Albert Pyun, the director behind low-budget B movies like The sword and the wizard, Cyborg and Nemesis, has passed away. He turned 69.
Pyun died Saturday, his wife and producer Cynthia Curran announced. He had previously been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and dementia.
In 1982, the filmmaker released his first film, The sword and the wizard, starring Lee Horsley, Kathleen Beller and Simon MacCorkindale. The fantasy film made $39 million domestically ($120 million today) and would remain the highest-grossing title of his career.
Later releases included Jean-Claude van Damme’s dystopian martial arts thriller Cyborg (1989); Captain America (1990), starring Matt Salinger as the title superhero in the first live-action feature-length film to focus on the Marvel mainstay; and futuristic action film Nemesis (1992).
Born May 19, 1953 in Hawaii, Pyun worked as an editor of commercial films before moving on to feature films. He was known for his prolific output on projects, many of which went direct-to-video, working with such notable names as Kris Kristofferson, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, James Coburn, Christopher Lambert, Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Charlie Sheen and Kathy Ireland.
During a 2012 interview with Gizmodo, Pyun said he ended up doing so many post-apocalyptic movies because the locations were cheap and easy to find. While he was known for directing a number of movies about cyborgs, he said that decision was also pragmatic.
“I really have no interest in cyborgs,” the filmmaker said at the time. “And I’ve never really been interested in post-apocalyptic stories or sets. It just seemed like those situations gave me a way to make movies with very little money, and explore ideas that I really wanted to explore – even if they were [controversial].”