The Five Best Albert Pyun Movies 

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Albert Pyun

Albert Pyun was a beloved B-movie filmmaker who brought audiences a total of 52 films as a director and who recently passed away leaving two upcoming films seemingly unfinished. Looking at his career, the man knew how to create interesting and entertaining films to say the least. His first release was the 1982 film The Sword and the Sorcerer and his newest was the 2018 film Death Heads: Brain Dead. The man seemed unstoppable, and he will be very missed. To celebrate the man and his work, here are 5 of our favorite films from the Pyuniverse. 

The Sword and The Sorcerer (1982) 

Pyun’s first film as a director, which he co-wrote with Tom Karnowski and John V. Stuckmeyer, The Sword and the Sorcerer is a medieval-esque epic film with magic, sword, babes, and a whole lot more. There’s a ton on here and the film goes in a few different directions, not all successful but definitely all entertaining. In terms of a first film, it’s a strong effort. It was designed as a Conan the Barbarian rip-off, but ironically it made more money at the domestic box office (a huge $39 million on a $4 million budget – success like this should have made Pyun an A-lister). If the poster doesn’t sell the movie to you, the three-bladed sword should. This one is overall an odd ball of a medieval film with some serious issues in the writing and the development of the film as you watch it, but it’s entertaining (a word you’ll see a lot about Pyun’s films) from start to finish. 

Mean Guns (1997) 

5 Best Albert Pyun Movies: Mean Guns

1997 was the year of Pyun as he had multiple films released that year including Omega Doom, Crazy Six, Blast, and Mean Guns. The latter is one that is a bit above the others in terms of appeal bringing back Yuji Okumoto, Thom Mathews, and a few other Pyun regulars. It stars Christopher Lambert and Ice-T, with Lambert sporting a Subway-esque hairstyle in a part that has a few things in common with that film’s. Here, this may be due to Lambert’s interpretation of the script by Andrew Witham more than the direction by Pyun. This is another film set in the near future with a bunch of violence coming from the Pyuniverse, so the look of it is quite similar to say Crazy Six. The cinematography for this one is bit different though with more Dutch angles and some odd color choices here and there. The story itself is one that brings the usual to table for this director, but it does so in a way that sets it apart from his other films. The cast and the number of guns and ammo here are what brings most to watch it, the twists and turns are what keeps most through to the end. It’s pure Pyun and it’s fun. 

Kickboxer 2: The Road Back (1991) 

5 Best Albert Pyun Movies: Kickboxer 2: The Road Back

Directed by Pyun, written by David S. Goyer (yes, that David S. Goyer) based on characters by Mark DiSalle and Jean-Claude Van Damme, this sequel was designed as a star vehicule for Sasha Mitchell, who, at the time, was a sitcom star on the ABC series Step By Step. This film is a follow up to the Van Damme original from 2 years earlier, but it has very few characters in common here. It does bring Dennis Chan back as the trainer, kills off Van Damme’s character right out the gate, brings back Michel Qissi as Tong Po (something that would never fly now, a white man playing an Asian man, and something that should not have been approved back then, no matter how close the actor was to the production). To spice things up, bad guy actor extraordinaire Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa is brought in, Peter Boyle joins him, Matthias Hues joins the party. Mitchell is surprisingly (to some) decent in the lead, and nails the marital arts aspect. It was successful enough on video that it led to three more sequels, including part 4, also directed by Pyun. It stands fairly well on its own even without having seen the first one or when considering it’s almost an in-title-only sequel.  

Nemesis (1992) 

5 Best Albert Pyun Movies: Nemesis

One of the many films in the Pyuniverse that are set in a post-apocalyptic world and features robotic beings. These are typical Pyun elements and in this film, they work quite well. This one has it all, violence, sex, robots, and a dummy falling from a great height. This is one of his most polished films, along with Cyborg, and one that is easily rewatchable over and over. Oliver Gruner is a great lead for this as his skills are on point for the character at hand. A very young Thomas Janes shares a few interesting scenes with a cyborg-lady (played by Body Double‘s Deborah Shelton), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa is of course a bad guy, Pyun regulars Thom Mathews, Yuji Okumoto, and Tim Thomerson all show up in various parts that are all a bit more insane than the previous one. Written by Rebecca Charles, directed by Pyun, this one is a fun watch and a great film for an evening with friends. The outdated futuristic technology adds to the fun for those who love to catch those details, and the action design is top-notch. 

Cyborg (1989) 

This one is all Pyun, all the way and it features his signature post-apocalypse style with cyborgs and a few surprises along the way. The lead here is Jean-Claude Van Damme, so it’s one of the better-known Pyun films based on JCVD’s presence and how popular he was in the 1990’s when the film gained popularity on home video. Cyborg is a fun film with a few insane scenes peppered throughout and some cool fight set-ups. This one looks more expensive than most of his films, but don’t let that fool you, it’s pure Pyun insanity! It’s great and it’s so much fun. Rewatching it now, over 30 years since its release, it still mostly holds up as futuristic film.  

Albert Pyun was a director who loved films and it shows. He loved entertaining audiences and he made sure that every last dollar of his budget went onto the screen. His work may have resided in the B-movie world, but it also was a staple of most people’s rentals in the 1990s and now of their viewings on sites like Tubi where a bunch of his films are currently available for free.

What is your favorite film from Pyun? 

About the Author