Hands of Steel

Director: Sergio Martino

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

One of the cheapest ways of making a science fiction movie is first of all to place it in such a near future that nothing has yet changed, & to have the s-f angle be cyborgs that look exactly like ordinary people.

Paco the iron assassin hides out in a grimy bar, where he tussles with champion arm wrestler drunks -- & wins!

Minor beefcake star Daniel Greene has a certain scowly beauty but his only real talent is flexing his abs. He's a dead ringer for singer Nick Lachey, but more buff.

Greene is Cyborg Paco in Hands of Steel aka Atomic Cyborg (Vendetta dal futuro, 1986). The film's main claim to fame is that B action film regular Claudio Cassinelli was accidentally killed during the shoot, in a hellicopter accident while filming in Arizona.

Paco's been programmed to kill, but his humanity asserts itself & he merely wounds his assassination target then runs off to get a job sweeping up in a bar owned by a spunky gal (Janet Agren), with whom he falls in love. She seems okay about it when she discovers it's robot love. I wondered if he had a three speed vibrator options.

Sundry macho antics pad out the slim story to feature length, as company agents try to track down their escaped invention & turn other cyborgs loose on him for some karate action, including with a cyborg babe who continues to mouth off even after Paco rips her head off her shoulders.

Turner (John Saxon) the bad company president shows up personally for the last battle, being apparently eager to meet a fate similar to his super-warriors though he's not one of those & should be even easier for Paco to take out.

He brings along a ray-gun that is the silliest futuristic weapon ever, seemingly made out of the biggest beer can ever, about as big around sd three bazookas. This crummy prop turns out to be just as useless as everything else at stopping a determined self-aware cyborg in love.

Cyborg struggling to reclaim his human personality while fending off the evil company president makes it view a lot like a Robocop knock-off except that it came out a year earlier than Robocop, & its main influence was probably Terminator (1984).

Childish in every aspect, the babe cyborg cussing at Paco with her head ripped off was at least amusing, though she's not on screen but a second lest the viewers see she's just got her head sticking up through a hole in the floor.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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