Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Cyborg & Sudden Death – The Black Sheep


A JoBlo Movie Network Exclusive
(Hit me as hard, you can) ♪ Vigorous rock music ♪ ♪ ♪ Cyborg Sudden Death Lance Vlcek here.
For Arrow In The Head’s The F%$kin’ Black Sheep. Where we take a look at the opposing
opinion of the genre’s most divisive films… The time has come to close out the John Wick series. With its last entry, Parabellum. What a ride! I’d argue, that John Wick franchise
is the best action series we’ve had in the last 20 years. A one-man killing machine bent on vengeance. Yet in the streaming age of complex storytelling we get the intricate Hotel Continental. Run by Al Swearengen himself. “The dope, that you were gonna fuckin’ sell to me…” – White cock sucker!
– There two white cock suckers, who the fuck did it?! – Who?
– Who, you ignorant fuckin’ $#%$?! – Wu?! Al’s level of grumpiness is my spirit animal. And though I love most films
from all three of these action movie underdogs, I have and will always be I have and will always be
Team Van Damme. From 1988 to 1995 we got JCVD’s golden era. Not that he hasn’t had a hell of a comeback. And not that there hasn’t been some gems
throughout the last two decades. But those six years were his wave. I’d like to explore two films from his peak. One at the beginning and one at the end. Sit down and grab a drink. It’s time we talk about Cyborg and Sudden Death. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t Street Fighter considered The Black Sheep?” Listen, technically, yes. But Street Fighter is textbook awfully good. And it isn’t my place to interfere in such things. But between you and me, I will say I truly believe it’s misunderstood. And shit, here it comes. It is played more for less. (Whispering)
And everyone involved was aiming more for parody. Everybody here is having the time of their life. I mean, come on, look at Raul Julia. “The cerebral programming.
Quick, patch it in here!” “Anyone, who opposes me, will be destroyed.” “The day Bison graced your village.. was the most important day of your life. But for me.. It was Tuesday.” I haven’t had that much fun in years. Let’s start with 1989’s Cyborg. Released a year after
Van Damme’s star-making role in Bloodsport. This was an obvious attempt to try
and steer away, from making a carbon copy. And do something a bit different. And though it didn’t take off
like Cannon hoped it would… Listen, my friends. Cyborg is a f*$king gem! Sorry, I just started Deadwood for the first time. Set in a post-apocalyptic America
after the collapse of civilization. Insult was added to the injury,
and the plague wiped out most of who was left. Van Damme plays Gibson Rickenbacker. Yeah, the names are instrument-themed and ridiculous. A slinger or a hired gun,
who traverses the land in between work, looking for the gang, who killed his family. This is a simple 80’s action plot,
twisted around in a Mad Max type of world. This was the era of the mid-grade action film,
and Van Damme was the new kid in town. Not to shy away from the violent world that’s set up. We get a naked crucified woman,
decorating the town square. The murder of children. I commend that they don’t shy away
from the violence, but embrace it. Not to mention the fact, that the main roaming
gang doubles as raping and pillaging pirates. Oh yeah, they got a ship. Fender is a villain born out of 80’s excess. He has such a distinctive look and feel. He creeped me out as a kid. Even as an adult,
he seems otherworldly. Alien-like eyes, suspiciously low voice… “I’d be a God!” Screams during battle. (Brawl, Fender screams) (Screams) I mean, that’s more
than any real person would, right? I’m not saying he’s an alien. But I am saying, that my girlfriend walked
into the room, watched about 5 minutes, and said, “He’s not human, right?” Dressed in chain mesh,
shoulder pads and a pair of 80’s shades, that get progressively dirtier, as the movie goes on. He is one.. “Ugly motherfucka..” Yes, he is pretty over the top. And though this is Van Damme’s movie,
a great bad guy is just as important as a great lead. We he finally comes face to face with Fender,
he gets beaten half to death. And crucified on a beached ship. Now, I’m not saying
that Van Damme was a Christ allegory. I’m just saying
his initials are JC and he rises once. To kick ass and take names. No mortal man can leg chop his way off the cross. But Van Damme can and will. Though he does great as an 80’s Christ, my requirements
for a great representation are pretty simple. You gotta be jacked, and rock out a high G. (Hits the High G) Goddamn right, Ted Neeley.
Heart and soul. You know, Cyborg fares pretty well,
considering its train wreck of an origin story. And this has enough behind-the-scenes drama,
that it could be its own episode of What The F*ck Happened to This Movie? Cannon was famous for producing
action B-movies on the cheap. No complaints here. After a string of flops, Cannon was in dire straits. With Masters of the Universe
and Superman IV being guaranteed hits, they would once again be back on top. They both failed. This put Cannon on life support. Since they were a company,
that didn’t waste time, they had already begun construction on the sets
for Masters of the Universe 2 and upcoming Spider-Man film. Needing to recoup costs,
director and writer Albert Pyun Pai.. Pa.. Paiun…
Sorry I can’t pronounce it to save my life. And I don’t read so good. “Well… You know, we.. So well…”| Quickly wrote up a script.
And using what was already built and paid for. And after all of that,
they shot this film in only 24 days. So, are there problems with Cyborg? Yeah. But for the time spent writing and directing,
I’d argue this is a miracle of a film! A young Van Damme action sci-fi flick,
that is pure 80’s! And with an above splits head stab..
I mean, who can complain? (Screams) I’m here to tell you, that as a Die Hard rip-off,
and I’m being honest, Sudden Death is one of Van Damme’s best! Jean-Claude plays Darren McCord,
an ex-firefighter, who lost a little kid on the job. And.. well, he lost his way. Now a fire marshal,
Darren hopes to make up for lost time by taking his son and daughter
to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Now only is this his biggest budget film, equal to
Street Fighter, and more than his masterpiece Timecop, “Which is like Looper,
starring Bruce Willis, but like a million times better..” but this is some of his best acting as well!
You really feel for him here! His wife took his kids, is with some
rich dude, who seems nice by the way. She probably took his house, statistically. And you really believe
a damaged Van Damme wants to be a better father. It always gets me,
when he changes the lightbulb, and it causes his kids to question his worth. Poor guy just can’t catch a break. Where John Cutter and Casey Ryback
seemed only slightly over their heads with a fair dose of confidence,
Darren is perpetually overwhelmed. This is his face throughout the entire movie. The everyman trope is executed flawlessly. I know he’s tough and can hit back,
but I actually believe he cares about his kids. “If you fuck around
and something happens to my kids..” His son has the building crumble around him,
yet he doesn’t move. “I didn’t move. Not even when things blew up.” (Crying)
“I didn’t move.” ♪ Dramatic music ♪ Hell of a father, Van Damme. A hell of a father. A bit over the top, but when he stops
the Blackhawks from scoring a goal to stand up and sign to his son,
“I love you.” ♪ Dramatic music ♪ (Lowkey crying)
Man… Ugh..
Allergies, it’s allergies. Van Damme’s charm and charisma
got me hook and sinker. Since Sudden Death can’t be discussed
without referencing the superior Die Hard, I mush give credit to its spot-on similarities. We got law enforcement
surrounding the building at night. A salt of the earth agent/cop,
who our hero communicates with. And a well-dressed bad guy,
with a smooth distinct voice. “So the appropriate action is for you
to do nothing and keep your fuckin’ mouth shut.” “I am an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane. And since I’m moving up to kidnapping,
you should be more polite.” Which brings me to Powers f*#kin’ Boothe. This man can play a bad guy like no other. One, he looks damn spiffy in that tux. Two, he does not mess around. Powers Boothe can give a shit less. I’m not saying that Mayor’s wife deserved it,
but she definitely wasn’t the quiet one in the room. And Boothe also gets the best dialogue. “You happen to be wrong, though. There may be a reason to kill someone
else is bound to be a resistance to my objective. So I can only assure you,
that I won’t kill any more people, than it takes to convince everyone of my sincerity. Will you make that cow stop moaning?” Yesss. Powers Boothe.
A name so iconic and cool, That if you travel deep into
the Black Hills of South Dakota and scream his name on the right night, his spirit may just respond. “Cock sucker!” Listen, I’m not the biggest sports fan. But having the tense anticipation
of the last game of the Stanley Cup serve as the tense around the out-of-sight
hostage standoff works extremely well. And makes for a great backdrop. Almost every security guard is a henchman,
and even the mascot is a killer. But I’ve been touting
this shit for 24 years, represent ♪ Tense music ♪
(Brawl) And the ending may defy the laws of physics. But I still think that steady crash
of the helicopter onto the ice is great. Not to mention Van Damme
blowing up most of the skybox. Without any thought for the welfare of the hostages! Act first and think second, Jean-Claude.
That’s why we love you. The thing is I grew up on Van Damme’s films. Spent my summers up at Family Video,
walking the aisles, taking in the VHS covers. We’re creatures of association. And Van Damme reminds me of my past. Playing Sega CD and N64 with my sister. Watching Timecop and Nowhere to Run. I’m not pining for the good ol’ days, no. Just acknowledging the simplicity
and optimism of youth. The beauty of the days gone by. I’m from the generation,
that grew up during the home video boom. And so I was raised on these stories. I do check in on him from time to time.
Make sure he hasn’t lost it. And let me tell you, he has not! As time moves forward at an accelerated pace,
I use Jean-Claude Van Damme as my constant. My lighthouse, as I sail
farther out into the sea of time. I’ve continued to rewatch
his films throughout the years. And that dimming light still shines through. As old man Van said so poetically, “It keeps me young as I grow old.” ♪ ♪ Written, Narrated and Edited by
Lance Vlcek A JoBlo Movie Network Production
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100 comments

  1. What do you think of the (official) Universal Soldier series? The last few movies have showed the Luc Deveraux character to be a broken mess, to the point where he becomes the "bad guy".

    But what if I shared with you a story concept of mine, that ties together all of the past movies, including Universal Soldier: The Return? (Personal favourite of mine)

    Well here is my reddit post, with the "back-of-the-box" synopsis and basic storyline, for my fan story for "Universal Soldier: Retribution" >> https://www.reddit.com/r/movieideas/comments/bsus1o/universal_soldier_retribution/

    Please tell me what you think of this story and if it could be another Van Damme gem in your eyes.

    Thanks!

  2. Cyborg is my favorite of JCVD but I think I love them all , anyone like Wake of Death ? and I'm subscribed now because of Cyborg and good video

  3. I like van damn he is not a good actor but he is a entertaining actor my favorite movie I have seen him in was universal soilder.

  4. I would have to say that Hard target and death warrant are my two best JCVD films but you certainly make a compelling argument for cyborg and sudden death.

  5. Terrible audio, your voice is quiet while all movie audio is loud. So either i don't hear what you are saying or have my speakers exploding everytime movie audio is playing. Get your audio good.

  6. Loved Cyborg but barely remember Sudden Death. I think some of my favorite Van Damme movies are Nowhere To Run and also Hard Target. Time Cop was also good.

  7. I rewatch Jean-Claude Van Damme's past movies over and over and I never get tired of them, I'm 37 and I was a 90's kid and grew up watching his films and still remember like it was yesterday when Sudden Death came out at the video store which I waited 4-5 hours at the store waiting for them to get a copy it in.

  8. i still want that uncut full gore version of cyborg. i know its out there. some asshole just wont share.

  9. All Vandammes movies are brilliant, you know what you are getting into. he spent more than 20 years doing 1 or 2 movies per year involving kicking people in the head, he puts other actors to shame i think.

  10. My top 10 Van Damme movies: Hard Target, Cyborg, Universal Soldier, Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Double Impact, Death Warrant, Lionheart, Maximum Risk and The Order. I am glad you like Van Damme and his films, I thought this video is going to be a Rant on Van Damme movies but i was surprised. Keep up the good work.

  11. Pity he got greedy and asked for the same money as Stallone and Arnie were on at the time. Then he got into cocaine and went down the shitter

  12. I liked Sudden Death. And I've seen most of the 80s action movies. Next to Time Cop, SD is one of his best.

  13. Sudden Death is cool

    I love the way the tension slowly builds through the whole film as Van Damme gets in more and more over his head

  14. Can't believe you didn't reference Cy Tolliver, or at least have a clip. He had awesome lines

  15. Sudden Death – Yes. Cyborg – No. I'd put Double Team and Sudden Death instead. I don't dislike Cyborg, but it was kind of blaah. If you liked Cyborg, check out Olivier Gruner's Nemesis.

  16. "If you travel deep into the Black Hills of South Dakota and scream his name on the rite night his spirit mam just respond…COCK SUCKER!"…Bahahaha that just got you a sub my man, good work.

  17. I too am from this era . I grew up within walking distance from a Action Video, I love so many of these kinda movies from that time . My kids (that are now teenagers) I come to share a lotta these movies with them . Life is a very funny thing .
    And FWIW when I was about 8 “Fender” frighten me so bad I had to cover my eyes and look away during in most of his parts 😂😂.

  18. Fucking loved cyborg and fender is one of the best cool looking bad guys ever, the tone of the movie a score are great,

  19. This also creeped me out as a kid! Thank you for the shot of nostalgia and inspiring me to re-watch Cyborg, something I haven't seen since I was like 7 or something

  20. My grandfather knew him and his ex wife, who was an ex Hawaiian tropic model. I have some pictures of them playing pool

  21. I love Cyborg. I watch it a couple times a year. And when I was a kid I saw Sudden death in the theaters. I think I fell asleep for most of it though. I don't remember a whole lot of it.

  22. I remember when that was filmed here in Pittsburgh… Back when the Civic Arena was called as such, still opened its' roof, and obviously before it was torn down.

  23. I literally enjoy most of his movies. Between Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Willis, Norris, Segal and any other big 80's and 90's action stars… Van Damme has always been my favorite!

  24. Universal Soldier, Cyborg, Bloodsport and Kickboxer are the best and my favorite JCVD movies!!! Basicaly scifi and tournament Van Damme is the coolest!

  25. I always have the most feels at the end of Lion-heart … when the French Agents let him go 🙁 plus that end-boss was epic, he only won on purely random comeback rage.

  26. I could care less about the John Wick franchise or the John Wick movies for that matter. But Cyborg was the s*** one of the best Jean-Claude Van Damme movies ever made.

  27. I love cyborg, that villain dude from point break still scares me!! All of everyone's fav JCVD movies are spot on, but I got love for the Quest too!!

  28. I love cyborg it was way ahead of its time and very dark movie

    I like Sudden death , it’s just another die hard in a hockey stadium , which I love .
    Die hard is just overrated and sudden death is underrated .

  29. I never understood Cyborg… it was just a bunch of crazy ass shit thrown into a movie that made little to no sense to me. DOPE fight scenes though, I remember play fighting wrestling my friends in the back yard every time we watched the movie. In a no holds death match.

  30. Thanks for a great tribute video. I am quite the JCVD fan and consider Sudden Death his best. His most recent collaboration with director Peter Hyams Enemies Closer is great as well and he really steals the show in a fun villainous role. Also really enjoyable is the slacker-comedy Welcome to the Jungle where he has a blast sending up his persona.

  31. Sudden Death is a great film, but physically Van Damme wasn't at his best. It was the first film I noticed obvious doubles at times.

  32. I thought Sudden Death was cheesy and terrible… when he dresses up as the goalie and does the finger promise to his daughter 🤮 But I like Double Impact, Timecop, and Universal Soldier…

  33. I love Cyborg, but the soundtrack really does not hold up. I hear there's another version where they re-scored it, but haven't seen it yet. Fender was VERY intimidating when I was young, and it was one of the few films of that time whose violence genuinely unsettled me.

  34. You and I my friend are of the same generation and cyborg was definitely an old favourite.
    Sadly I still pine for those good old days. How can I not when video stores don't exist anymore. At least where I'm from. My nostalgia trigger is that plastic smell of VHS tapes you cop a whiff of when opening the case.

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