CYBORG2: GLASS SHADOW
Cyborg2: Glass Shadow pays minimal lip service to the first film it is set vaguely in the same future, although the society portrayed appears much less devastated than in the first film; and we get one or two seconds of clips from the original shown on a tv screen at one point. What Glass Shadow also does is to abandon the mindless kickboxing chop suey of the original it keeps the basic cyborg theme to justify the title but reconstructs the rest into a reasonable Cyberpunk film. Nobody is ever going to mistake Cyborg2: Glass Shadow for a great work of art or even an unrecognised classic, nevertheless it marshals its Cyberpunk tropes into a reasonable plot and with a fair degree of intelligence.
There is some fine effects work notably a beautifully detailed model city and one excellent sequence over the credits where we see the transparent cyborg being filled with the plastic explosive. Even when the low-budget shows through, director Michael Schroeder rides over it with a maximum degree of rundown moodily lit dark future atmosphere that more than disguises any rough edges. Elias Koteas plays with a likeably wry sense of humour, although Angelina Jolie (well before the days she became a major A-list superstar) makes almost no distinction at all in the role of the cyborg. The final image the film goes out on of the geriatric hero sitting on a porch being tended by the unaged cyborg is a wonderful coda to the film.
Director Michael Schroeder returned for a further sequel, the also worthwhile Cyborg3 (1994).
Michael Schroeder has made a number of other modest B-budget genre films, including the bad taste comedy Mortuary Academy (1988), the psycho clown film Out of the Dark (1989), Dead On: Relentless II (1992) and the psycho-sexual thriller Cover Me (1995). One of the intriguing credits is the name of horror writer Jeffrey Konvitz, best known for the novel that became the film The Sentinel (1977), who is listed as one of the Executive Producers.