Robot Powers: 6/10
Rescue Plan: 2/10
Coming to you from my favorite sitting chair in a dim-lit bedroom wearing some shorts and eating Stagg Chili (a man’s chili), I bring to you a forgotten sci-fi classic that brings together cowboys, scientists, robots, lesbians (the butch kind, not the good kind), explosions, and the complete and utter abandonment of basic physics and common sense. I am speaking, of course, about R.O.T.O.R., a movie in which a science experiment goes horribly wrong and releases an unstoppable killing machine into the world with one agenda: kill people who speed. That’s right, the most sinister and wicked of all crimes, breaking the speed limit, is finally addressed in the way that it should be–with blood and bullets.
Professor Coldyron (pronounced “Cold-Iron”) is just your average cowboy. He get’s up early, feeds his horse some coffee, goes for a pleasant morning ride, and then heads in to work at the local police department where he heads the robotics division. You know, standard cowboy stuff. He has recently developed a robot called R.O.T.O.R. (Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research unit) which he believes will take over for police officers when the world has become a violent postapocalyptic nightmare. So…..he’s crazy AND he’s a cowboy…..who would’ve thought? The robot is made from some strange kind of metal that can come alive when given an electric charge, so it doesn’t require any gears or logical explanations to walk around and do karate.
After Coldyron gets into a fight with his corrupt boss, he quits his project knowing that it won’t be able to be completed for 4 years at least. Well, big surprise, all that the R.O.T.O.R. project needs to be complete is a little electricity, and Coldyron’s inept replacements accidentally provide the robot with as much juice as it needs. It springs to life and makes a b-line for its motorcycle, ready to patrol the streets and carry out its prime directive: judge and execute. Side note: For being 4 years from completion, its amazing that R.O.T.O.R. already looks like a human, has a locker in the locker room, has his own police uniform, and has a custom bike waiting. When he catches a couple who are speeding while having an argument, he pulls them over and kills the man, leaving the woman to run in terror.
R.O.T.O.R. chases the girl down the highway, occasionally catching up to her only to be eluded once more. She calls the police for help, and they contact Coldyron to let him know what’s going on with his creation. He runs to his lab to find out what went wrong, and then goes out to find the girl who R.O.T.O.R is pursuing. He saves her from another one of her close encounters, and then calls her over the CB radio to tell her about his master plan: keep running. He wants her to stall the robot so he can come up with a plan! How long does she need to do this? Long enough for him to call another scientist in a different state, have her catch a flight, pick her up at the airport, go to a hotel room, fill her in on the situation, and then finally go out to find R.O.T.O.R. When they track him down, the female scientist (who is obviously a lesbian bodybuilder of some kind with a skunk-like perm-fro) fights him while Coldyron ties exploding ropes to each of his limbs (so that’s 4 different ropes). He ties the other end of the rope (only 1 rope) to a car and throws on the reverse, somehow pulling R.O.T.O.R.’s limbs in 4 different directions at once. He explodes, and the streets are once again safe for people to go a little faster than they should.
The robot can see into the past. That needs to be said. His “sensor memory” can play back whatever the person he’s chasing has done in the recent past. Thus, if he arrives minutes after the girl at a restaurant, he can use his powers to see where she went. Bullcrap. Also, he doesn’t have gears or joints messing him up, so he is free to do kung-fu if he wants (they mention that he can in some weird demo video that looks like an 80’s robot music video), but he never does! He does a kung-fu pose once, and I had some glimmer of what I think was hope (I never really hope for anything, since nothing can match my greatness), but whatever that feeling might have been became dashed when R.O.T.O.R. took the easy way out and just broke his opponent’s hands. The acting was really bad, the dubbing was even worse, and the comparison to Frankenstein, Terminator, and Robocop that I hear everybody making about this movie is just insulting to the entire human race. I did enjoy the chili, though.
Until next time, keep watching those bad movies, and for the love of god don’t speed when robotic cops are on patrol.
P.S. If you think it’s a good idea to name your crappy band “Rotor”, it’s not.