Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cyclops (2008)

This blog needs more reviews of SyFy Originals, ain't that true? So why don't kickstart this year with yet another classic from the masters of TV-movies! Cyclops is one of the better productions to come from this controversial channel, and it's mostly because it's produced by Roger and Julie Corman, written by his long-time collaborator Frances Doel and made with using left-over sets from a cancelled TV-series about ancient Rome. A classic Corman-idea, use something old to make something new. Cheap and dirty, and very effective.

Kevin Stapleton is Marcus, a soldier for the Roman Empire. He's given the mission by emperor Tiberius Caesar (Eric Roberts) to catch the violent and man-eating Cyclops who just eaten one merchant to much in the forests surrounding Rome. He do so, but when he's back he quickly falls into disfavour from the emperor and is sentence to be... a GLADIATOR! Hooray, because we all love gladiators! (Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?). Anyway, of course the Cyclops is involved in the fun and happy gladiator games and this is also the chance for Marcus to make revolt against the tyrannical Tiberius Caesar and his hordes of sleazy henchmen!

To be fair, it's not much of a story, but Doel certainly fills the story with action and violence and a few corny dialogues here and there. Not bad and it works, because you never get a chance to be bored. The direction by Declan O'Brien is slick and professional, which is surprising because I was very disappointed by his other works in the same genre, Savage Planet and Monster Ark. Cyclops seem to have a slightly, but very slightly, bigger budget - but that could also seem so because they had the chance to use the sets of another production (with a lot bigger budget). Like every other movie shot in Sofia, Bulgaria, this also features the local talents of Velizar Binev and Raicho Vasilev. Good actors and nice familiar exploitation faces.

I also love good actors slumming in low-budget movies, and Eric Roberts is no exception. He look a bit tired and yes, even bored, but do his classic bad guy routine and gives the cast some extra weight. A fun detail is that the Bulgarian cast mostly is dubbed with voices of some heavy English accents, which is nice because of tradition a lot of English actors has acted in big historical epics, often has Romans.

Cyclops is also one of the gorier movies to first be released on the SyFy Channel. We're not talking advanced stuff, but quite well-made and blood spurting decapitations, ripped of legs, chopped of heads + some violent bites from the Cyclops himself (who by the way looks ridiculous,  in a very uneven CG animated version). But it has enough of the red stuff to make me happy.

For fans of TV-movies, Corman-productions and Eric Roberts sleeping through his paycheck. Don't we all love stuff like that? 


Anonymous said...

Wow cool...haven´t seen this one yet but want to.....have you seen the corman doc yet..?

Ninja Dixon said...

No, not yet - but I will :)
Have you seen it?

Anonymous said...

No, but I want to....