Albert Pyun, a genre filmmaker known for cult classics like The Sword and the Sorcerer and Cyborg, has died. He was 69.
The prolific writer-director died Saturday night, according to a Facebook post from his wife Cynthia Curnan, who “sat down with him for his last breath, which sounded like he was letting go of the weight of the world.” No cause of death was given.
Pyun died in Las Vegas, according to Variety, which reported that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and dementia in recent years.
“He was generous; he had a big heart and a sense of fairness; he was brilliant, his work was a joy, and looking back, what impresses me the most is that Albert was always GREAT. And he was able to ignite greatness in others,” Curnan wrote on Facebook on Friday, where she shared regular updates on her husband’s health and encouraged his admirers to send messages of support in his final days.
“I’ve always loved him, but 25+ years with Albert has made me a devoted fan.”
In 1982, Pyun made his directorial debut with The Sword and the Sorcerer, which, according to the biography on his website, became the top-grossing independent film of the year in the United States. Other outstanding Pyun movies are Cyborg, Radioactive Dreams, Dangerously Close, Vicious Lips, Down Twisted, Alien From LA, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Deceit, the “Nemesis” series and “Captain America” from the 1990s.
Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, who starred in 1989’s ‘Cyborg,’ paid tribute to Pyun on Saturday by sharing behind-the-scenes photos from the set of the sci-fi flick.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I and RIP bid you farewell, Albert Pyun,” said Van Damme wrote on Twitter.
Other industry members paying tribute to Pyun this weekend include video game writer Hideo Kojima, indie filmmaker Michael Varrati and actor Lance Henriksen, who worked with 1993 filmmaker Knights.
Pyun “made the kind of amazing night fare we don’t see that often anymore, while making filmmaking seem possible through hard work and passion.” Varrati tweeted. “He was extraordinarily friendly and kind. A cult icon with a heart.”
“Albert Pyun was a daredevil. He really was.” Henriksen tweeted. “His films were so raw and borderline. He’s worked hard all his life. I really enjoyed working with him on Knights.”
According to Curnan, Pyun directed at least two films that he couldn’t finish and wanted to adapt for “episodic television.” Curnan has expressed a desire to “complete and release his unfinished projects,” as well as a director’s cut of Captain America with an alternate ending that she describes as “transcendent.”
After interning with Takao Saito, Akira Kurosawa’s cinematographer, and relocating to California from his native Hawaii, Pyun has overseen more than 50 projects over three decades. His website bio was recently updated to read: “His legacy lives on and he will never truly die. He is with us forever.”
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-11-27/albert-pyun-death-sword-and-the-sorcerer-cyborg Albert Pyun death: ‘Sword and the Sorcerer’ director was 69