Eyeborgs DVD Review
Directed by Richard Clabaugh
Written by Richard Clabaugh and Fran Clabaugh
2009, Region 2 (PAL), 102 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 20th June 2011
Adrian Paul as R.J “Gunner” Reynolds
Megan Blake as Barbara Hawkins
Luke Eberl as Jarett Hewes
John S Rushton as Agent Bradley
Danny Trejo as G-Man
Robots taking over the world! Robots with cameras recording your every movement! Robots with tiny saws ready to slice you up! Pretty scary stuff, huh? If you like your sci-fi horror films over the top and ridiculous, then Eyeborgs may be the thing for you.
Set in a time where, after yet another terrorist attack, America introduces a new intense surveillance programme that watches people’s every move and then reports back to a main controller called ODIN (Optical Defence Intelligence Network). The “eyeborgs”, small cameras that move by their own accord to watch everything, were pushed into existence by Detective Reynolds (Adrian Paul) after his wife and son were killed by criminals. He believed that the presence of eyeborgs would have saved his family, or at least brought the killers to justice. However, after a series of crimes that don’t match up, conspiracy theories start to seem a little too believable and Detective Reynolds begins to doubt what good these robots are doing for the country. When the President’s nephew Jarett (Luke Eberl) is repeatedly at the centre of violent attacks, the police begin to suspect a terrorist plot against the President . Along with nosey reporter Barbara (Megan Blake), Detective Reynolds investigates the real reason behind these incidents.
A very 1984 George Orwell theme runs through Eyeborgs, it deals with the idea of being watched and monitored at all times. On one level this works as a good horror film, it’s an exaggerated reality of how we are now, constant surveillance through cameras and the internet, not to mention the threat of terrorism. The idea that something so powerful can control everything you do is an eerie aspect and so there are moments of terror in the film in regards to this, but ultimately it fails to truly terrify us due to a silly plot and overblown fight scenes.
Surprisingly, the effects are actually pretty decent. The robots are a little laughable in places, but that’s more what they’re doing than the way they look. There is also an impressive car chase scene in which a van blows up, only to have a robot appear out of the back, which is nicely done. In terms of gore, it is pretty minimal but there is an excellent scene which includes robots with drills and a guy’s forehead.
The acting was not as bad as I had anticipated and I actually enjoyed the lead played by Adrian Paul, he’s the “I don’t take no shit” kind of cop, which is pretty amusing to watch. It was also a really pleasant surprise to see Robert Rodriguez’s favourite guy, Danny Trejo pop up as G-Man, a guitar repairman who knows more about the robots than he should. It would be nice to see him survive in a film for more than a few scenes though.
There are many problems that low budget films like this can suffer from, but the worst one has to be it that it’s too long. Unfortunately this is where Eyeborgs really suffers. Too many of the robot battles scenes are overplayed with very little tension, making it drag unnecessarily. It really could have done with a good 20 minutes cutting from it. By making a fun film like this extend to an unnecessary degree, you’re going to lose interest as it’s the crazy, unbelievable plot twists and over the top dialogue that are really getting us through it.
Eyeborgs is fun to watch certainly, but it may not always be for the right reasons.
Video and Audio:
The video is shown in 16:9 aspect ratio, and along with the 5.1 audio, it’s a pretty clear and crisp presentation and has a very polished look to the whole thing.
There are plenty of extras with this DVD which include deleted scenes, making of the film, a stunts featurette, a VFX featurette, a blooper reel and a short on how to make a robot in three minutes. Not a bad selection for a pretty low budget film.