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Robotrix
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by Jay Seaver

"Unapologetic exploitation. But fun."
3 stars

The previous couple entries in the "Weekly Wednesday Ass-Kicking" series were pretty lackluster, but this Robocop-inspired kung-fu T&A-fest is fun.

I'll readily admit, a good chunk of what makes it enjoyable is the same thing that make Swimming Pool enjoyable - there's plenty of bare flesh on display, along with enough going on that the audience can say they're watching it for more than just nudity.

Indeed, as B-movies go, Robotrix is downright competent. The story makes just enough sense to prevent a whole lot of "yeah, right"s, it's structured not to require a lot of special effects that would either blow the budget or look incredibly fake, and the action sequences pass muster. The places it falls short - clunky exposition, goofy subtitles, and a "high-tech" android research lab that appears to be running on leftover MSX or C64 computers from the 1980s (and, indeed, robots that look a lot less sophisticated once the human skin is off) - were at least "good camp", as far as I was concerned.

The movie's biggest problem is that the action storyline is on the grim and grisly side - the evil robot tortures a kidnap victim with a drill, and is said to rape and kill several women (though only a couple are shown on-screen) - but at the same time, there's a lot of goofy, slapsticky comedy. A murdered pimp has a cartoonish dent in his chest, for instance, and you have to wonder about the way grown men become drooling 12-year-olds around Amy Yip's naive robot-girl character. A western remake would probably tone one of the sides down for fear of appearing to be two similar movies sewn together.

Robotrix is unapolagetic exploitation - sex and violence with a bit of comedy in the mix. It's livelier than the average direct-to-video (at least in the US) effort, though, and the right audience can be a fairly enjoyable couple hours.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10043&reviewer=371
originally posted: 06/19/04 22:17:09
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USA
  02-Mar-1991
  DVD: 08-Feb-2002

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Nov-1991


Directed by
  Jamie Luk

Written by
  Jamie Luk
  Siu Man Sing

Cast
  Amy Yip
  Chikako Aoyama
  David Wu
  Billy Chow
  Hiu-Dan Hui
  Chung Lam



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