1992 / Director. Albert Pyun. Movie #14
NEMESIS is considered by many fans to be Albert Pyun's best film and I think that's a fair call. The theatrical cut of the film is not a fair representation of what he envisioned and that's important to keep in mind when watching it. As with most dealings with big studios Albert was forced to sacrifice some of his core elements, none greater than casting a 30 year old German man in a role which was written for a 13 year old girl. Albert was also shut out of the editing process and had no control over the final cut and when you listen to him discuss the film it is clear that he was hurt by the experience. Having said that... NEMESIS is an absolutely kick-ass sci-fi action movie that delivers in spades. Taking a lot of obvious cues from TERMINATOR, the movie tells the story of a future world where cyborgs are beginning to rise up and are taking the identities of the world's most powerful people. Alex Raine (Olivier Gruner) is a former assassin who is forced back into the game to find the mastermind of the uprising. Not all is as it seems and the movie comes with various revelations and secrets. Action rarely gets better than this and some of the sequences of NEMESIS, as far fetched as they might be, are amongst the best I've seen. This flick has more gunfire, explosions and stunt work than almost every other movie of it's time. Even now over 20 years later its excessive violence is hard to match and while Albert might not have had control over the edit, the visuals are still entirely his. What we see on the screen, he directed! There is no mistaking his eye for action and NEMESIS is easily amongst his best. From insane machine gun fights to absurdly awesome multilevel escape methods... waterfall diving whilst shooting mid-backflip and concealed guns in eye sockets... good luck finding a sci-fi action movie as fun as this one. The SFX are awesome for it's time with renowned visual FX people from TERMINATOR on board to beef up the eye-candy. Albert was recently able to release his own director's cut, using an original work print. This allowed him to make some changes that eased his pain over the experience and brought a greater sense of accomplishment. This director's cut is also worth a look and gives us a great idea of what his original vision beheld. The quality of this version is quite poor given that he only had a workprint to run with. Fortunately a German company has just released the director's cut as part of a NEMESIS collection, including all 4 films in the series. They've managed to clean up Albert's cut and have presented it in the best quality it's ever going to get. Whichever version you watch there is no question in my mind that NEMESIS is the epitome of 90s sci-fi action. Hell, I'll even take it over TERMINATOR and ROBOCOP. Ah huh!