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Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Albert Pyun|
|Produced by||Tim Karnowski
Ash R. Shah
|Written by||Rebecca Charles|
|Music by||Michel Rubini|
|Editing by||Mark Conte
|Distributed by||Imperial Entertainment
|Running time||95 min.|
In the near future, Alex Raine (Olivier Gruner) is a disillusioned police assassin. During a mission for the LAPD, he battles freedom fighters from a group known as The Red Army Hammerheads. Nearly killed by the surviving leader, Rosaria (Jennifer Gatti), Alex denies her assertion that he is a mindless robot: "Eighty-six point five percent is still human."
He has extensive alterations done, then tracks Rosaria to Old Baja, where he kills her. His handlers show up, led by his former lover Jared (Marjorie Monaghan), who is an android. Alex decides he has had enough and leaves the LAPD, becoming a freelance hustler and triggerman. However, his LAPD bosses are just letting him run free for a while. His old boss, Commissioner Farnsworth (Tim Thomerson), later has Rainhe kidnapped.
They want him for one last mission: to find Jared. According to Germaine (Nicholas Guest) she stole vital security information of an upcoming international summit and must be stopped before she leaks the plans to the Red Army Hammerheads. Raine is told she escaped to a remote Pacific island. Alex is uninterested, even when Germaine shoves a pistol in his face. Raine coolly warns him: "Pull it and you better use it," before disarming and knocking Germaine out.
In reality the freedom fighters are not fighting against government control of people's lives, but for humanity’s future. A newly designed android is infiltrating the higher echelons of human society, copying the minds of powerful leaders into synthetic bodies, Farnsworth among them.
Alex is told that a bomb is implanted in his heart during his latest repairs. He has to find Jared, before she meets with the leader of the Hammerheads, Angie-Liv (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). After flying to the island of Shang-Lu, he is turned loose as bait for Jared.
Burned out, Alex halfheartedly begins his search, checking into a local hotel. He is soon intercepted by Julian (Deborah Shelton), a cyborg representing Jared. She tells him he is being followed by an LAPD strike team led by Farnsworth, waiting for the opportunity to hit the Hammerheads and Jared.
It turns out that Jared was fatally wounded in her escape from LA, requiring her memory core to be salvaged from her body. After removing a surveillance device implanted in Alex's eye, Julian injects him with a digital scrambler that prevents the bomb from being remotely detonated. She gives him Jared's memory core, enabling him to talk to her. The strike team storms the hotel and Julian sacrifices herself, allowing Alex to escape. Alex eventually joins up with a local woman, Max Impact (Merle Kennedy) who acts a scout for the Hammerheads while working as a tour guide.
She is also Rosaria's sister, the woman he killed in Old Baja, and she wants Alex dead. He is brought to the Hammerheads and joins their cause. Unfortunately, the strike team tracks them down, leading to a shootout and chase through the rundown city. Most of the Hammerheads, including Angie-Liv, are killed by Farnsworth's men. Alex saves Max's life, eventually earning her forgiveness. In a confrontation with Farnsworth, Alex shoots him with a grenade launcher.
Alex and Max arrive at a secret hangar where Hammerhead Yoshiro (Yuji Okumoto) is waiting. While launching their escape vehicle, the cyborg Farnsworth, reduced to his mechanical endoskeleton, attacks. Alex defeats him and realizes how much he is cybernetically enhanced.
Alex brings Jared's core to another Hammerhead compound where they will be able to destroy the labs being used to duplicate people. Unfortunately this means stripping her memory, effectively killing her. Heavily bandaged and temporarily blind, Alex is forced to say goodbye.
Sneaking into LA and hunting down the synthetic agents, Alex corners Germaine on the helipad of LAPD headquarters. Shooting him, Alex recalls his previous quip: "See Germaine, when I pull it, I use it."
Before she died, Jared told him the real Commissioner Farnsworth left him a letter at an old dead drop. In it, his former mentor apologizes for his sometimes rough treatment, reminding him that they all have to do what is right.
Alex walks off with his new partner Max, and they joke about how they are going to smuggle his synthetic body through airport customs: "Piece by piece, Max..."
The so-called Extended Version, released only in Japan, offers a darker ending. After Alex and Max's conversation about going to New York, Farnsworth appears as they walk up the stairs. A female voice asks: "Should we take them out now?". Farnsworth turns to the off-screen woman and answers: "Why not?", suggesting that they succeed in the termination of Alex and Max.
Note: This version does not contain the fight between Alex and Farnsworth's endoskeleton on the aerodyne, explaining his appearance here.
- Olivier Gruner as Alex
- Tim Thomerson as Farnsworth
- Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Angie-Liv
- Yuji Okumoto as Yoshiro Han
- Marjorie Monaghan as Jared
- Nicholas Guest as Germaine
- Vincent Klyn as Michelle
- Thom Mathews as Marion
- Marjean Holden as Pam
- Brion James as Maritz
- Deborah Shelton as Julian
- Jennifer Gatti as Rosaria
- Thomas Jane as Billy
- Jackie Earle Haley as Einstein
- Borovnisa Blervaque as Morico
- Merle Kennedy as Max Impact
- Adrianna Miles as German National
- Rob Carlton as Waiter
- Branscombe Richmond as Mexican Man
The film was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Imperial Entertainment in January 1993, grossing $2,001,124 at the box office. The company also released it on VHS and laserdisc the same year.
The movie received a mixed-to-negative reception from critics, citing its convoluted storyline, amateurish acting, and emphasis on action at the expense of a decent script. however, its reputation has improved over time and it is now considered a cult classic.[by whom?]
In 2010, director Pyun announced his intention to re-release the film in a new, alternate cut that featured enhanced computer effects.
The film spawned three sequels titled Nemesis 2: Nebula, set 73 years after the events of the first film,Nemesis 3: Prey Harder which features characters sent back in time to 1998 and Nemesis 4: Death Angel.Nemesis 3 was made using footage left over from the production of Nemesis 2.
- Liebenson, Donald (1993-09-16). "COVER STORY ALL-IMPORTANT VIDEO BOX DESIGN IS CHALLENGING FOR ARTISTS". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- "Sneaks '93 : Opening Soon". The Los Angeles Times. 1993-01-24. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- "Nemesis". boxofficemojo.com. 2011-04-07.
- "'Nemesis' heads for vid". Variety. 1993-04-14. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- "Nemesis". dvdempire.com. 2011-04-07.
- Thomas, Kevin (1993-01-29). "MOVIE REVIEWS `Nemesis' a Provocative, Sleek Thriller". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
- "Promo reel for NEMESIS v2.0". quietearth.us. 2011-04-07.
- Nemesis 2: Nebula at the Internet Movie Database
- Nemesis 4: Death Angel at the Internet Movie Database
- Nemesis III: Prey Harder at the Internet Movie Database