Nemesis [VHS]

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Product Description

In the industrial wasteland just outside of Los Angeles, circa 2027, there's a covert war raging between the cyborgs and the humans. "86.5% is still human," insists superagent Alex (Jean-Claude Van Damme wannabe Olivier Gruner, complete with kickboxing credentials and thick Euro-warble), but as the cyborg conspiracy builds around him he discovers that humanity is more than simply a matter of flesh and blood. Borrowing elements from Blade Runner, The Terminator, Escape from New York, and The Road Warrior, and looking ahead to digital "data couriers" of Johnny Mnemonic, director Albert Pyun turns the sci-fi spy story into an engine for a visceral thrill ride of sleekly designed action sequences driven by a dancing camera and a breakneck editing rhythm. It's a glorious triumph of style over substance, the vigorous pace leaving the story far behind and nimble set pieces belying a tiny budget with ambitious action choreography and impressive displays of property damage. Apart from a few clumsy special effects at the conclusion and the requisite collection of scene-chewing performances, Nemesis is a thoroughly entertaining piece of sci-fi trash, a classic example of cinematic energy overcoming the obstacles of plot. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews:

  • A Low Budget Treat
    It's not a great movie, but it's great fun, especially after a few beers. It's basically on the same level of the 80s film Hardware, though Nemesis has more action and a better ending.

    If your looking for something fresh give this one a try, just try not to think too much while watching it....more info

  • An Underrated "Cyberpunk" Film
    When I first watched this film, I thought that it was one of the best sci-fi films ever made, up on the list of "The Terminator". But the more I watch "Nemesis", it's not on the list with "The Terminator" but on the list with "The Matrix" and "Blade Runner".

    This film isn't just sci-fi or a "B"-movie. This is a great cyberpunk film that warns us of a future that might be just around the corner. It's a shame that this was as underrated as it was, but it's as important of a tale as "The Matrix" trilogy is....more info

  • What had happen wuz!
    This movie started off great until they ran out of money! The First 30 minutes was off the chain! I don't know what happened next? I think some off their financial backers did not come thru with the cash; or they spent all the money in the first hour!...more info
  • WOw i was surprised at this one.
    Well now, where do we start? The dialogue is awesome, its so messed up its like at some points, you can't figure out what he's saying. Thats crazy as hell! The violence and cheapness make this one a hilarious treat to true action fans that other reviewer watched this one too early :) Ya gotta be a little clouded when viewing this jem. Olivier Gruner is the best action hero hell yea!...more info
  • violence!
    Fans of Olivier Gruner are going to be deceived. No kickBoxing or shotokan karate in this movie (or very poor). Only shooting and extreme violence. What is the point of shooting a woman a hundred times! Even if she's a cyborg! Fans of violent and sci-fi movies are going to be served!...more info
  • Lots of ideas, good implementation, great action
    I must have watched this movie a dozen times by now. Yes, it's not Cyberpunk in the Gibson sense, but it is cyberpunkish in the Cyberpunk2020/Shadowrun sense. Plot's decent, action is very well done, dialogue's not too bad, and Gruner pulls it off pretty well. Where this movie shines is the rapid-fire ideas and action sequences. Small budget, but you'll almost never notice it. AVOID THE SEQUELS. It's not too deep, but it is a lot of fun....more info
  • A solid release for a solid film.
    Low-budget action doesn't get much better than this. NEMESIS is a good-looking, hard-fighting SF adventure that delivers on every level, from character development to plot. Considering that the film had no theatrical run, it's really solid stuff that will not disappoint.

    The DVD release of NEMESIS is surprisingly good, considering the direct-to-video origins of this, writer/director Albert Pyun's finest film. A crisp transfer with a nice (though small) collection of extras, including a making-of promotional reel reminiscent of the "VideoZone" features once included on Full Moon Pictures' DTV releases. Cast and crew bios, plus television and "theatrical" trailers round out the package, and one comes away from the DVD feeling as if it was definitely worth the money....more info

  • Worth the first 20 minutes...
    Past the opening few gun fights this movie just loses direction. It had promise and then slips away and becomes a tired man vs. machine type plot. The first 20 mintues or so really reminded me of the roleplaying game Cyberpunk by R.Talisorian....more info
  • Gunplay.
    The plot is incomprehensible. The acting average. The special effects laughable. Yet, this flick is eminently enjoyable due to the outrageously bombastic gun battles. An action movie with some terrifically entertaining mayhem, NEMESIS is worth the ten bucks....more info
  • Worth It
    Yes the movie starts out with a really kickass edge to it. Yes it does slow down and never quite recover. However, on the ride down from edginess there are quite a few awesome action scenes and a pretty decent story. At the end what made the movie disappointing for most was the main bad guys weren't all that edgy. They were however Tim Thomerson and the late Brion James who are always a treat to watch in the genre. That and the effects at the climax need to be updated with modern cgi. I thought it was great, would love to see it remade even better....more info
    This is one of those sci-fi movies that is so bad you'll fall in love with it; (Blade Runner is deeply maligned when this film is compared to it.) Sometimes on your days off from work you just wanna see a good shoot'em up movie with lots of Cyborg bad-guys and slapstick dialogue and beefcake/cheesecake heroes. If you're looking for approximately 90 minutes of pure escapist trashy fun, here's your answer....more info
  • Another piece of space junk from La La Land...
    If there was a setting for "0" stars I would give it to this movie. This movie is TERRIBLE! Okay, take a bunch of kids from some mindless bedroom community in about, say, grade 7 that have never left the burbs, give them some decent camera equipment and then ask them to do a variation on Blade Runner and this movie is EXACTLY what you would get. The dialogue that exsists is mindless, boring drival that you can't wait to end, low-budget pyrotechnic gun fights set in rural scrap yards. I think most of the budget was spent on designer sunglasses and black leather. The lead guy (a french actor), is SO bad that he can't even keep his accent consistent - sometimes he sounds Russian, then French, Eastern European, American, the guy is really, really bad and boring as %$&^!. I think I even recall seeing one of those Darryl Hanna Blade Runner athletic back-flip things. I think it's funny how directors keep trying to ripp Blade Runner off but since they have no taste, they always fail. Don't even think of renting/buying this film unless you are a tasteless, mindless fool and then by all means, waste your money....more info
  • Admittedly, A Guilty Pleasure
    An Albert Pyun production can threaten the mental stability of even the most diehard B movie fan. This director is a master of cheesy, low budget films loaded with hammy acting, molasses like pacing, and terrible scripts. As far as I know, there are only two Pyun films really worth watching: the early 1980s sword and sandal picture "The Sword and The Sorcerer" and this movie, the 1993 science fiction thriller "Nemesis." Two good movies out of a slew of stinkers doesn't mean I wouldn't watch any of his clunkers, though. If anything, a bad movie always promises to deliver a few laughs. Anyway, Pyun's name is synonymous with junk in B movie circles. Just scan some of the movie review sites on the Internet and laugh out loud at the abrasive comments aimed in Al's direction. The success of "Nemesis" eventually led to several sequels, each a victim of diminishing returns. The first one is a winner worth watching, but still contains plenty of plot holes for the discerning viewer to giggle over.

    Los Angeles cop Alex Rain works hard to break up crime rings and terrorist groups. It's the year 2027, and humanity has changed quite a bit in the near future. It appears that technology dominates, with doctors capable of implanting robotic machinery directly into the human body. In 2027, you've got millions of people ambling around the country with implants, many of them more machine than human. The growing numbers and strength of these cyborgs is starting to become a real problem for the rest of humanity. Eventually, some people fed up with the increasingly metallic composition of the population form resistance groups to fight the growing cyborgs. It is Alex Rain's job to help keep the peace, and to bring in these people when they break the law. After all, killing a cyborg is still a crime since most of these creatures still possess a significant percentage of human parts. Many of Alex Rain's fellow police officers have machine implants. Actually, Rain himself has a few parts in him, too. In the future, it is just too difficult to discern who is completely human and who isn't, and it's about to get much harder. After a lengthy opening sequence that shows us how Alex ends up in retirement, the movie starts in earnest.

    Rain's old boss, Farnsworth, approaches him about a new mission. The United States and Japan have decided to merge into one country (a process not unusual in the near future, according to the movie). A cyborg that worked with the police rebelled against the system and took some important information about the merger with her to Java, where she is presently hiding out while attempting to contact a terrorist organization named the Hammerheads. Rain, who has a contentious history with this sexy cyborg, must go to Java and kill her in order to retrieve this critical information. Rain reluctantly goes for reasons made obvious in the film, and soon discovers that things are not quite what they seem. It turns out that the mission Farnsworth sent Rain on is merely a cover for a much more important mission involving the fate of the planet, humanity, and the cyborgs. We don't find this out for some time, and until we do, the movie does tend to confuse the viewer. Not to worry, though, as you can content yourself with the bevy of beautiful women wearing tight skirts, some nudity, massive amounts of gunfire, and a healthy dose of bloody special effects. "Nemesis" may well rank as one of the most violent shoot 'em ups made in the last few years. The movie contains elements that reminded me of both "The Terminator" and "The Matrix," although I wouldn't go so far as to say that "Nemesis" serves a bridge between those two movies. I will say that if you love films overflowing with huge guns and a super high body count, you will love this Pyun picture.

    The plot zips along at mach speed, but the acting often fails to engage. Lead star Oliver Gruner, a French actor who must have once been on the same "up and coming action star" list as Jean Claude Van Damme, tanks as the tough yet caring cop Alex Rain. I suspect Gruner graduated from the Joe Dallesandro School of acting because his wooden expressions to some extent resemble those of the co-star of "Blood for Dracula" and "Flesh for Frankenstein." The female stars take second fiddle, and are usually on screen to serve as eye candy for the mostly young male audience that would watch a film like this one. At least "Nemesis" gives us the ever reliable Tim Thomerson in the role of Farnsworth, along with late B movie star Brion James as one of Farnsworth's sidekicks. James's pseudo German accent alone makes this movie worth watching. In fact, I doubt I would have even watched this movie if I hadn't known beforehand that Thomerson and James appeared in it.

    The DVD gives us several extras, including a trailer and some behind the scenes action about the film. The extras list said there were a few television spots, but when I selected that option, I got more behind the scenes footage. At least the transfer is decent, although it isn't as good as it should be. Colors occasionally look washed out, and there are a few rips on the print. Overall, I give a hearty round of applause to Albert Pyun. It is going to be tougher for me to criticize this guy after watching "Nemesis." The movie not only entertains, it is entertaining enough to watch again. This picture just goes to show that even a hack filmmaker can turn out a great treat every now and again....more info

  • overrated
    I was deceived by the cover text. This movie purports to be a "cyberpunk thriller," but if you started thinking William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Neal Stephenson, Wilhemina Baird, Melissa Scott, etc. etc. -- think again.

    A few cyberpunk SF buzzwords are tossed into this incoherent flick to fool the reviewers. In fact it's just another Z-grade actioner starring a bunch of body builders, fashion models, and plenty of large projectile weapons. Plenty of explosions. Some very low cost locations. Some very bad dialogue. At least the cast got to visit Mauna Kea :-)

    The movie has a few moments of self-conscious humour and a few moments of cinematic style, but mostly it's just the same old same old -- if you loved Van Damme in 'Cyborg' then you'll probably like this one too. If you were expecting something cerebral, moody, and noir -- forget it. If you like breaking glass and amazingly ineffectual automatic weapons fire, grab your popcorn and enjoy....more info

  • Great Sci-fi Atmosphere
    Really ejoyable flick. Has a standard story, but uses the sci-fi atmosphere very well. Everything looks very bleek. Many sequals have followed since its release....more info
  • A literally tour de farce
    Though not quite as hyped as Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," the disingenously titled "Nemesis" packs just as much of a literary wallop (maybe even more if you're drunk when you watch it). Shakespearean in scope, yet Tolstoyan in size, Nemesis is everything you never dreamed it would be. To wit: Anon comes Alex, half-man, half-machine in a world that is, well, half-man and half-machine. Ostensibly a cop, or rather a copy of a cop, he finds himself on the half-wrong side of the half-law, and therefore decides to fully machine-gun everyone he can while trying to get himself out of this mess. While Hemingway fans will appreciate the obvious tribute to "The Old Man and the Sea" (watch the scene where Alex gets shot by the android who has a mini-shotgun hidden in his eye) the film is not without a contemporary sense of humor: The Little Rascals references spread throughout are well-intentioned, if misinformed (i.e. the female robot shoots Alex's dog to death at an oasis bar in the middle of the desert, classic Rascals fare). Alex's dilema (as the film was titled in Europe) is to decide whom he serves - the ultra-conservative government, or the neo-liberal machines. This reworking of "The Death of Arthur" with updated dialogue like "You a cop, man?" complicated further when, after sliding backwards down a cement slide in a robot attack, Alex has an epiphany, for which he needs medical attention. Then, the Faustian hijinks are such that Alex discovers he has sold half of himself to the devil (the machines) for a few "new kroners" (this is the pseudo-future, so everything is titled New, like New New Mexico). Cameos by Ted Turner, Lassie and Fidel Castro are welcome, though distracting; one feels as though the moviemakers are not taking their art seriously enough. Film history students, however, will delight in the Spartacus-style battle sequences, where the same set of three guys is shown multiple times from only two angles, thus making it look like it might actually be six guys, and not just the same set of three guys from two different angles. History buffs will thrill to know of the film's relevance (Chairman Mao gave it 3 red stars), while the rest of us will wonder where they got the nerve to shove three more sequels down our throats....more info
  • Great Merle kennedy performance
    This is a great action film. I don't know if it borrowed from what had been done before but it was exciting. It was the first time I saw a hero slide backwards, on his back, down a hill, and shoot at the persuers as they came over the hill after him.
    Olivier Gruner's performance has been criticized for lacking range. I thought his deadpan, stoic emphasis was JUST RIGHT for this role: a cyborg.
    Merle Kennedy was a delight. This was the first time I had seen this actress, and she is marvellous as "Max Impact." She knows how to act. Her only other BIG roles are in Night of the Demons 2 and Perry Mason The case of the Heartbroken(?) Bride. She also played a drug addict in one of the best early episodes of E. R. (tv series)....more info
  • "Terminator" Meets "Hard Boiled"
    Albert Pyun's movies usually aren't worth much more than half a glance: though he's directed some of the more creative of celluloid premises, his films tend to be under/overdone action b-titles featuring poor casting and even worse acting, bare-bones production values, and a consistently bland color scheme that makes the movies boring even to look at. Though he never really outdid his breakout attempt ("The Sword and the Sorcerer") and lost just about all of his tinseltown value after 1993, he just managed to squeeze out one more good hunkajunk before going off of the cinematic deep end when he made "Nemesis": a sci-fi shoot-`em-up combination of "The Terminator" and John Woo's "Hard Boiled", and the launchpad of Olivier Gruner's Hollywood career.

    The story: in the year 2027 - when America and Japan have merged into a single entity and robotic implants are all the rage - Alex the cyborg cop (Gruner) is strong-armed into accepting a final mission from his superior (Tim Thomerson, "Iron Eagle"): stop his ex-partner (Marjorie Monaghan, "Space Rangers") from smuggling data to the Red Army Hammerhead terrorist organization. However, even with a security bomb implanted into his heart, Alex begins to question his assignment when it becomes clear that the sides of good and evil and man and machine are not as clear as they seemed...

    At the time, Olivier Gruner was fresh out of his kickboxing career as France's first-ever national champion, so go into this movie expecting a dramatic performance akin to those of Jean-Claude Van Damme. I was a bit disappointed that there weren't a lot of martial arts to be seen, but the film more than makes up for the sheer amount of bullets it blows through the sets. While there isn't quite as much shooting as in the aforementioned John Woo film, "Nemesis" really was the only respectable challenger at the time; I wouldn't be surprised if a consecutive fourth of the movie focused solely on Gruner and company waging a machinegun war on eachother. There's loads more interesting gunplay than was the timely norm, as well: prepare to see a lot of two-handed gunslinging, mid-air and on-the-slide firing (including an awesome instance wherein Gruner bulls-eyes an enemy while performing a backflip), and general ingenuity to spell out a perfect guilty pleasure for action fans.

    Pyun's more competent in his directing here, as well: though it looks like most of the sets were there to begin with (in other words, they look cheap), he makes good use of them and leaves his usual technical snafus at home. Alas, the movie's special effects were well behind-the-times, even when the film was released: keep in mind that "Terminator 2" had come out two years prior, and the questionable robotics and stop-motion climax look fairly disappointing. The same can be said for the acting: since this is an action film and Olivier Gruner is an action hero, his performance can be excused, but with the exception of Thomerson, the rest of the cast is in need of help: campy Marjorie Monaghan, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ("Mortal Kombat"), Merle Kennedy ("May"), and B-movie veteran Nicholas Guest needed to be hit with the script a few more times before they attempted their scenes.

    As anything other than an action movie and "Teminator" knock-off, "Nemesis" deserves a lower rating, but if you know what to expect when going in, you'll be setting yourself up for an enjoyable 95 minutes. If you're new to Pyun's work, either get out while you can or watch this film; just know that, with very few exceptions, you won't be finding anything better than this in the man's portfolio....more info