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Cyxork 7 (2006)
--Review by Nic Brown--

Director John Huff turns a satirical eye on Hollywood and the media with his film Cyxork 7. This is a film within a film as the audience follows first-time director Angela LaSalle (International film star Sonya Smith) as she struggles to “make art” out of the latest in the failing Cyxork movie franchise. Washed out action star Rex Alexander (Ray Wise) plays the hero of the series, Kommander 88. Rex sees the film as his last hope of resurrecting his dying career and wants Angela out because her art could be the nail in the coffin of his come back. Of course the whole production is shadowed by the fact that the Southern California may be destroyed in a huge earthquake due to hit at any moment. But for this group of filmmakers this is not seen as a reason to stop the production, it’s seen as free press and special effects.

Of course Angela and Rex aren’t the only ones with problems. Angela’s mentor/lover Max (Joseph Culp) is self absorbed and pretentious as he writes and re-writes the script to make the artistic film that he thinks Angela should be making, regardless of her wishes. There is also Rex’s pregnant wife Jacey (Beata Pozniak) who, unlike Max, doesn’t want anyone messing with the tired but workable formula for the Cyxork series because she sees it as the last hope to save her husband’s career and provide for their family. Her jealousy of the relationship between Rex and his co star Nyree (Cassandra Creech) only adds to the tensions on the set.

The film also turns its eye to the media in as clips from GNN’s (Generic News Network) coverage of the movie and pending disaster show a shallow news organization interested in exploiting shock value for ratings. Much as the crew Cyxork 7 wants to use the earthquake for publicity and special effects, GNN co-anchors Heather Binge and Rob Berdash (comedians Rebecca Corry & Greg Proops) heartlessly use it for their own ends. They use the looming catastrophe to feed the public’s panic and increase their ratings, unconcerned about the human lives behind the news.

Writers John Huff and Andreas Kossak capture what may be an all-too-real image of the movie industry and the media with Cyxork 7. The film is filled with eccentric characters and dark humor, and manages to be both a spoof and mirror of today’s entertainment industry. The tag line for Cyxork 7 is ‘would you risk your life to make this movie?’ and for the beleaguered cast and crew filming Cyxork 7 the answer is yes, because in the fickle Hollywood world, their lives already depend on it. With his director’s hat on, Huff takes a film about making a ‘B-movie’ and brings out ‘A-movie’ results. So check out Cyxork 7 and keep it in the back of your mind as you watch your next low budget film, someone’s life may depend on it.

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