The Director’s Cut of Albert Pyun‘s Cyborg (1988) starring Jean-Claude Van Damme has been released. “Albert Pyun’s longtime composer found the director’s last cut of Cyborg before he left the picture after disputes with Cannon, Jean Claude Van Damme and producer Sheldon Lettichand.” Also starring Deborah Richter, Vincent Klyn, Dayle Haddon, Ralf Möller, and Alex Daniels, we’ve learned the new version of the film is the cut before it had to be trimmed to get an R rating. I bet one of extended scenes is the decapitation scene at the beginning of the film and the surgery scene on Pearl (Dayle Haddon).
The copy found is a telecine of the actual workprint in widescreen dated October 8, 1988. It’s only got a temp mix stereo track, but includes the original, never heard rock score by Tony Riparetti and Jim Saad which was eventually replaced by Kevin Bassinson’s score.
Albert Pyun had this to say about his cut of Cyborg:
What’s cool about this is I think my editors at the time must have quietly had this made once they learned the film was gong to be taken over by JCVD. So its really a peek into the creative dispute between myself and Cannon/Van Damme and Van Damme’s producer Sheldon Lettich.
Hopefully when viewed in comparison, it becomes evident where I was trying to go with a post apocalypse genre movie and why it was not well received by Cannon and JCVD. Its much darker than the released version.
This version was telecine to VHS tape from the editorial 35mm work picture and stereo temp mix in Oct 1988. The main differences will be the entirely different music score by Tony Riparetti and Jim Saad and the more linear story telling with narration by Van Damme’s character throughout the film. Its more art house and meditative than main stream 80’s action. It tries to explore the interior life of Van Damme’s character. It wasn’t what the studio or JCVD wanted back in 1989 but it might find a more adventerous audience in 2011. Film viewing has evolved.
Also, it’s a version with all the graphic violence as it was not cut at that point to get its “R” rating.
But the image quality although widescreen is dodgy because it was taken from the actual one-lite work print used in the editing process, so it has splices, scratches, dirt and a little of my blood and tears. This same work print was turned over to Van Damme and he used it to edit the final release version. So the image is gritty but has the genuine reality of a picture in post without digital enhancements. Further it has a temp sound efx edit but no foley in the soundtrack. So the sound is a stereo temp mix intended for internal screenings.
I think my Director’s Cut will also expalin the whole guitar concept behind the names. I’m very proud of it. Its really a different perspective on the post apocalpyic genre.
Pyun is apparently making the DVD himself and they can be ordered from anywhere on the globe by sending an email here: curnanpictures [at] gmail.com. We do not know how much the Director’s Cut of Cyborg (1988) is selling for. I saw the original Cyborg in theater on opening weekend, if memory serves. The film certainly starts out stronger than it ends but that is only because it is predictable and follows the standard hero film formula. Some of the ideas present are good though and most of the fight scenes are cool. What do you think of the Director’s Cut of Cyborg? Have you ever seen the original?