Albert Pyun, the director behind such low-budget B-movies The Sword and the Sorcerer, Cyborg and Nemesis, has died. He was 69.
Pyun died Saturday, his wife and producer Cynthia Curran announced. He had previously been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and dementia.
In 1982, the filmmaker released his first movie, The Sword and the Sorcerer, which starred Lee Horsley, Kathleen Beller and Simon MacCorkindale. The fantasy film made $39 million domestically ($120 million today) and would remain the highest-grossing title of his career.
Later releases included the Jean-Claude van Damme dystopian martial-arts thriller Cyborg (1989); Captain America (1990), which starred Matt Salinger as the title superhero in the first live-action feature-length film focusing on the Marvel mainstay; and futuristic action flick Nemesis (1992).
Born in Hawaii on May 19, 1953, Pyun worked as a commercial film editor before moving on to features. He was known for his prolific output of projects, many going direct-to-video, and worked with such notable names as Kris Kristofferson, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, James Coburn, Christopher Lambert, Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Charlie Sheen and Kathy Ireland.
During a 2012 interview with Gizmodo, Pyun said that he ended up making so many post-apocalyptic films because the locations were cheap and easy to find. Although he was known for directing a number of movies about cyborgs, he said that decision was a pragmatic one as well.
“I have really no interest in cyborgs,” the filmmaker said at the time. “And I’ve never really had any interest in post-apocalyptic stories or settings. It just seemed that those situations presented a way for me to make movies with very little money, and to explore ideas that I really wanted to explore — even if they were [controversial].”
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