker"). Anyway, for this go around, I went online for an image of the cover, as I always do, and whose should I come across, but our own Mr. Kenner's over at Movies in the Attic. He hit both films at the same time, which you can check out here. Hopefully you're not upset that I hotlinked your image. I can make it up to you if you need me to. Also, I should point out, I think he either saw a different movie, or was filling out his Christmas cards when he watched it, because his synopsis and the one I'm about to give are pretty different.

Cyber-Tracker 2 not only picks up a hyphen, but picks up a few years or so after part 1 left off. Don "The Dragon" Wilson is working as a CIA agent, undercover breaking up heavy-duty counterfeiting rings (that's really all the secret service do that's anything like police work), while his wife, Stacie Foster, the reporter/anti-CyberTracker activist from the first film, goes back to her life as just the former without the latter. Anyway, Donny's watching for her on TV, and sees her shoot and kill the governor. Turns out it wasn't her, but a new kind of CyberTracker made to look like her by sword fighter Anthony De Longis' company. He was hired by the lieutenant governor to commit the assassination, and now all he has to do is kill Foster before anyone finds out, and the public will think it's the terrorists from part 1 again. She escapes before they can get her, and now it's on. Donny's on a fight to clear her name and bring the baddies to justice, while his double wants to scowl and kill people-- with both sporting a well-feathered mullet.

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This is a tough call for me, because it's not very good, but it's not atrocious either. It has plenty of sick explosions, the gunfights are more excitement by repetition than excitement, and there isn't much in the way of solid Don "The Dragon" fight scenes. On the other hand, we've seen a lot worse, it is only 87 minutes long, and we're talking about PM Entertainment here-- it's not supposed to be the Criterion Collection. If you go in with low expectations, and just want a dumb bad actioner with a name you know like Wilson's, it's not a complete waste of time.

As we continue on our Don "The Dragon" Wilson completion project, we find ourselves on his 18th film, which ties him with Gary Daniels and Jean-Claude Van Damme for fifth all time (you'll notice Van Damme has 19 tags, and that's because he has the Van Damme Film Fest post), behind Dolph, Lorenzo Lamas, Michael Dudikoff, and Steven Seagal. There are two things to note about that. First, with 12 DTV films left, he doesn't have enough to catch Dolph, and based only on current filmographies, Dudikoff, Daniels, and Lamas will blow by him. And Second, at my current pace of one Wilson film every two weeks, it will be six months before we're done with this, which means I need to speed things up some. I don't know if I can, though, because there's a point where people have had too much Don "The Dragon" Wilson, and I need to stay within that saturation point. We'll just keep plugging along and see what happens.

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I was kind of disappointed that Anthony De Longis didn't get an opportunity to showcase his sword fighting skills, but he was, as always, an excellent baddie. Amazing last line too, "bloody hell", after being fatally shot in the chest. You may have remembered that he was such a great baddie, Highlander: The Series cast him twice to play two separate characters, three seasons apart. It kind of surprised me, seeing him here, that we don't see him more often, especially as the head baddie, because he is so good, plus he offers a great number of martial arts skills. I should point out, though, in trying to pronounce Zurich the German way, he pronounced it incorrectly. The way he said it would have been spelled like "surig", with the "-ig" on the end sounding like "ish". What he needed was the German "z". which is pronounced "tseh" (think of the "z" in "Nazi"; their "s" is what sounds like our "z")' followed by more umlaut on his "u", which makes it sound like someone trying to say "eee" with their lips pursed to say "ooh"; and then finished with an "r" into something like an "eesh" sound. Of course, there might be a Swiss German way of saying it that he was closer too, which would mean I'm all off.

I didn't catch when in the future this is supposed to take place, but I think we may have already gone past it, so it's always good to see how we did compared to what they thought we'd do. First, our TVs and cell phones are much better-- well, not my cell phone, because people looked like they were using Razrs, and my phone is a generation behind that. TV technology is way behind, though, because not only do they have tubes in this, but they don't even have DVRs or DVDs. Second, we're still getting around to interactive virtual maids, so Cyber-Tracker 2 got us there. Of course third, the human looking robots and the ability to make their faces look like anyone, we may never get there on that one. Finally, they totally missed potential changes to Pizza Hut's box design, not even making an attempt to guess what they'd look like in the future. What a waste that was.

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This guy above is from General Hospital-- at least he was at the time he made Cyber-Tracker 2. How do I know that? My neighbor used to watch it back when I was in 8th grade/high school (I don't think she does anymore). How do I know she watched it? I have two younger siblings, and my parents decided they'd rather have her watch them after school before they got home instead of me; and before I'd leave to go do whatever with my friends, she'd have General Hospital on in the living room. Why did my parents decide that? Because I shattered their trust one afternoon when they were out and I had the house to myself, and in the process of making Ramen noodles, spilled some of them into the burner, starting a small fire. It was so small my buddy actually put it out with a whiffle ball bat, but the smell gave me away when they got home, and they decided to err on the side of caution. So, as a result of a minute Ramen noodle fire, I now recognize people who starred on General Hospital between 1992-95.

That was probably more than you needed to know, so I'll wrap it up here. I'm going to go back to my early days for a recommendation I haven't given in a while: if you see it on TV at 3AM, and you're procrastinating while trying to write a paper, this is a great option. Beyond that I don't know. Spending more than a couple bucks, even if you're a PM Entertainment collector, could be more than what's worth it, so I'd be careful-- make sure it's two bucks you won't feel bad you didn't spend at Taco Bell.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112762/

19 comments:

  1. Well luckily I did pick this up for $2, on a double feature with the original. Haven't watched either yet but it was on the sooner-rather-than-later pile. Actually just came back from a shop near my lunch place that I frequently get $2 discs from. Today's haul was Lone Hero with Lou Diamond Phillips, Night Hunter with Don "The Dragon" Wilson and Fugitive Mind with Michael Dudikoff. I left The Enemy with Luke Perry behind - can anyone convince me to spend $2 on a Luke Perry movie?

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  2. If you're not a 90210 guy, I can't convince you. I am an old 90210 guy, and I'm not sure I can do it, though I loved him in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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  3. I rented this film along with the first one at Family Video, all the films that aren't new releases there are 2 for 1$, so I pretty much saw this film for free, anyways it's definitely one of my favorite Wilson films, can't really think of anything bad to say about it. I did happen to see that Luke Perry film as well, and it was pretty decent actually, but I guess it helps that i've never watched a single episode of 90210, new or old, so I don't have a grudge against Perry or anything, though it was pretty funny to see him with a five O clock shadow in another of his films-The Heist(which also has Ice T)

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  4. I just bought this one and the original for $1 together. I can't wait to watch them.

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  5. This review was done notes. I also didn't mean Double Impact as plot but in how Wilson fights himself. It was a lot like Robocop (The robot that showcases personality) and Terminator in the main theme. (The freezing scene) It was highly derivative. Another thing were the shootouts which like Hologram Man which basically showcase the good guys losing and then winning as soon as the Dragon shows up. The part that ruined it for me is how the reporter wife just escapes from the building (It's been awhile) by walking off. Also the underground bad guys, I had no idea why they wanted to target The Dragon and his wife, I honestly must've missed the explanation because there didn't seem to be a connection to people of the first. But ultimately Cyber Tracker 1 and 2 were lame (Although I might re-evaluate the first one. It's in the same vein of Cyborg, though it would only go up a star) Cyber Tracker 2 will stay at one star. It's just a very boring shootemup. Part of the problem is that you can only showcase people shooting at invincible robots with their guns and then getting picked off one by one. Another movie that I forgot to compare is Halloween III, cause it borrows from that too. The mad scientist thing is tricky to pull off and Wilson as the robot just had no menacing presence as the killer android. Something Arnold, Robert Patrick, Peter Weller,Rutger Hauer, Van Damme, Dolph and even Olivier Gruner brought to such roles. I also didn't even understand what the villains hoped to gain.

    Now I try hard to pay attention to what i'm watching but this was made with so much indifference, it really is one of those movies that things happen simply because the movie would not exist otherwise. Tony Burton was good though, I also like Jim Mancini as the Robocop inspired robot and that's pretty much it.

    The first Cyber Tracker was pretty cheap, unambitious, not very well put together but it did have Richard Norton and an excellent fight sequence, Mancini was suitably menacing and it did make coherent sense. (I might adjust the ratings, I gotta rewatch it, Showdown In Little Tokyo and Cyborg) The second one, I don't need to such trouble. Cause I just can't get into it, it's too mindless, derivative and doesn't have a good villain threat at all.

    The first one has a B.movie energy even if it's not very good (and were not talking Showdown or Cyborg style guilty pleasure) the sequel is just awesomely dull.

    The Dragon didn't even really do much martial arts in it.

    Any chance for a special Thanksgiving post of a certain movie that contained a bunch of straight to video stars including the Babe Ruth of such? You so have to let me know what you think when you rent it this Tuesday. I actually bought it yesterday, I really don't think you'll be disappointed.

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  6. Here are the big differences I saw between my plot synopsis and yours: you had the bad guy as an underground crime lord, while I got from the movie that he was a corrupt businessman looking to sell CyberTracker technology to the highest bidder; as far as the baddie's motive, he used Foster as his patsy due to her history as part of a terrorist group, so it wasn't so much that they were targeted, as much as she made a perfect patsy, and then when she escapes before they could kill her, all hell breaks loose. The reason why the Wilson clone was made was to kill his police chief friend, who had been snooping into their company files. Again, he made a great patsy.

    I'm not going to defend this film at all, because I agree with you on a lot of levels on it. I guess I didn't see it as derivative so much as "everything but the kitchen sink", with Terminator 2, Metropolis, RoboCop--though I'd almost say that was more Frankenstein. For me, everything but the kitchen sink is PM Entertainment's raison d'etre, so in that sense, I chalked it up to "what do you expect from PM Entertainment?" But again, I agree that it was lackluster, and can't exactly defend it, just explain why I gave it the review I did.

    As far as a Thanksgiving review, dude, the Pats are on this year, are you kidding me? Listen, we'll do Cocoon 3 on Tuesday and Hunt to Kill Wednesday if Netflix hooks me up, and from there we'll be all set. Just relax, I have a feeling everything will work out for you just fine...

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  7. I know, you forget the team playing the Pats. The Lions. Actually I just want a close game that is entertaining. Although you will be super pissed if the Pats lose. They are apparently doing a prayer chain at the game for the Lions to win, so we will see if prayer works. All things considered it's not a bad idea.

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  8. Hey, the Pats are giving up 7 to Detroit on Thursday, what do you think, you wanna take the points and make it interesting? No money, but maybe loser has to review something really harsh, like the Care Bears movie or something. You've said it yourself, the Lions have been in every game so far, do you see them losing by more than a touchdown, if they lose at all?

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  9. I'll take your bet. Although I thought the Lions were 10 pt underdogs, I would definitely bet on that. If I lose I will review a movie of your choice, and vice versa. Although it would have to be after Finals.

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  10. Then the question is, what should the movie be? You don't have Netflix, do you? I could scour RedBox for something.

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  11. I only ask for it to be action related. It's actually perfect because I do get time off, I am willing to purchase such, but keep in mind I only want to spend under 8 if I can.

    Needs to be DVD too, cause my player just play. Actually I have this movie called Exterminators of The Year 3000, so I need to fix that up.

    Also I'm sending you Full Contact regardless and a few surprises. That said, I think you sent me your addy, if not you may have to send again. Turns out this week got hectic as I had to push things forward to avoid a storm that is tomorrow meaning Full Contact will be sent on Friday.

    If I win, I'll have you review something good like Five Deadly Venoms, Five Fingers Of Death (that's the one I always thought got away from your Hong Kong binge) or Return Of One Armed Swordsman.

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  12. See, I was thinking way off the grid. Like when people come here and see something ridiculous like The Care Bears, they'd be like, "What's this about?", then they'd read it and find out about the bet. This is the MIA/DTVC Bowl, and we won't get one for another until 2014, unless our teams make the Super Bowl. If we're going to do it, it's gotta count.

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  13. May I suggest.. Mac and Me (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095560/)

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  14. It is on Netflix Watch Instantly, so I have access to it. What about you, Kenner?

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  15. As a bonus Matt, it is basically a 90 minute advertisement for McDonalds and Pepsi, and I know how much you like that.

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  16. That would be an excuse to eat a Big Mac while watching Mac and Me... couple that with my upcoming Mountain Dew experiment with Beatdown and Circle of Pain... this blog could turn me into a diabetic!

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  17. Okay, I'm feeling you now. Sure.

    I have to think of something on your end.

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