Hands of Steel
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: Daniel Greene, Janet Argen, John Saxon
This is another movie that’s simply misplaced on a DVD collection of horror films because this is a sci-fi action film. Normally I HATE movies about cyborgs – but I’m a bit forgiving in this case because I like cheap Italian knock-offs of anything. Well, that and this movie is FREAKING AWESOME! Cyborg assassins, arm wrestling, helicopters, some boobies and some of the coolest action sequences I’ve seen outside of the Hollywood mainstream. Okay, so it’s not John Woo level of awesomness, but it’s pretty damn close and there’s no doves.
It’s the future – I think. The environment has gone to hell thanks to industrialists and their polluting factories which is nothing new at all and actually a pretty common theme in the 80s (you know, the Captain Planet era). The opening credits show poor people living on the streets of any given metropolis and I swear one of these hobos is either an uncredited cameo from Joe D’Amato or its his homeless clone – either way it is awesome to be reminded of the epicness that is the almighty JOE D’AMATO.
Leading the ecological movement is Rev. Arthur Mosley who is a blind scientist and, apparently, an ordained reverend even though religion is never mentioned. I can get behind his message of saving the environment but when you start incorporating his uniformed and blindly passionate followers and the fact that this fellow calls himself a reverend you start venturing into cult territory. Regardless, industrial magnate Francis Turner (John Saxon) has created a cyborg assassin, Paco Queruak. Now I know a movie about “Paco the Killer Robot Man” sounds pretty silly, but Daniel Greene sells this character – you kinda forget how goofy it’s supposed to be that Paco the Robo-man kills people with his bare hands. During his murder of Rev. Mosley, Paco’s humanity breaks through at the last possible moment and he backs off, sparing the mans life. Paco makes a daring escape through a conduit tunnel and then drives his car through a savage acid rain storm. He heads to his hometown in Arizona to try and reconnect with his former, pre-cyborg life.
Paco settles down with a woman named Linda, a bitter woman running her own restaurant/bar/motel alone in the desert. Paco works around her place stacking firewood and whatnot in exchange for room and board. Over time they build a relationship but more on that later. First we have the gang of arm wrestlers led by Raul. Now I’ve never found arm wrestling to be that impressive – especially in a cinematic sense. I mean, have you seen Over the Top? That movie is terrible. But somehow the arm wrestling here is awesome. I don’t know, maybe because these characters just make it seem so badass – especially their leader Raul – the second toughest arm wrestler in town. Luckily someone has uploaded a scene of Raul and Paco trying to out badass each other so enjoy:
Hands of Steel, as its known here, has been one of my favorites on this DVD set so far. Just as much fun as Werewolf of Washington. It’s not a good movie, not by any means. It’s cheesy, overacted and full of face-palmingly stupid over-the-top scenes – but that’s what makes it such stupid fun. I may hate every other cyborg movie in existence, but that’s because I’d never seen Hands of Steel before. The film, like many other Italian productions, has many alternate titles including Atomic Cyborg, Arms of Steel, Cyborg, and Return of the Terminator.
So it would seem that Disc 3 is off to a fantastic start. Unfortunately the next film on her is called The Manster and with a stupid title like that I’m really not expecting the best. Until then, here’s a picture of John Saxon looking silly: