72 user 38 critic

R.O.T.O.R. (1987)

Not Rated | | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller | May 1988 (Japan)
Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research. A prototype robot intended for crime combat escapes from the development lab and goes on a killing rampage.



(original story idea), (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Margaret Trigg ...
Richard Gesswein ...
Jayne Smith ...
James Cole ...
Greg Hutchins
Stan Moore ...
Nanette Kuczek ...
Penny Gayle
Brad Overturf ...
Moulie / Gas Station Cashier / R.O.T.O.R. / Diner Toughguy
Shawn Brown ...
Mokie Killion
Michael Hunter ...
Victor Kwasnick ...
Grotes (as Victor Kawasnick)
Ron Baker ...
Diana Hurd ...
Bob Lennard ...
Janiece Stamper ...


Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research. A prototype robot intended for crime combat escapes from the development lab and goes on a killing rampage. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Judge, Jury, and Executioner.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

May 1988 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

R.O.T.O.R. Police Force  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


The art on the R.O.T.O.R. videocassette packaging appears to have been plagiarized from promotional artwork for Mad Max (1979). See more »


When Sony picks up the pay phone handset at the gas station, the hook switch stays down, and she is immediately connected to an operator without pressing any buttons. When using a real 1980s pay phone, the hook switch must pop up before the phone will work, and the user must dial "0" to speak to an operator. See more »


Captain Barrett Coldyron: Clearing these stumps for pastureland has always been a chore. In the past I've always used nitro or dynamite. But this new primacord explosive I can practice my roping with the same thing that blows the stumps away.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Willard the Robot receives an end credit, although it is unclear who provided his voice. See more »


References The Pee Wee Herman Show (1981) See more »


Written by Randy Moore and Cindy Smith
Performed by Randy and Smith
See more »

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User Reviews

A lot better than '2001: A Space Odyssey'
4 October 2005 | by (Elephant & Castle, London.England) – See all my reviews

This motion picture is one of a handful of truly great Science Fiction features.

It is certainly on a par with, if not slightly better than, Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'.

This film has a brain and a heart. So rare these days.

The action scenes were way ahead of their time. You can see where the Wachowski Brothers got their inspiration for their 'Matrix' trilogy.

I think this tender and moving religious parable concerns itself with the delicate balance between man and machine.

It asks the audience to meditate on the nature of the soul, on the pain of human consciousness and the heavy weight that human emotions can carry.

It is about love & pain. Hardware, software and an acute study of dystopian paranoia.

It's a tale as timeless as 'The Lord Of The Rings' or 'Indiana Jones'.

It is about life and death and dreams.

But ultimately it asks the most important question of all - "Is there a God ?"

In this respect is film is much better than the similarly themed 'The Terminator' (1984. Dir; James Cameron) I cried when I saw this movie in the former Yugoslavia on New Year's Day, 1990.

And I wasn't the only soldier to break down. There was a lot of emotion in that rustic farmhouse that evening. We talked for hours afterwards. there was so much to discuss.

I distinctly remember our Commanding Officer's face - streamed with tears but smiling.

"Now, it's all so clear" he whispered, his body racked with cathartic sobs, "Now I know what WAR is all about!...."

He left the British Army after seeing this film. Some say he does voluntary work in Iraq now.

Don't take these reviews, both positive and negative, as your guide. Make your own mind up. Take a risk and make the bold decision to seek out a VHS copy of 'R.O.T.O.R'. All the answers to life's complex questions are hidden in this remarkable piece of celluloid gold. But one must stick at it. This is no 'no-brainer' experience ! It took at least 6 separate viewing & discussion sessions before I truly mined the rich resources of this multi-layered epic.

In the meantime I will continue to lobby for this film to be released on DVD.

35 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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R.O.T.O.R. on DVD ihatethesteelers
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Beach Boys mrdavewhite
One of the most magnificent achievements in the art of cinema! klaus_k
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