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I am working my way through the Chilling Classics 50 Movie Pack
Collection and WAR OF THE ROBOTS (La guerra dei robot)is the fifteenth
movie in the set. Released in 1977, WAR OF THE ROBOTS suffers from
sub-par special effects and sometime molasses-slow pacing. But that's
not the point.
The film features stunning cinematography, beautiful sets, elaborate costumes, and wonderful background images. The score is incredible... perhaps the best-part of the film. It propels the action forward, or provides a sublime backdrop. It is never intrusive; but, rather is part and parcel of the action. Also, I found the acting quite credible. And, the dubbing (where necessary) quite good.
The best performance in this one goes to Aldo Conti, who played "Kuba the Alien!" The plot is strong, if not a little bit like contemporary films of the genre. But, best, is the twist toward the latter half of the film, as the rescuers find their missing comrades. This was quite a surprise; and, led to an excellent (but drawn out) way to wrap up the story!
Wow, where do I begin? From the very beginning of this movie I couldn't
take my eyes off the screen. We're introduced to the main characters
very early on, and the short 30 second scene here is more than enough
to make you care about what happens to these characters. The movie
wastes no time after this and gets right down to the action, including
a brilliant kidnapping scene that sets up the main story.
The robots are amazing! Not since Robby the Robot have we seen the likes of these guys! They are amazingly efficient at the start, but once they encounter our heroes, this changes dramatically. Laser gun battles, hand to hand combat with innovative laser-swords and amazing special effects in general will have you at the edge of your seat. The space battles are particularly amazing; we're treated to views of the participants' heads and an occasional bright flash of light while laser noises and the like enhance the suspense.
I don't want to give too much away here, as I feel the element of surprise is part of what makes this movie work so well. The combination of revolutionary special effects, remarkable cinematography, and a riveting story that the actors simply took and ran off with make for one of the science fiction blockbusters of the decade!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You know, it's like a Spaghetti Western, but with ray-guns.
This film was made in 1978, after Luigi and Mario figured out there was some money to be made in this Science Fiction stuff. so what you have is a ripoff of Star Wars with no budget for special effects or sets or actors. But they did have a bunch of people running around in really tight spandex. And some gal with a butch haircut who wonders why the captain doesn't notice her. Well, because you have your hair cut like a boy, you silly thing!
They even had their android soldiers wield something that looked vaguely like lightsabers.
I still think we should confiscate Italy's entire supply of blank film, just as a precaution.
"Representatives of an alien civilization on the brink of extinction
arrive on Earth and kidnap two top research geneticists in the hopes
they can find them a cure to their problem. Looking to stop a potential
alien invasion and rescue the scientists, a group of soldiers is sent
on a mission that could decide the fate of two civilizations,"
according to the DVD sleeve's synopsis.
Badly dubbed, from Italian to English, "War of the Robots" is about as complete a waste of resources as you can imagine. It stars handsome Antonio Sabato - if you want to see soap star Antonio Sabato Jr.'s father in an extremely cheap "Star Wars"-ripped movie. He juggles beautiful Malisa Longo and Bowie-coiffed Yanti Somer. The film's sound effects much have been recorded inside somebody's intestines.
* La guerra dei robot (1978) Alfonso Brescia ~ Antonio Sabato, Yanti Somer, Malisa Longo
Santa Clause Conquers the Martians is a paragon of cinematic art
compared to this, ummmm, work. The robots and one of the human crew
seem to share the same wigs, which look to have been swiped from the
classic "U.F.O." series. Never have soldiers with worse aim been seen,
and Lois & the Professor's motivations are entirely unknowable. The
dubbing is galactically bad, but even more jarring is the way that some
of the hacks^H^H^H^H^Hactors speak English and some speak Italian. Must
have been a fun set.
But, hey, for a whopping 40 cents as part of the Chilling Classics set-o-50, you can't go wrong. Malisa Longo is a robo-babe. She can be my empress any day 8^)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Had "War of the Robots" appeared several years earlier, it might have
worked a bit better. That's because the quality of the special effects
would have looked great about 1965--but after films like "2001" and
especially "Star Wars", this Italian film just looks crappy. At no
point in the film are you able to believe that they are in outer
space--suspension of disbelief with these effects just isn't possible.
If you set aside the terrible sets and effects, you are left with a story that has a good story hidden underneath all the stupid histrionics (more about that in a minute). A race of aliens called the Anthor have become sterile. So, to preserve their species, they steal bodies of other races. To make things worse, the Anthor are real jerks--with that whole 'let's take over the galaxy' mentality. So, it's up to the intrepid humans to fight in space to save our species after Professor Carr and Lois are captured--and the aliens inside these two bodies are now leading the assault on the humans! This isn't a bad idea for a story--but later, and here's where it gets really dumb, the alien inside Lois STILL has the hots for her old human boyfriend and ultimately throws aside all her lust for power and galactic domination because of this lust!! Talk about dopey!!
The film is not 100% awful--hence my score of 3. The 3 certainly would not indicate it's a thoroughly bad film--but it certainly won't be mistaken for a good one! The film looks cheap in most respects and isn't quite bad enough to make for must-see viewing by bad movie buffs.
If you want to see how bad Italian science fiction can be see this
film. Made in the wake of Star wars this piece of wasted celluloid is
just about as bad as you can be. Worse its not even fun.
The plot, for those who care, have aliens kidnapping genetic scientists from earth to help them prevent their race from dying out. Its nothing you haven't seen before better.
This is a turkey, from the hair to the wardrobe to the special effects. I'm pretty sure the acting is the pits too, but I can't be sure since the dubbing is so bad.
This movie uses many of the same costumes, sets, cast effects shots as
"Cosmos: Battle of the Planets" (and was presumably shot on the same
weekend) but isn't as much fun. "Cosmos" was awful and hilarious in
equal measures - "War of the Robots" is merely awful and dull. Sudden
hand held camera that goes rapidly out of focus and lots of sudden
pull-away zoom shots don't make for easy or coherent watching. The
'space battle' at the end is about exciting as watching two drunks
The only things to look out for are Yanti Somer dressed in a wet-look PVC space suit ( hubba hubba! ) and the evil empress at the end laying down her plans. I've replayed that shot a dozen times now and I'm still convinced she says "General Gonad will take them on the weak side." Then again it could be that my hearing is going, or the the dubbing in this movie is really bad because it took me half an hour to work out that the "Terrestrials" weren't blasting off from "Serious Base", but "Sirius Base"... I was expecting their next port of call to be "Funny Ha Ha Base".
I will leave it to people from Texas to comment on the awfulness of the accent the guy in the blond bubble perm wig had dropped into his mouth.
Remember those campy, goofy Sci-Fi movies from the 50s? Well, at the start, based on the special effects, this kind of reminded me of THAT. Then the credits stopped and things went down hill from there. The sound track is terrible. The camera angles, the way the thing is shot, its literally enough to make you motion sick. The acting? I would say "It is to laugh" but its not that funny sort of bad ... Its just bad. Given acting ability and the lack of same, character development consists of forced smiles and equally insincere laughter. Add to these things the facts that this flick is both dull and predictable and, well, I rate this movie as highly as I do only because its obvious to me that at least someone involved in making it was a Sci-Fi fan. I see elements borrowed from 2001: A Space Oddesy, Dr. Who, Star Wars, and Buck Rogers. Beyond that I think this thing was summed up by what one of the robots said early on in the movie ... "No one can help."
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