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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 12.13.07] post apocalyptic cyberpunk scifi action thriller



Year: 1997
Director: Albert Pyun
Writer: Albert Pyun
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Agent Orange
Rating: 6 out of 10
Key Characters:
Omega Doom (Rutger Hauer)
Zed (Shannon Whirry)
The Head (Norbert Weisser)
The Bartender (Anna Katarina)
Blackheart (Tina Cote)


Overview:
In a devastated world devoid of humans and stuck in a perpetual state of nuclear winter, the cyborg "Omega Doom" walks the earth, exacting judgment upon violent and otherwise immoral robots that bring suffering to others. Things get complicated however when, after stumbling into a town run by two equally brutal gangs (the Roms and the Droids), Doom must play one off the other to further his own agenda as well as bring peace to the more innocent members of the community.





The Story:
On a mountain of dead bodies the Cyborg soldier Omega Doom is about to kill a human warrior when he is struck in the back of the head by a bullet. Disabling his prime directives and giving him a new awareness, Omega Doom begins traveling the devastated world with newfound insight.

We next see Omega Doom walking through the streets of "Old Europe Town", where the bodies of dead cyborgs litter the streets and the twisted metal and concrete of the post-apocalyptic landscape is a constant reminder of the Great War.





Eventually, he comes across a settlement where he sees a droid rip the head off another and use it as a soccer ball despite the protestations of the decapitated party. He watches until the bigger droid leaves, then helps the head find another body. He then learns that the two gangs that run the town are both looking for a fabled munitions dump and have called a mutually beneficial truce in order to have a better chance at finding it.





Despite the townsfolks' advice to "move on", Omega Doom begins playing a complex game of wits with both sides, playing their greed and egos against them in order to gain the upper hand and dispatch them all one by one.


The Rating:
It pains me to give this film a meager 6 stars but, even though Albert Pyun is like the Godfather of PA Cyborg films and his fans would probably lynch me if they could, Omega Doom is just way too similar to A Fist Full of Dollars to be original. And listen I know what you're thinking and you're right; the genre was popularized by directors like George Miller, who twisted Western archetypes to create a new nihilistic subgenre, but films like The Road Warrior didn't completely ape any one plot. They arranged the archetypes in such a way that they played into our subconscious.





I've also read reviews which criticize the film for lacking action, and while this is true, it's clearly because Pyun is following such a strict Western recipe. While Westerns, particularly Italian ones, are known for being violent, the violence is often brief with more directorial emphasis placed on creating suspense and anticipation for the act rather than showcasing the act itself. In this sense, Omega Doom fully succeeds but is certainly very different from Pyun's other films like Nemesis or Cyborg, which are action packed violent free-for-alls.





Luckily, what the film lacks in storytelling originality it makes up for in atmosphere. The film looks stunning and Pyun does a good job maintaining a post-apocalyptic setting that is both foreboding and original. I also love that this film has the balls to create a completely humanless environment. The world of Omega Doom, with its colorful cast of warped and twisted androids, is definitely one I'd love to revisit in a sequel or television show.




Recommended Release: Omega Doom





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albert pyun (9 years ago) Reply

Hey thanks for the review and it was rewarding that you enjoyed it a bit. I was really going for something different and we worked hard trying to give this an otherworldly feel and pace more in rhythm with a mechanical world.

Best,
Albert

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Agent Orange (9 years ago) Reply

All I can say is wow, thank you for leaving such a revealing comment Mr. Pyun. Not to backtrack or anything, but I'd like to add that much of my fascination with "Omega Doom," a film I've seen a few times now, does spring from how deliberate the direction feels next to some of your other work. It's like an art-house version of "Cyborg" and for that I love it.

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Island Girl (8 years ago) Reply

Albert Pyun, the thief of Guam

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Kevin Adams (6 years ago) Reply

Hmmm...i enjoyed this movie. I'd give it a 7/10 myself. I've been a fan of Rutger Hauer ever since Blade Runner so it was good to see him again.


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