Anyway, feeling pretty satisfied with his wanton slaughter of bad guys (and the few innocent bystanders who had the nerve to make fun of his Mobile Unit), Mandroid prudently sheds his comically oversized tank treads in favor of good old-fashioned Leg Units. He escapes through the secret passage that for some reason runs through the middle of another top-secret lab, this time run by noticeably less evil scientist Nora Hunter, played by Star Trek TNG's own Denise "First Season" Crosby and her single facial expression. Yes, Denise Crosby, used-up convention-filler and walking poor-career-decision sponge, who once dazzled low-budget Spanish-American sci-fi action adventure fans everywhere as an intrepid treasure hunter and/or robotics expert (whatever the hell she was supposed to be.)
Before he can return home to his budget-jungle ruins and evict the undoubtedly copious Nuremberg Trial refugees squatting therein, Mandroid needs to finish assembling his crack team of Eliminators and Eliminatrixes. Nora augments her own uselessness by bringing along her plagiariffic pet robot Spot, a tiny trashcan-shaped robot who floats around spinning his head in circles and communicating through totally un-trademarked bleeps and bloops that nobody really seems to understand or give a shit about, least of all us. Unlike R2-D2, to whom we are not in any way comparing him, Spot likes to perch on Mandroid's shoulder like a big plump robo-parrot, probably to make him look like a cyberpunk version of Blackbeard.
Our next Eliminator is Harry Fontana, because what elite hero squad could be complete without a wisecracking roguish soldier of fortune who likes to whistle his own theme music? By "roguish" we mean he's like an uglier, dumber, less useful Han Solo without any of the charm. Let's put it this way: If anyone froze this asshole in carbonite, he wouldn't be getting thawed out anytime soon.
Finally, we have Kuji, a pensive lone wolf & martial arts master who's seeking vengeance for his father's murder. Go ahead and guess who his father is (hint: the only other Asian person/stereotype in the film). Interesting side-note: the IMDB profile for the guy who plays Kuji claims that he invented his own martial art called "Realistic Fist," the irony of which re: this movie is so profound that it's almost physically disabling, which we're guessing is probably the secret of its power.
Without further ado, our ragtag band of parasite-riddled heroes continues wandering aimlessly through the "Mexican" jungle, which by 1986 had apparently run out of Mexicans and become entirely populated by a rare but aggressive breed of drunken angry hillbillies who make the characters from Deliverance look like high-society jewel thieves and Victorian dinner raconteurs. The local hick patrol (piloting the CSS The South Will Rise Again, Boy Howdy) challenges Mandroid and his crack team of specialists to a cackling motorboat shotgun joust, but Mandroid, evidently uninitiated in the refined nuances and etiquette of the game, poops out a torpedo and blows them to smithereens.
Somewhere during their difficult passage up the savage, winding river and deeper into the increasingly wild and primeval country of the South American Jungle in search of a madman rumored to have gone off the reservation and holed up with his own private army of fanatical renegades - which, again, should not be confused with any seemingly similar events, people or places from influential works such as Apocalypse Now or Heart of Darkness - our B-Team stumbles across a village of horrible disgusting little hairy things that are not even close to being anything like Ewoks. Like, at all. In fact, they're so not Ewoks that they're actually cavemen.
Also totally unlike Ewoks, these guys look stupid and accomplish nothing, and there is not a single rationally defensible argument for why they are in this film. The only quality they share with Ewoks is that they like to run around in circles grunting and playing grabass, creating predictable but humorously awkward intercultural misunderstandings. Oh, and the lice thing, but we think they might be a little sensitive about that. Anyway, their primitive ways are no match for a man with JET FEET:
Only a truly inspired genius could create a cyborg with high-powered laser cannons on his arms and a five-horsepower boat motor in his shoes! And speak of the devil, our little jungle tour finally reaches its last stop at Reeves' sinister jungle lair, where all of the loose plot threads are finally tied together. Well, not tied together, but sort of piled in a heap.
Like most mad scientists, Reeves wants to rule the world, but he's accepted the fact that he's too shitty at his job to conquer the modern world, so his plan is to travel back in time and become Cyber-Emperor of Rome. This explains all of the centurion highway robberies from before, because lord knows that nobody in 50 B.C. would have respected his electricity-shooting Roman emperor outfit if he didn't have authentic period accent pieces. Our heroes try to stop him in an unspeakably bad firefight that involves lots of standing around, and this ultimately gets the Mandroid killed not once, but twice, because his soul is hooked up to a redundant RAID array or something.
With the Mandroid dying for their sins, the other repugnant cast members rush to stop Reeves from traveling back to Roman times. They get to the time machine just as Reeves locks his eyebrows into travel position and waves goodbye as he vanishes into thin air. "We're too late, he's landed," Nora pronounces gravely. But wait, Captain Stupid is here to save the day by pressing all of the buttons at once and then punching the keyboard. Yep, the time machine controls are password protected, but one punch and suddenly Reeves is dumped off 4 bajillion years past his mark. And mercifully, the movie ends, with a classic '80s freeze frame to let us contemplate the sheer enormity of what just happened.
Watching Eliminators lets you experience every sci-fi trope of an entire decade in less than 90 minutes - it's like freebasing the '80s. Wow. Now that's really good. This may also be one of the conceptually worst time-travel movies ever made, right up there with Abraxas, but that's a small detail, really. If watching a half-man, half-cyborg, half-tank, half-idiot awkwardly lurching around like an RC car being driven by a Parkinson's patient while spraying crappy laser effects everywhere is wrong, then we don't want to be right.
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(Special thanks to forums member dog nougat for the movie suggestion! If you'd like to suggest a terrible movie for us to suffer through, e-mail us at [email protected].)
Transgressive author Chuck Palahniuk is here to help with tips and tricks to hacking your life.
Not what I had in mind when I ordered an Italian gondolier. This is literally just a tiny toy. Needless to say, the Italian businessmen were not impressed and I looked like a damn fool. We lost the pizza pie account and will have to lay off half our factory.
Time to applaud the man who applauds in a loop until the end of time.
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