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Running Delilah

97 minutes
crime, sci-fi, thriller

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This entry created 25 November 2012. Last revised on 25 November 2012.

1,963 hits since 24 Oct 2019
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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Running Delilah

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star no star no star no star no star no star no star (3.50)

Back in the early 90s, ABC Television made what appears to be a pilot for a possible TV series. This is now available on DVD as the film Running Delilah – it was released in some countries as Cyborg Agent, Robospy, and Super Delilah.

This seems like a perfect cast: Sexy Kim Cattrall as Delilah, the secret agent executed by weapons smugglers, then reborn as a cyborg. Billy Zane as Paul, her ranking agent, who also happens to be in love with her. François Guétary as Lucas, the agent/scientist who rebuilds her (you may remember the actor from the Sharpe series). Legendary Diana Rigg as Judith, the agency head. Yorgo Voyagis does a good job as an evil Greek shipping magnate and weapons smuggler.

Within the restrictions of broadcast television, this film tries to take more of a look at what the cyborg process actually does to a person. Delilah is often appalled or overwhelmed at what has happened to her, wondering if she is still human. (She's basically a head, neck, and one arm – the rest is robot.) However, Delilah is also ready to laugh and go on with life… There's even a suggestive "sex" scene. The script also does a good job setting up relationships with the other characters – Paul, who wants to protect her and feels guilty about volunteering her for the cyborg project; Lucas, who is possessive about his creation; and Judith, who wants the others to give Delilah more freedom.

Unfortunately, while all the actors do a fine job, the director (Richard Franklin) makes even the most exciting scenes dull. The script is also deficient. For example, after multiple scenes showing how Delilah is now a master of close combat, she never gets an actual fight scene!

The special effects are low budget or early CGI. We see Delilah in an interim phase at one point, with skeletal metal arm and leg – totally unconvincing.

One sign of how times have changed: At one point, Delilah is standing on a French street, talking to Paul via the communications gear built into her skull – and a French woman stares at her as if she's crazy! Today, we're used to people running around talking to themselves… grin

With such a cast, it's a shame this director couldn't make a decent pilot – this could have been a tremendous series! Instead, Cattrall is more cute than deadly, the plot is lame, and this is worth watching only if you're a fanatic about cyborgs.

I'd sure like a Delilah in 28mm, though…