1996 / Director. Albery Pyun. Movie #26
OMEGA DOOM is classic Pyun. Rutger Hauer plays the title character, a robot whos killing program was erased when he was struck in the head during a great war. The film has him wandering a post-apocalyptic wasteland where the last remaining humans move underground and the Earth is dominated by two waring robot types; Roms & Droids. The Roms are programmed to kill and the Droids possess a more primitive and subdued design. OMEGA DOOM wanders into the ruins of an old city where the Roms & Droids occupy common ground, searching for a rumoured arsenal of human weapons. Pyun originally envisioned a WESTWORLD type of scenario with aged theme park animatronics operating after mankind is obliterated but for one reason or another (probably budgetary) the film eventually morphed into this underrated and stylish sci-fi drama. Its story owes a lot to Kirosawa's YOJIMO (Pyun was a protege of Kiroswawa) and takes on a classic formula of waring sides competing for supremacy. The film was shot in Romania and the set design, built around ruined buildings, offers a real authenticity to the story. Hauer is good in the lead, though you could argue that he phoned his performance in. The real star of the film is Norbert Weisser, a Pyun veteran. He's a seasoned actor who's also starred in SCHINDLER'S LIST, THE THING and CHAPLIN (amongst others) and yet delivers one of his best performances here in this humble little genre pic. OMEGA DOOM never received the attention it deserved. Being released direct-to-video with lousy cover art and Ruter Hauer's second-rate reputation (during the mid to late 90s) didn't help it any. Now 18 years later it has a deserved cult following and stands up really well. The SFX were simple, practical and effective and didn't rely on dodgy CGI and allow for strong comparisons with some of Pyun's earlier work like NEMESIS and CYBORG. Well worth your time.