Before Terminator, There Was Forgotten Sci Fi Flick Cyborg 2087

Julien Neaves, Sci Fi Head Writer

A cyborg from a dystopian future travels back in time to prevent a critical event and is pursued by other cyborgs. This may sound like the setup for the next Terminator reboot (you know it is inevitable) but it is actually the plot of 1966 science fiction film Cyborg 2087. The film came up during a discussion on one of my Sci Fi Facebook groups and it sounded interesting, so I decided to check it out. Was it worth the look? Well, not really.

Michael Rennie, famed for playing contemplative alien Klaatu in legendary Sci Fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still, plays Garth A7, a cyborg from the year 2087 where free thought is illegal, and the population is controlled by governments. Free thinking rebels use a time machine to send Garth back to the year 1966 to prevent Professor Sigmund Marx (Eduard Franz) from releasing a discovery which will lead to the development of mind control. Garth is pursued into the past by two government cyborgs called “Tracers” who seek to stop him.

I’m 105 years old and I ain’t afraid to die

Let’s start with the positives. Rennie is easily the best thing about the film, putting in good work as a cold, steely cyborg agent who eventually discovers a spark of humanity. Franz is also decent as the caring scientist Professor Marx. And the time travel mechanics are simple and easy to follow. And yeah, that’s about it. All the other characters, including Marx’s assistant and damsel-in-distress Sharon (Karen Steele) are forgettable. The futuristic costuming is dull. The practical effects look cheap and uninspired. The visual effects are lacklustre, with a lot of things just disappearing. Heck, there’s a blaster weapon with no actual blast, just a hollow sound. And the little action there is, really isn’t worth writing about and placing in a time capsule. The film was directed by Arthur C. Pierce, an American screenwriter who specialised in low budget Sci Fi flicks. And “one can tell “low budget” is exactly how I would describe this one.

Cyborg 2087 has effectively been lost to time, not even surviving as a cult classic. And I while I found it an okay watch, I would not call it a hidden gem. Other than a solid Rennie performance, some interesting ideas and reflecting on its similar plot to Terminator, there’s nothing much here to recommend.

Score: 5 out of 10

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Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.

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