19th Aug2013

Albert Pyun retires – My thoughts

by Phil Wheat

albert-pyun

Earlier today (Aug 19th) one of my all-time favourite directors, Albert Pyun, announced via his Facebook and Twitter pages that he would be stepping away from movie-making and all that it ensues, due to health reasons… He’s since expanded on the problems with his health in a further post on his Facebook page, that I urge everyone whose ever enjoyed an Albert Pyun movie to read.

Hi Everyone – sadly I’m going to have to shutdown my facebook and other movie related efforts including Director’s cuts attending film festivals and screenings due to my health issue. I have to take the time to address this condition as its a long term but not life threatening. I’ve had some heart issues but through Cynthia, that was being stabilized and in control. But this new one is not as dangerous but far more widespread across my entire body and inhibits my ability to function until its controlled. But the process I face will be all consuming in the short term and I will be forced to leave Vegas to seek treatment. So, I have enjoyed my time with everyone and the friendships I have been lucky enough to find here and elsewhere. I’ll live on in my films and hope to get Cyborg Nemesis out sometime in the near future. It will definitely be my final film. There will likely be no further Director’s cuts as I’m not going be able to go further on those. I apologize to everyone here who have been so dedicated to supporting the DC’s of my past films. There will be no further DC’s sales. So those of you who got them really have collector’s additions now. Good Bye for the near future and hope we can all gather in the glow of the movie screen sometime in the future! Love and respected everyone who stopped by. Its been one of the greatest joys of my career and life to meet you all.

Warmest Regards,
Albert

It’s safe to say that this marks the end of an era for me. As a kid there were two movies (beyond the Stars Wars trilogy) that really got me into movies, one was The Beastmaster and the other was Albert Pyun’s The Sword and the Sorcerer. Of course at the time I had no idea who was behind such a great film, in fact I didn’t really pay much attention to directors at all – however in the intervening years, without even knowing it, Pyun’s movies were consistently some of my favourites: The Sword and the Sorcerer, Radioactive Dreams, Alien from L.A.

It wasn’t until the debut of Jean Claude Van Damme’s Cyborg that I would “discover” the name of Albert Pyun. That film (along with Kickboxer and Bloodsport) had a huge impact on my movie-viewing life. I began to trawl my local video shop for more of Pyun’s movies and eventually found Impact Magazine – the only magazine I have ever read EVERY issue of and the only magazine to give Pyun’s movies the same respect I gave them – which opened my eyes even further to the man and the  genre. The came Captain America and Kickboxer 2 and I knew I was an Albert Pyun fan for life…

Jump forward over twenty years and, despite seeing thousands of movies, I still count a handful of the prolific directors movies as some of my favourites: Captain America, Kickboxer 2 & 4, Dollman, Nemesis, Brainsmasher, Heatseeker and in particular Arcade and Spitfire. These are movies I can pop into the player time and time again and enjoy them each and every time.

In more recent years I’ve followed Albert Pyun on Facebook as he worked on personal projects such as Road to Hell, the “directors cuts” of some of his older movies, and new films such as his forthcoming (hopefully) Cyborg Nemesis. It’s actually been an eye-opening experience to see the time, dedication and near-OCD like perfection Pyun seeks, no matter the film, no matter the budget; and his propensity for sharing his process via his Facebook page has given me an even greater appreciation for the man behind the movies.

So I’d just like to say thank you for the films, thank you for the memories. Thank you Albert Pyun.

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