A Recipe for a Post-Apocalyptic movie in the Eighties: Cyborg (1989) With Jean-Claude Van Damme. (I had to put that so you will know why I subjected myself to the entire thing.)
#1 Get an anti-hero: In this case, Jean-Claude is a “Slinger” or a gunslinger. And no, you can’t have Mel Gibson as your anti-hero. He’s already taken, sorry. But it’s a-okay to name your character Gibson Rickenbacker cause that’s as close as you’re gonna get to Mel being in the movie.
#2 Add a Villain: make sure he looks like an evil guy, sunglasses and stark blue eyes when glasses are removed should help nicely. And make sure to raid a costume shop for imperial sleeves, gold and fringy things as well as fur lined coats. Here’s a hint if you can’t find a costume shop in your post-apocalypse look for the nearest solid gold dancer outlet. Those clothes will work as good substitutes. Also make sure that your pirate gang looks like Unwashed Glam Rockers, because long hair and unwashed bodies always scream out that evil doers are coming your way. Which brings up a good question: Why do the bad guys always want to stay filthy? Is there a rule or something that says “I’m a villain, ergo water is verboten?” So much for catching someone unawares because “Dude we can all smell you a mile away!”
(Man this recipe isn’t easy; I already feel like I’m borrowing heavily from other 80’s movies. But we’re just gonna pretend that we never watched the Terminator parading around in his sunglasses. Nope, I can’t hear you making obvious comparisons; I’m too busy making a post-apocalypse movie here.) Also it bears mentioning that the main bad guy, Fender Tremolo never cleans his sunglasses, so it’s really not the same thing at all, I swear.
# 3 Get a cyborg: Any old one will do, you can even make one out of a human, but it’s best if you use a woman. A female cyborg is preferential so that you can avoid comparisons to the first Terminator movie. But you will have to ignore anyone that wants to talk to you about how the cyborg is basically a terminator. Again, not listening la la la!
#4 Have a depressingly traumatic experience in your past so that you can seek revenge: Gibson (J.C.V. D.) has such a past to deal with. And no surprise he’s seeking revenge on Fender and his gang for killing his romantic interest. Wait, didn’t Mad Max have some kind of vengeance thing going on with a gang for killing… Oh never mind, I’m just getting my recipes mixed up.
#5 Sprinkle liberally with one liners: Did the main female character Nady (Deborah Richter) really just tell Gibson Rickenbacker that she digs scars? And after she mistook Gibson for one of the pirates earlier? I’d be offended if I were you Gibson, she just compared you to a bunch of unwashed Glam Rockers.
#6 Mix in a whole lot of symbolism: and don’t be shy about it. Crosses, thorns, barbed wire, and water everywhere. You can even crucify Gibson if you want, so that everybody will get that he’s the savior of the planet. In addition some trips through the Underworld (down a well, into the sewer) and we have covered both the Greco-Roman mythos and the Christian side of the symbolic spectrum.
# 7 Finally: add some random stereotypes: Women always only fighting against other women. Good guy has nice teeth, bad guys have bad teeth. Wiping off your blood covered blade on the subservient. Always sleeping naked so you are unprepared for when the bad guys can get down wind of you. Never going back to collect your weapons after a fight, they reappear later. Making sure the woman you bring along is headstrong and never listens to directions. She can be told to stay, but not taught to stay. You have got to be able to rescue her repeatedly. And finally, you have to have that revenge story, so make sure to always lock up those weapons, even though you live in a world of Unwashed Glam Rocker types who are looking to crucify you for laughs.
P.S.: The movie should be named “Slinger” and not “Cyborg” because Jean-Claude was the main character.
There is not an entry for Cyborg on the Internet Movie Firearms Data Base (IMFDB).