Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Robot Holocaust (1986) movie review

Note:  This is one of my reviews reposted from Epinions.

How, exactly, do you define a truly bad movie?  We’re not talking, oh, sorry I wasted $10 bad.  I mean how do you define a movie as being a total waste of time, effort and film?  I think Robot Holocaust may be the poster child.

The movie takes place in what I think is supposed to be what’s left of New York City.  We have some people fighting each other so that their evil overlord, The Dark One, can figure out which one is strongest, only to kill him in the end.  The idea is that by weeding out the strongest, there will be no uprisings.  It seems that they’re producing power for The Dark One and are called air slaves.

I’m assuming that this is because of their dependence on clean air.  It also seems that the air outside cannot be breathed by any human except by those that can somehow breathe it.  This includes a scientist and his daughter as well as a wanderer named Neo.

As it happens, Neo and his robot wander in during the fight.  Where he came from is not clear, since we’re told that there’s one city left. Shortly after the fight ends, The Dark One pumps in poison air and everyone (except the scientist, the daughter and Neo) fall down.  The doctor tells his daughter to fall down to avoid detection, so she does, which leads The Dark One to take him in for questioning.

So the movie starts. Neo, his robot, the daughter and a few others set out to rescue the scientist.  Along the way, they meet some warrior women that aren’t too big on men.  The only use they have for men, apparently, is breeding.  (Not only can the women breathe air, but there’s no shortage of men who can breathe air.)  As you might expect, they can deal with any man except for Neo, who is able to defeat the leader easily.  She agrees to go with them until she sees an opportunity to kill Neo.

During their epic quest, they come by Killer Man-eating Worm-looking Sock Puppets.  (No one gets past the dreaded Worm Puppets unless the worms are distracted by a robot, which the party has.)  They also have to get through an electrified gate and blow up a door with some C4 that one of them was hiding until it became necessary.  (Script editor: “Oops!  Forgot to write in the C4.”)  The Dark One’s assistant is told to keep them all out.  (Except for the daughter, that is, who may be useful, although I’m not sure why considering that The Dark One will be able to get what he needs from the scientist.)  The assistant’s idea of keeping them off is reassuring The Dark One that the group will never get past the next stage of their journey.

As you might guess, they do manage to make it through with only a few losses.  They find the father turned into a big mango or something.  The Dark One will ultimately absorb all of his knowledge and find out how he’s able to breathe poisoned air.  It also turns out that the assistant is a robot who likes using some Pleasure Machine and has it in for her boss.  She almost does the heroes a favor until one of them accidentally flips a switch.  Fights ensue.  The Dark One is done in.  In the end, the last city of humans is saved.

I’m still left wondering how this movie ever saw the light of day.  You may have seen movies and thought the budget was somewhere around $10, including the actors’ salaries.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that to be the actual case here.  All of the actors looked like they were pulled off the street and asked to do this movie for free.

According to IMDb, many of them haven’t been in anything else, and with good reason.  The acting was really poor.  The acting start out as very stiff and monotone with the exception of Neo’s robot, who moved and talked like he was constantly being electrocuted.  The acting changed a little bit later in the movie.  I’m guessing that the director took them off of cue cards.

As you can see, the plot was very thin.  It was a basic rescue mission with a few really fake threats thrown in.  The worm things were supposed to be man eaters, but were made from old socks or something.  When a sock puppet attacked someone, it bit his neck.  The victim was able to get away easily.  Not very threatening.

The movie was long at 80 minutes.  I found myself asking how it ever got distributed.  On a similar note, you may be asking why I would bother to watch it.  Good question.  This was another one of those free On-Demand disasters that I decided to watch only to get a review out of it.  I also sort of like watching these bad movies.  Maybe one day, I’ll be able to define what makes a movie horrible.  This one gets one star.  (Oh, and yes, there is a Mystery Science 3000 version.)

No comments :