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The Devastating Death Of Albert Pyun

While many might choose to celebrate filmmakers who have big budgets, A-list stars, and countless Oscar nominations, there are others who choose to celebrate the outsiders, those filmmakers who, despite their limited resources, manage to create work that nevertheless remains endearing. This is undeniably the case for director Albert Pyun, who has built a career off of his low-budget yet entertaining B movies that have garnered him a dedicated cult following. His catalog of films includes such cult classics as "The Sword and the Sorcerer," "Cyborg," "Captain America," "Nemesis," and "Omega Doom."

Pyun is perhaps best described by the Independent Film Channel, which notes that he "carved out a unique niche as a director of low-budget, high-concept genre films starring casts slightly past their prime. Some will think that's a charitable description for Pyun, who has been derided as 'the new Ed Wood.'" Whether you see him as a genre-defying mastermind or not, there's no denying that Pyun's place in cult movie history has been cemented and his work has left an immeasurable impact.

Sadly, fans will no longer be able to experience new entries of Pyun's special brand of entertainment since the filmmaker died on November 26 at the age of 69 (via Deadline). His death, announced by his wife, Cynthia Curnan, came following years of dealing with dementia and multiple sclerosis. Pyun may have never ascended to Spielbergian levels of critical acclaim, but his passing has left a hole in the hearts of cult film fans and admirers everywhere.

Albert brought a new subgenre to sci-fi

Born on May 19, 1953, in Hawaii, Albert Pyun started making films at age 10 using his father's 8mm camera (via Budomate Magazine). From there, he gained experience working as an intern for several production companies and under award-winning commercial film editor Thomas Moore. He eventually hit it big with his directorial debut, "The Sword and the Sorcerer," which became among the highest-grossing films of 1982, earning nearly $40 million (via Box Office Mojo). His career took off from there, with Pyun directing several other notable cult films throughout the decade, including "Radioactive Dreams."

He made an especially big splash with 1989's "Cyborg," a marital arts cyberpunk sci-fi that follows a martial artist who goes after a killer in a postapocalyptic future. The film not only did well at the box office, making over $10 million (via Box Office Mojo), but also established Pyun's long relationship with cyborgs, martial arts, and apocalyptic settings, which he claimed to continuously use to make his films at his intended budget (via Gizmodo).

Other notable entries to his filmography include 1990's "Captain America," starring Matt Salinger, the first live-action film adaptation of the popular Marvel character, and 1991's "Kickboxer 2: The Road Back," which was written by "The Dark Knight" screenwriter David S. Goyer. He continued to create films throughout the decades, with his final directorial credit 2018's "Death Heads: Brain Drain."