Robot Wars Reviews
If this movie had been on MST3K it probably would have been up there with the best episodes. There is plenty to make fun of but it still has a comprehensible plot which is key for enjoying any B-movie. If you find humor in silly techno-babble and cheesy one-liners ("Remember the Alamo!") you will be in for a treat. The special effects are obviously not to the level of "Transformers" but they aren't as bad as "Godzilla!" either. There are no people in monster suits running around, just a lot of stop-motion models.
The bottom line: Giant robots fighting, cheesy one-liners, silly technbabble, and hott chicks. What's not to love?
It's definitely one of the better "So Bad It's Good" movies I've ever seen (and I've seen quite a few).
B-movie of course but lets be honest here, its just an excuse for more robot wars and not much else really, this time we have the original classic mech against a scorpion type mech. The whole film is again pointless with a thin plot but the over the top acting and shaky robot effects are just so fun to watch, love the constant multiple button/switch pushing by the robot pilots lol. This film is much better than the other sequel 'Crash and Burn', its like the original with plenty of robot hocus pocus.
The film opens with one robot being used essentially as an amusement park ride. While it is fun to watch stop motion robots, I was a little disapointed at first (luckily it does battle a tank early on).
Then you find out there are no more robots left. That this giant scorpion robot is the only robot in existence. Well isn't that great. Why put two robots on the cover only to find out there aren't two robots... or are there?
After a long drawn out and terribly acted, scripted and pointless romance as well as a clearly misguided subplot involving a reporter and her scientist friend trying to uncover a cover up (only to get scared and run away), we learn there is another robot; A rusted, hardly working, pile of junk robot. But due to the skills of its pilot (I think that's the reason but don't quote me on it) he manages to defeat the pilot of the scorpion robot and alls well that ends well.
So while I did get to see two robots fight, I had to sit through a bunch of crap to get to it. The movie isn't bad if you fast forward through all the dialogue and just watch the stop motion robots. Of course, then you'd miss all the story and the reasons for the robots fighting... as if that matters.
"Robot Wars" is one of three movies produced by B-movie mogul Charles Band that featured giant robots piloted by humans ("Robot Jox" and "Crash and Burn" being the other two). I've wondered if they were inspired by Japanese cartoons or the then growing-in-popularity miniature and roleplaying lines from FASA called "BattleTech" and "MechWarrior".
"Robot Wars" answered my question for me. The costume designs and even the look of Mega-1 reminded me very strongly of "MechWarrior". Heck, the film even felt a little like a BattleTech/MechWarrior game with the robots and other technology being more interesting than the human characters.
This brief movie (it's barely over an hour long) is another example of a Full Moon picture that's too short. There is all sorts of back story that was needed for the film to be as good as it had potential for being. (What was the past history of Captain Drake and General Wa-Lee (played with sinister glee by Danny Kamekona)? It was obviously extensive, but we get to learn nothing about it. How did America disintergrate? Why do the Centros seem to be speaking something other than Spanish? These are just a few of the questions that popped into my mind as I watched the movie and I realized it was going to end without any explanations. (And some of the questions could have been answered if the script had been better. There's a scene that could have been easily been used to give us the Wa-Lee/Drake backstory, but it's instead wasted on some very unfunny jokes about how women can be horndogs, too.)
Although this is a film that's clearly made for young kids (or adults who are content if all a movie offers are neat stop-motion special effects featuring giant battle-bots duking it out and shooting laser beams at each other), I still think it could have benefitted from just a little more time being spent on developing the world in which it takes place. That could have at the very least made the film more memorable and lifted it from mediocre to okay.
I haven't seen "Robot Jox", but, eventhough the giant robot in "Crash and Burn" is more of a conversation piece that ultimately proves very important to the survival of the film's heroes, I'm certain those other two efforts are worth seeking out before you bother with "Robot Wars". (Of course, "Crash and Burn" and "Robot Wars" are both included in the 18-movie Full Moon sampler box, "Full Moon Archive Collection". Just know to leave "Robot Wars" to the very last.
Starring: Don Michael Paul, Barbara Crampton, James Staley, Lisa Rinna, Danny Kamekona and Peter Haskall
Director: Albert Band