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To begin with, Richard Gesswein is the worst leading man ever to grace the silver screen. They had to get someone to pull a voice-over for his role, Coldyron (Yeah, that's a tough name), as well as his leading lady, Dr. Steele's part. Dr. Steele, by the way, is a bodybuilder woman with a skunk on her head.
The opening scene reveals the end of the movie immediately telling you that you are wasting an hour and a half. These three guys (the director, writer and star) came up with enough money to take RoboCop, The Terminator, and Judge Dredd (which was merely in comic book form at the time) into one completely awful masterpiece.
When we go back to the beginning of the story, the clock strikes 5:00 and Coldyron wakes up. Just as a quick note to the viewers, the filmmakers then had the clock read 4:50, as if to say, "Please, it's not too late for you, turn off the TV and RUN!" Of course, I didn't follow the directions, I just laughed. Shortly thereafter he fills up a cup of coffee with far too much sugar and you're thinking, "Wow, he sure likes sugar." (This is a joke that you will soon be hoping the filmmakers didn't find to be funny). He grabs carrots from the fridge and heads outside, to his horse. You think the carrots are for the horse, right? But he gives the horse the coffee! THAT'S why there was so much sugar! Then HE eats the carrots himself! AHA! SO FUNNY!! This is about how great the entire movie is.
Absolutely nothing makes sense in this movie. Gesswein says that ROTOR will be ready in 25 years, then says he needs at least 4. Shortly thereafter a Native American character named Shoeboogie puts his headphones in the wrong place and sparks ROTOR. It just makes no sense at all.
I won't go into too many more details, but the worst part of the entire movie must be the fact that ROTOR can take off his sunglasses AND SEE INTO THE PAST! Apparently a function called SENSOR RECALL was built into his system, but it is so insanely dumb that the screenwriter didn't even bother trying to come up with some sort of half-assed explanation. None of the technical jargon even sounds like it makes sense, but he didn't even try going into sensor recall.
You have to see SENSOR RECALL in action to truly appreciate it's sheer madness.
At the conclusion of the movie, Coldyron utilizes a technique Shoeboogie spoke of earlier to kill ROTOR, as if to tie everything together in some sort of nice neat way. One of the problems is that Shoeboogie never spoke to Coldyron. Another is that a few pieces of string defeat this unstoppable supercop.
Another is that I am trying to make sense of a movie in which the comic relief is delivered by a Robot who can think on his own, but the supercop won't be ready for another 25 years.
ROTOR is the worst movie ever made. If you can find something worse, please bring it to me, because I need it.
Please see ROTOR. It is so bad, you will hate me for making you watch it.
And then you will make all of your friends watch it...and you will love me once more.
"Look at these cheekbones: I'm either an Indian or a sissy. And, heh heh, I sure ain't no sissy." (or something like that...) -Shoeboogie
After hearing about this movie's pure awfulness for so many years, I finally got to catch it on On Demand. I was hesitant to watch it because I didn't think it could possibly live up (or down) to my expectations. Needless to say, it did.
If you do choose to subject yourself to the pure bliss (or pure torture, depending on your tolerance for really bad movies) of ROTOR, make sure you stick around for the very end of the credits. No, there's no post-credits scene or anything, but you can amuse yourself with the fact that they even managed to mess up the copyright frame at the very end of the credits. It just says "(C)" with no year next to it, followed by "MPAA #" with no number next to it. My guess is that the MPAA sent it to the producers and nobody knew that they were supposed to fill it in before they inserted it. For we bad movie aficionados, it's just one more gift from the gods.
My therapist thinks that a lot of my current problems stem back to this film and our decision to hire it. I have tried to block it from my mind, but it's burned in there and it won't go, it just flashes images from the film at me from time to time.
Here's what it just flashed at me:
There's a stainless steel Desert Eagle in it. How do I remember that? Because I think it's the only pistol they had in the film. Watch for the bit when R.O.T.O.R. is in the boat and he's going to fall I the water, and the DE turns into a toy Colt Python. I could just imagine some redneck off screen saying `You ain't getting' my sweetheart, I mean Desert Eagle, wet. That gun an me have a special relationship. She's real pretty.'
From what I remember of the story, this woman makes some kind of driving violation, so R.O.T.O.R. chases her across the country and tries to kill her. His programming has gone wrong so he'll kill anyone who gets in his way. Harsh? Yes it is, but if the punishment for speeding was death then we'd all drive a little more carefully.
Well, the budget isn't quite up to that of Water World, and I think that it was made by a group of friends (one of who was going through that transition of man to woman), but I can't really get mad at these guys 'cos at least they tried.
However, heed my warning. If a motorcycle cop who looks like a bulimic Ned Flanders ever stops you, then run for your life! You might just have met the R.O.T.O.R!!
Professor/Cop/degreed sci-fi writer Coldyron performed by Richard Gesswein and dubbed with the voice of Loren Bivens (Why? Did he have a British accent?) has created the prototype cop of the inevitably lawless future with the help of man/woman/beast Dr. Steele (Jayne Smith) the only scientist in the world with a skunk mullet. After an accident at the Tactical Operations Lab, which also happens to be the Dallas Hilton, R.O.T.O.R. becomes operational a full twenty five years too early. Somehow he acquires skin and a uniform complete with porn star mustache and desert eagle and begins his tour of duty. When a couple is pulled over for speeding by R.O.T.O.R. he executes the driver causing the passenger Sonya (Margaret Trigg) to flee the scene with the maniacal machine in pursuit. This is the bulk of the movie. Poor Sonya has to drive nonstop for hours on end while Coldyron and Dr. Steele babble in lame pseudo-intellectual speak about how to stop R.O.T.O.R. Lucky for her that it takes at least 5-7 seconds before R.O.T.O.R. can aim and pull the trigger. The ending is even more absurd as R.O.T.O.R. is defeated quite easily with the right combination of car horn and thin rope.
The dialogue is what makes this movie so much fun. There is a scene where Coldyron meets the "L.A. scientists" and the inclusion of Beach Boy references makes the whole thing sound absolutely bizarre. The cast and crew of the Dallas Tactical Operations Lab are a hodgepodge of stereotypical eighties characters, hipster janitor, dorky scientist, and his comic relief sidekick in the form of the annoying Willard the Robot. One quip has Willard asking a female secretary for "those seven digits" which begs to ask what he would do once he had them. The pacing of the story takes some interesting liberties as Coldyron gets a call from his boss and is suddenly fired yet he is still a cop? This scene is followed by an inexplicable montage of Coldyron and his girlfriend going to lunch with the synth-heavy "Hideaway" song. Did they really think that the viewer needed to see this? As bad as this all seems I found myself with a smile on my face as this ended which is the ultimate purpose of this movie, to entertain. Those of you who remember the eighties ought to give this epitome of a good/bad movie a view.
One of the first actions is the setup for the end of the movie. The Dr in charge of the R.O.T.O.R project gets a call from a state rep needing the Proto-type online sooner than it was ready. A huge argument erupts and the Dr replies " You get justice served. COD!".
Something in the labs goes wrong and the Robot Cop escapes. Go figure. Can't have mass murder if the robot never escapes. The robot waits in the darkness on his bike ( a cafe racer painted flat black. they didn't even remove the name of the bike. Just painted right over it. ) and pulls over a passing speeder. The speeder attempt to bribe the cop so the cop shoots him. Best part. The Cop is the Futures Perfect Traffic cop. His only Weakness is Car Horns. Yes thats right! A car horn. So the girl hits the horn, the cop goes bonkers, and the girl drives off. Another good point. As the cop shoots the girls boyfriend, the guy has a $20 in his hand. Later when the real cops get there. The Money is gone.
The Cop goes on a massive chase and the hero's are really never much help to anyone. Including themselves. Many errors in making this movie.
Basically the whole movie is like this. I have never had so much fun watching a movie and trashing on it as we did with this one. If you like this kind of movie. BUY IT!
R.O.T.O.R. has me completely baffled: it's a dreadful 80s sci-fi film that rips off other better known classics (notably RoboCop and The Terminator), but while there's nothing particularly unusual about that, it is so thoroughly terrible in every imaginable way that it's hard to understand how such a dire film actually came into being. Gesswein's charmless performance; the pitiful action scenes; the lousy 80s music; the embarrassingly bad stop-motion endoskeleton that practises karate; Dr. Steele, the muscle-bound female scientist with the 'skunk-stripe' hairdo; Shoeboogie, the moronic 'American Indian' lab assistant; Willard, the comedy-relief police robot with the peaked cap; the diabolical dialogue (my favourite line being from Coldyron's strangely poetic account to the police "a buttery morning sunlight painted a golden glow through the ranch house windows"; the man sure has a way with words): so much cringe-worthy nonsense in just the one film is hard to take.
Although part of me would like to believe that R.O.T.O.R.'s awfulness was intentional, a calculated attempt to appeal to B-movie fans who lap up such trash, I sincerely doubt it, the film alternating too wildly between complete inanity and total seriousness; part of me would also dearly love this to be a genuine case of bad film-making (the 80s being THE decade for such drivel), but I find it impossible to accept that people can be THAT untalented.
Final word: big guns, motorcycle riding lunatic robot cops, poor voice overs and shallow character depth render this movie highly potent and watchable (maybe not RE-watchable, but you should subject yourself to it at least once in your life).
An action movie of superb cheese factor. If you've been recently let down by "Shotgun" (1989), than do yourself a favor and refresh your pallet with what good inane action is supposed to be all about...watch R.O.T.O.R