Overview: The world's folksiest genius scientist and badass super cop invents a mustache-sporting cyborg kill drone to execute criminal scum in the streets, but has to stop his own creation when it breaks loose and...starts executing criminal scum in the streets. Huh, usually this part of the review makes more sense.
Directed By: Cullen Blaine, 1988
The Case For: Finally, a movie that likes to spend some time with us, take us out to a nice, long dinner sequence, not bothering with things like advancing the plot or developing characters. It's usually nothing but plot, plot, plot.
The Case Against: The level of disbelief suspension required to earnestly watch R.O.T.O.R. is clinically equivalent to brain death. 80% of the movie consists of conversations between characters we don't care about and will never see again, incoherent pseudo-philosophical ramblings, and some lady's face in a darkened car that she's pretending to drive.
Hydrogen: This is it, folks. At long last, the future of law enforcement has arrived, in movie form. Welcome...to R.O.T.O.R.
Trillaphon: I dunno, usually when the 1980s promises me things about "the future of law enforcement" it turns out to be pretty goddamn disappointing.
Hydrogen: Nope, trust me, this is it. This is the techno-cyber-cop movie to end all such movies. In fact, you might just say that R.O.T.O.R. is the end to all cop movies, or really all movies period, because what we're about to witness is the most incredible pile of failure ever oozed onto a VHS tape.
Trillaphon: Last time you said that, we had to watch Hellgate and I forgot who I was and how to eat solid food for three days.
Trillaphon: One thing's for sure though: this movie should be remade by Joe Don Baker, playing every role as himself.
Trillaphon: Or better yet, a one-man stage play with no props or lines, and all of the Joe Dons are really robots doing interpretive dance to minimalist soundscapes composed entirely from recordings of farts echoing down a library hallway.
Hydrogen: Let's just get started, before everyone gets transfixed and/or scared off by that mental image. This is one of those movies you have to experience firsthand, because words can only go so far in describing scenes like this:
Hydrogen: Also I guess I should mention we took some obvious creative liberties with some of the clips this time, for which you can all thank us later.
Trillaphon: Sure, fine, whatever. Call us, Joe Don, let's make this shit happen.
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
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