Not worthy of a last name, but certainly worthy ofÂ recognition among the elite 80s action one-hit wonderfuls is Mary (TerrieÂ Batson), pictured here cradling her treacherous little sister in the 1989 VanÂ Damme classic, Cyborg. We see herÂ gardening. We see her sleeping. We see her fumble through what few lines she uttersÂ and then we see her die. Though overshadowed by Debbie Richter through most ofÂ the film, itÂs our wide-eyed Mary who remains the driving force behind VanÂ DammeÂs blank stares, his murderous intent, and above all, his absolutelyÂ blazing, wildfire gayness. To put MaryÂs importance in perspective we mustÂ recall what is arguably the most homoerotic scene in 80s action history. DuringÂ an intimate moment by the campfire, Richter reaches into her shirt and presentsÂ JC with one of her titsÂ a lopsided, leathery thing assuredly, but a titÂ nonetheless. Without blinking, as if he were offended by the gesture, JCÂ reaches over and covers up the cleavage with more conviction than anything heÂ displays in his fight scenes. After denying Richter (and the viewer) theÂ pleasure of his taut Belgian ass, he quickly flashes back to none other thanÂ Mary, the woman who persuaded him to give up the life, put away the knives, andÂ forever put away his cock.
Mary hires JC to escort her and her siblings out of theÂ plague-riddled wasteland, chock full of bandits, lowlifes, mercenaries, andÂ some of the meanest mullets this side of the Double Deuce. After finding a quaint cottage in the countryside,Â she asks JC in the sweetest of voices to Âstay awhile,Â and so he does. TimeÂ passes, they get to know each other, settle down, and presumably have sex,Â though we donÂt actually see any sexÂ as this is a Cannon enterprise. Â Awkward sex is definitely implied though. So of course JC retires his weapons, trimsÂ the roadkill on his head and relaxes his guard. Things appear tranquil for aÂ time; days, possibly even weeks pass until the Âflesh piratesÂ show up and reduceÂ JC to a bloody mound of whimpering pulp. Shortly thereafter they tie him toÂ Mary and one of the children before hurling the trio to their muddy deaths atÂ the bottom of an abandoned well. JC survives the fall through sheer cast ironÂ will, emerging from the squalid pit with retribution on his mind, the kind ofÂ retribution that demands swiftness, savagery, and many ounces of baby oil.
MaryÂs death, while tragic and gruesome, is necessary to bringÂ our hero full circle and preserve his rippled abs. As a dutiful woman of theÂ 80s action age she must die or be maimed, because to settle with a female is toÂ toil in emasculation. Mary pays with her life for her seductive transgression,Â thus giving JC the option, the onlyÂ option, to reinvent himself in the combative arms of another sweaty, gruntingÂ man. Be it her petite frame, her quiet desperation, or her ability to somehowÂ slip in and out of a southern accent, Mary must be given credit because, afterÂ all, it is her memory that allows JC to kick through a boat mast and surviveÂ his crucifixion. Mary indeed. From what I gather Terrie Batson has, sadly,Â appeared in only three other movies outside of Cyborg as an Âinfected woman,Â a Âphoto double,Â and the allÂ important Âstreet person.Â It is also possible she may have been a backgroundÂ dancer in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. Â Likely saddled now with a throng of ungrateful children, a demeaning job, and aÂ flabby husband, she can always return to her brief moment as our beloved MaryÂ in a time of true purpose and sacrificeÂa time before the darkened, bottomless,Â and boob-filled well of the 90s and beyond.