Remember the Orwellian-1984-Big Brother spate of scary sci-fi films from a couple of decades past? In fact, there was one back in the actual year of 1984 that I was reminded of when I saw the spindly-legged spider-bots in Eyeborgs.
Take a trip back in time to an era when Kirstie Allie wasn't yet the Fat Actress, Gene Simmons didn't have the Family Jewels, and shoulder pads and AquaNet reigned supreme. Here's a trailer for Runaway.
Runaway was a pretty damn good movie. It didn't hurt that the source was Michael Crichton (writer and director) or that it starred the ever-likable Tom Selleck as the hero raging against the machines.
So what about Eyeborgs, you ask? Well… it doesn't have quite the pedigree and with a title like Eyeborgs I was expecting the cheesiest of the cheesy old Sci-Fi Channel movies (writer and director Richard Claybaugh did after all inflict Python upon the world a few years back).
But it turns out Eyeborgs is actually quite the competent and rather suspenseful little adventure boasting above-average effects, slick cinematography, good acting hand-in-hand with perfect casting, plus a reasonably smart script and efficient editing. It's not going to be up for an Academy Award or anything, but Eyeborgs is well worth a, um, look. (The whole thing is about watching, being watched, and the deception of one's own eyes - more of the review after the video jump).
The story follows purple-haired rocker / slacker Hewes (Luke Eberl), who just happens to be the nephew of the President of the United States (Mark Joy). Of course, this bloody relation puts him in all sorts of jeopardy once the government-sanctioned network of robotic cameras called Eyeborgs spirals out of control. So it's Detective Gunner Reynolds (Adrian Paul, TV's The Highlander) and G-Man (Danny Trejo, Predators) to the scrawny guitarist's rescue and off they go into the melee of menacing machines. Government conspirators, shady characters, and feisty news reporters all join the fray as this fast paced and quite engaging shoot'em up rolls on (think: "24" meets RoboCop).
There are a lot of cool robot monsters in the movie (some of them transforming into bigger, badder, even more destructive devices), but the best ones are the little two-legged, one-eyed "hoppers" — all in all, it's a fun, better-than-average techno-horror flick. Catch it on Blu-ray if you can (the picture clarity and sound mix are fantastic).