Hands of Steel (1986)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action  |   Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Donald Guarisco

Though the cyborg theme suggests a Terminator knockoff, Hands Of Steel is actually a late entry in Italy's early 1980's cycle of post-apocalyptic action flicks. It's a decent time-killer for b-movie fans, with a surprisingly involved storyline that mixes in some unique plot detours (for instance, a couple of arm wrestling competitions!) along with the expected adventure stuff. The southwestern setting gives it a unique flavor and Sergio Martino (using the pseudonym of "Martin Dolman") does a decent job of delivering plentiful action on a shoestring budget: his best moment might be a scene where the hero has to fend off gun-toting assassins while also fighting a pair of disguised cyborgs in close quarters. In terms of acting, former soap star Daniel Greene is a bit stone-faced as the half-robot hero but that seems oddly appropriate for the part. He's also given nice support from a cast of Euro-cult stalwarts: Janet Agren makes a suitably sultry love interest, George Eastman steals a few scenes as a truck-driving bad guy and John Saxon does his usual professional job as the main industrialist villain. The end results are frequently silly (it takes the police a really long time to figure out they're hunting a cyborg).but never dull. In short, Hands Of Steel is strictly for the b-movie audience but they're likely to enjoy its low-budget fun.