A quasi-follow up to low-budget producer Charles Band's 1991 ROBOT JOX, ROBOT WARS is dedicated to the spectacle of mammoth anthropomorphic fighting machines beating each other up. ROBOT JOX had some depth and panache courtesy of director Stuart Gordon (RE-ANIMATOR) and
novelist/scriptwriter Joe Haldeman (The Forever War); ROBOT WARS has only the hardware.
Sketchy 2041 A.D. setting is the southwest territory called the North Hemisphere, no longer part of the United States since the superpowers split into anarchic factions. But the North Hemisphere fears no enemies, thanks to their megarobot, a scorpion-shaped goliath called the MRAS-2, which
serves as the entire military defense and public transportation across the wastelands. Sneaky General Wa-Lee (Danny Kamekona) of the rival Eastern Alliance arrives to inspect the megarobot; if he approves, the Asians will pay the North Hemisphere to build them smaller versions.
Instead, the General hijacks the MRAS-2 itself with a cargo of commuters. But maverick robot pilot Drake (Don Michael Paul) has an ace up his sleeve; the mighty MRAS-1, supposedly dismantled due to a disarmament treaty, lies buried intact beneath a ghost town. Drake reactivates it and takes the
bipedal colossus into a victorious slugfest with the MRAS-2.
All this takes a mere 72 minutes, brusquely directed by Charles Band's father, Albert. But like most efforts from Band's Full Moon Entertainment company, ROBOT WARS was distributed on videocassette augmented by a potpourri of behind-the-scenes featurettes and tongue-in-cheek promos for other
Full Moon products. Taken as a whole, the tape is unquestionably entertaining. Among its revelations: Charles Band was to have co-directed with Albert but, as the straight-talking auteur confesses, "I directed the picture because my son never showed up." All the show-and-tell leaves the viewer
with a surprising feeling of good will toward these people and their modest, silly movies. If the film were as skillful as the packaging, ROBOT WARS would be a small gem. (Violence, profanity.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: PG
- Review: A quasi-follow up to low-budget producer Charles Band's 1991 ROBOT JOX, ROBOT WARS is dedicated to the spectacle of mammoth anthropomorphic fighting machines beating each other up. ROBOT JOX had some depth and panache courtesy of director Stuart Gordon (RE… (more)