Albert Pyun is an award-winning American filmmaker best known for his contributions to the science fiction and action genres. He is credited as pioneering the Cyborg sub-genre and is considered to be a maverick and renegade of independent genre cinema. With over 50 titles to his name he has enjoyed a prolific career spanning over 30 years.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Albert began making movies in his teenage years and got his start in the film business by working in local production houses before interning with Akira Kurosawa's long-serving director-of-photography Takao Saito. He later worked as an editor of commercials in Honolulu for several years before moving to Los Angeles and pursuing a career as a feature filmmaker.
His first film THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER was the highest grossing independent film 1982, earning $36,714,025 in the United States. The success of the film lead to Albert being attached to various large sci-fi projects including TOTAL RECALL (later to be directed by Paul Verhoven) and he became a much sought after director by several studios. His follow up film ended up being the 1985 post apocalyptic sci-fi RADIOACTIVE DREAMS, which helped launch the careers of Michael Dudikof and John Stockwell, and cemented Albert's reputation for being an edgy and creative hot-shot filmmaker. The 1980s was a highly productive decade and saw the release of DANGEROUSLY CLOSE, VICIOUS LIPS, DOWN TWISTED, ALIEN FROM LA, JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH, CYBORG and DECEIT.
Albert's work with Cannon Films saw him direct more films for the company than any other filmmaker and his involvement with SPIDER-MAN and MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE 2 became legendary. When both films were cancelled mid-way into their productions, Albert devised a break-neck strategy to combine all of the set and costume designs from both films to salvage the lost money and deliver a single stand-alone film. The result was CYBORG, which opened in 1989 as the fourth highest grossing film in America. It grossed $10,166, 459 and gave Jean Claud Van Damme his Hollywood super-star status.
The 1990s proved to be an even more prolific decade with Albert directing a further 24 films. Notable titles throughout those years include CAPTAIN AMERICA, NEMESIS 1-4, KICKBOXER 2, KNIGHTS, OMEGA DOOM, ADRENALIN, HONG KONG 97, POSTMORTEM and MEAN GUNS. His work with Charles Band's Full Moon company saw him direct DOLLMAN and ARCADE, both of which continue to hold a strong cult following.
The 2000's marked a new era for Albert as he moved away from the independent studio system and began making films much more independently by way of self-funding and outsourcing money personally. This allowed for greater creative freedoms as a filmmaker, despite his budgets being drastically reduced. His new approach to filmmaking has divided audiences, however, those who have followed his career closely agree that his films since the year 2000 have been far more audacious and personal, none more so than his 2013 film ROAD TO HELL (shot in 2008). Inspired by Walter Hill's 1984 classic STREETS OF FIRE, the film acts as a spiritual sequel and presents the two protagonists in an alternative future. Michael Pare and Deborah Van Vulkenburgh reprised their roles of Tom and Reva Cody and their characters are pitted against a vibrant and surreal purgatory landscape. The film has enjoyed a steady run on the festival circuit and is slated for a home-entertainment release soon. Other notable films from this decade include the stunning one-shot horror film INVASION (aka Infection), the brutal drug trade thriller BULLETFACE and the long-awaited TALES FROM AN ANCIENT EMPIRE, a follow up to THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER. Investor and distributor interference on this film jeopardised the final theatrical cut and the film is slated, along with several of Albert's other films, for an upcoming director's cut release.
The 2010's has proven to be a difficult time in Albert's career due to declining health and difficulties seeing a major project released. His film CYBORG NEMESIS was shot, however the film remains unfinished due to pending post-production issues. An incomplete version of the film was screened for an audience at the Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival. Albert's health took a turn for the worse in 2012 when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The effect of the illness took an emotional and physical toll on him and in early 2013 he announced his retirement. Following a brief hiatus he concluded that the best remedy was filmmaking and he made a triumphant return with THE INTERROGATION OF CHERYL COOPER. While enduring medical tests and treatments the film had an incredibly fast turnaround and was written, shot and completed within a matter of weeks. The storyline was a direct follow up to INVASION and continued the one-shot concept. It was entirely filmed over the course of a single day and showcased Albert's ability to think outside the box, both practically and creatively.
As of 2015 Albert has attempted to develop various other projects, while maintaining ongoing treatment for his MS. These projects include NAPOLEON, THE KICKBOXER: CITY OF BLOOD and ALGIERS. In maintaining a strong relationship with his fanbase Albert has shared the production details of these projects on his Facebook page and maintains that he is still actively pursuing them. Their further development will depend on his ongoing health. He attributes his relationship with his fans as a driving force in fighting his illness and he has shared his medical journey with them almost every step of the way.
November of 2015 saw the release of a conceptual teaser trailer for a brand new film titled STAR WARFARE RANGERS AND THE CYBORG WITCH OF ENDOR. Having evolved from various attempts to revive his CYBORG saga the film is set to be an original story detailing the search for a missing Cyborg child. Pre-production began in August with shooting slated to begin in December. The film will mark Albert's 33rd collaboration with his long-standing composer Tony Riparetti and boasts an impressive cast including Brad Thornton, Glenn Maynard, Ellie Church, Tommie Vegas, Shane Ryan and Morgan Weisser amongst others.
Albert's impressive career has seen him work with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, many of whom got their first break with him. He has worked with the likes of Jean Claud Van Damme, Sasha Mitchell, Christopher Lambert, Natasha Henstridge, Bryon James, Tom Thomerson, Jackie Earl Haley, Terri Hatcher, Rutger Hauer, Olivier Gruner, Charlie Sheen, Burt Reynolds, Steven Seagal, Rob Lowe, Ice-T, Snoop Dog, Kevin Sorbo, Tom Sizemore, Andrew Dice Clay, Dennis Hopper, Kevin Gage, Robert Patrick, Seth Green, Dennis Chan, Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin, Ronny Cox, Kris Kristofferson, George Kennedy, Richard Lynch, Lee Horsley, Richard Moll, Courtney Cox, Thom Matthews, Nicholas Guest, Kathy Ireland, Deep Roy, Michel Qissi, Andrew Divoff, David Carradine, Vincent Klyn, Mitch Pileggi, Yuji Okumoto, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Michael Pare and Deborah Van Vulkenburgh. His most frequent actor collaborations have been with NORBERT WEISSER and SCOTT PAULIN who have worked alongside Albert in dozens of films spanning several decades.
Albert lives in Las Vegas, Nervada with his wife writer/producer wife Cynthia Curnan as well as their fur-children BuBear, Chibu & Tessie and the spirits of their beloved Chiba and Nobu.