Robot Jox was released in 1990 to little or no fan fare. The only reason I even knew this movie existed is because when I was a kid my parents had HBO. This was back when HBO still only had 6 movies, Two of which stared Christian Slater and another being The Net. I shit you not this movie came on at least six times a week and I watched it every time. I had it one tape until my tape finally wore out to the point it was unwatchable.
To say this movie is “bad” isn’t quite hitting the mark. This movie shit the bed so hard when it came out that it bankrupt Empire Films, the company responsible for it.Don’t let this fool you, just because the sum is a shitfest like none other, the individual parts are amazing and make it worth watching over and over again.
The film is set in a postapocalyptic world in which war has been outlawed. Instead, all conflicts between nations are resolved by one-on-one battles between giant robots, piloted by “jox”. the countries of the planet have been divided into two main opposing sides: the Market (good) and the Confederation (bad).
Stuart Gordon (the director, not two words that get toothless NASCAR fans in an uproar) Is responsible for directing such films as “Re-Animator”, and writing things like “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids”, so it wasn’t that it wasn’t in capable hands. Yes, the plot is lame, The Jox are being replaced by test tube babies who are genetically designed to be killers.
The main character is Achilles, a dude who just wants to wrap up this last fight and go home, but then he screwed up and killed a bunch of fellows in the crowd. Queue cheesy emotional music. He was so broken up by this he retires. He comes back however because some feminazi bitch that is hell bent on proving she is just as good as any man is getting her ass handed to her by some Russian guy that is trying WAY to hard to be Ivan Drago. Wait did I just describe three out of the four main characters.. yes I did, but who is the fourth? It’s Tex Conway, the lovable bastard in a Ten Gallon cowboy hat that speaks with a western accent and contributes absolutely nothing to the movie.
Some of my favorite scenes in this movie include a missile fist, a robots chainsaw penis, two giant robots achieving space flight with little propulsion at all, control of a giant robot all from a video game controller (Ghostbusters 2 I’m looking at you), the robots transforming into other things, a tank and a spider thing if I remember correctly, and Rip Torn. Except that Rip Torn wasn’t actually in this movie.
All in all there are some great things about this movie, and if you aren’t looking for a cinematic masterpiece it really is worth checking out. If nothing else it is a good time. The sequel “Robo Warriors” is a little bit of a different story, but still, if you have nothing to do then see it and laugh.