Thursday, April 16, 2009

Film Review: ROBOT JOX (1990, Stuart Gordon)

Stars: 4 of 5.
Running Time: 85 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Gary Graham (ALL THE RIGHT MOVES, Paul Schrader's HARDCORE), Paul Koslo (MR. MAJESTYK, JOE KIDD), Jason Marsden ("Dash X" on EERIE, INDIANA), Ann-Marie Johnston (I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA), Hilary Mason (the little old lady in Gordon's DOLLS), Ian Patrick Williams (Gordon's RE-ANIMATOR, DOLLS; TERRORVISION, and plays Alvar Hanso in promotional photos for TV's LOST).
Tag-lines: "The ultimate killing machine. Part Man. Part Metal. "
Best one-liner: "I kill you already! [taps head] In here!"

Holy God, we are talking Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots- the movie!

And I can see you, sitting in the back there, feeling brave and anonymous under cover of darkness, muttering about "that sounds dumb" and things of that nature. Well, to at once warn you and quote ROBOT JOX: "It's clobberin' time!"

The set-up is this: after WWIII, war's been outlawed. Something happened to the atmosphere, or else Stuart Gordon ran out of money, but everybody has to wear $1 painter's masks. Anyway, conflict is now resolved between warriors driving gargantuan robots and beating the hell out of each other. The latest battle is basically between the USSR and the USA...for Alaska!

This movie's got it all: We're talking sweetass stop-motion, Cold War paranoia, a Jeffrey Combs cameo,

fuckin' awesome spacesuits, serious use of the line 'I kill you dead!,' and futuristic blinking panels straight out of SPACE ACADEMY- shit, this is what it's all about! Yet, Fancy Pants back there STILL thinks this is a bad idea?! Well, allow me to finish.

Gary Graham is awesome as our stalwart, Gordon-esque hero, "Achilles."

No one calls Gary Graham a cowerd.

Paul Koslo is chewing so much scenery as the villainous "Alexander" that he almost overshadows the GIANT ROBOTS.

How is that even possible?! Well, watch the flick and find out.

"The battle's over." -"Not for me!"

And guess what- this shit ends up...

... in space!?!
Yeah, giant robots smacking the tar out of each other in Siberia and Death Valley is not enough. Space is awesome. Why not have them fight in space? Well, there's no reason not to... so here we are. In fact, this entire movie seeks to answer that open-ended, oft-rhetorical question: WHY NOT?!

But it's subtle, too. There's a really nice touch when this society obsessed with repopulation has a media that overtly pushes imagery of sexy pregnant women.

But then again, this movie also ends with two thumbs-up giving fists slamming into each other as majestic music blasts away.

Four robot whappin' boppin' stars.

-Sean Gill

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the blog! Very entertaining for me because you write like I think in my head when I'm watching a movie. I'm not sure how to send you an email, but I have a few movie suggestions I'd love to read your review of. If you read this, shoot me an email to: "".

Thanks, -Dustin C.