Knights (1993)

Rating: C+

Dir: Albert Pyun
Star: Kathy Long, Kris Kristofferson, Lance Henriksen, Scott Paulin

[22] Cue the Python jokes. But if you’ve got wooden actors, it’s a tried and tested routine to have ‘em play robots: see Arnie for details. So when all but one of your stars are mechanical men, what does it say about their acting ability? For that’s what we have here, behind a title whose relevance escapes me. ‘Vampires’ would be closer, as the cyborgs rely on human blood for fuel, can only be killed with a knife through the brain, etc.

Against them is nice ‘borg Kris Kristofferson, a surprising but effective action hero, who trains human fighter and five-time kickboxing champion Kathy Long to take on cyborg leader Job – Lance Henriksen adds to his collection of memorable villains. Though chunks of this are frankly laughable, it does catch fire when Long starts to kick arse with a no-nonsense style, and as ever in films with cyborgs, you get a thoughtful debate about the qualities of humanity. The ending points blatantly to a series – though it never materialised, this didn’t stop director Albert Pyun returning to the action-heroine genre.